Practicing the Presence of God

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; (Acts 17:28, KJV)

Several years ago I was turned onto a beautiful book by a friend from church, The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, a monk of the 17th century.  Since then I have tried to make a practice of being aware of God’s presence.

God is inescapable, and his presence is always Here and Now, regardless of where we are or what state we’re in: If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou are there (Ps 139:8, KJV).

In the Bible the Hebrew word ruah means both breath and spirit, as when God, “… formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” (Ge 2:7, New Living Translation)

So it is natural for me to associate God with my breath, and whenever I want I can come into God’s presence merely by observing my breath and knowing that God is in it, and in me.

Another way to come into God’s presence and into his joy is through praise, “…but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” (Eph 5:18-20, KJV)

This “giving thanks always for all things unto God” is so powerful and so simple a way to come into God’s presence; and it is not just the big things but the little things especially we can take notice of and be grateful for.  Read the poem Pied Beauty by Gerald Manley Hopkins.  I think this is what Paul had in mind when he wrote those verses in Ephesians.

God’s presence is all around us; all we need to do is take notice to walk with him.

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