Practice the Presence

Scripture makes it clear; no matter what our job or lot in life, we can learn to practice and enjoy God’s presence now—Matt. 6:25-34. Brother Lawrence, a humble monk, learned to do this when he was cleaning pots in the monastery, and so can we in our everyday lives. We have a capacity within us to focus on whatever we choose.

The answer is to choose to do the following:

  • Fight distractions (not work, ministry, or planning). We don’t need to be diverted from essential activities, even in the midst of our busiest times.
  • In the future, have faith in God’s care for His children.
  • Enjoy His presence now. How can that be done?

The solutions will be different for everyone, but here are a few to help you practice God’s presence throughout your work day. (Suggested by Elsa Houtz, “Spiritual Disciplines From 9-5,” Discipleship Journal, #74, p. 47.)

  1. Get mileage out of your travel time—listen to tapes, pray, worship.
  2. Set aside a minimum of one lunch hour and/or one coffee break a week.
  3. Keep a “jotting journal,” a small notebook for jotting down questions, issues, or experiences you want to follow up on later.
  4. Schedule checkpoints into your day—a regular time in your schedule when you take two or three minutes to ask, “Am I depending on God, or am I working in my own strength? Am I letting Christ be seen through me today”?

Spiritual Disciplines

“We should know that a spiritual life without discipline is impossible. Discipline is the other side of discipleship. The practice of a spiritual discipline makes us more sensitive to the small, gentle voice of God”—Henri J.M. Nouwen.

What is spiritual discipline?

A spiritual discipline is the concentrated effort to create some inner and outer space in our life where obedience can be practiced.

Through a spiritual discipline, we prevent the world from filling our lives to such an extent that there is no place left to listen.

A spiritual discipline sets us free to pray.

The practice of spiritual discipline makes us more sensitive to the small, gentle voice of God and spiritual opportunities, e.g., Mary.

A spiritual discipline puts us at the feet of Jesus to listen to Him and to commune with Him. A spiritual discipline, therefore, becomes a step to building a friendship with God.