This week, Pastor Donnell invited us to recognize and participate in the patterns of transformation that God is working in each of our lives. This is a partnership with the transformative work of the Spirit as we await and work for the realization of God’s incredible promises to us. C.S. Lewis wrote, “We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him.” (Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer). In order to trust God enough to be willing to take risks and make sacrifices, we must first be able to experience God’s loving presence at work in our lives. The good news is that this trust can be cultivated. We can train ourselves to notice when we encounter God in our daily lives. We can learn to actively look for signs of his goodness and activity in even the smallest corners of our days. One way we can do this is by practicing the presence of God. “Practicing the presence is a way of living into a deeper awareness of God’s activity in our lives. Through many small pauses we begin a habit of turning our heart toward God (Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun.)”
As you go through your routines and habits this week, begin to look for God’s activity in your life, particularly when you are anxious, afraid, experiencing stress, anger, or uncertainty. Simply pause briefly in these moments and ask for the Holy Spirit to reveal the loving presence of God at work in your life in that very moment. This doesn’t need to be a lengthy prayer, just a short pause of acknowledgment and openness. Pay attention to your emotions and disposition as you begin to incorporate this practice into your days. Do you feel more aware of the presence of Jesus? Are you more open and trusting as you await God’s work in your life? It is okay if you don’t feel this way. Simply do your best to continue looking for the presence of God at work in your life, and see what fruit comes of it.
Return Wednesday for this week’s expanded practical tip.
Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.