This week, we are practicing the presence of God. As we learned last night, the life of an active contemplative or a contemplative activist is a life of practicing the presence of God in every moment of living. It is a life of constant remembering and acting – remembering who we are and who God is; remembering how far God has brought us by his mercy and grace; and acting without delay in response to God’s promptings and leadings in utter reliance on his faithfulness. It is a life that is not compartmentalized into work life, home life, social life, and spiritual life. It is a fully integrated life in which we see Christ between all things, in all things, around all things, in every pair of eyes, in every circumstance, and in guiding every single step.
Practicing the Presence of God
Practicing the presence of God is a way of living. Here is a place to begin…
Remembering. Reflect on your story. Was there a time in your life when you were “foolish, disobedient, deceived, and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures?” (Titus 3:3) Was there a moment or a season, or both, when you see that God saved you “through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit?” (Titus 3:5)
Acting. Reflect on a time God called you to act in a way that was far beyond your capabilities. How did you respond? Is God calling you now, in this season, to act in your weakness and in reliance on his grace? What is the first step you can take in faith to respond, believing that his grace is sufficient and his power is made perfect in your weakness? (2 Corin 12:9)
Living. What does your life look like when every moment is lived in the presence of God? Consider the ordinary moments of your day and Christ’s sovereignty in them. All things have been created through Christ and for Christ. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Col 1:15-17) How can you live in this truth? Practice the breath prayer we talked about last night. As you walk through your day, each time you think of it, use the rhythm of your breath to breathe in these words: “Christ in me.” Then, as you breathe out, pray: “The hope of glory.” (Col 1:27)
Examen. At some point in your day, set aside 15 minutes to look back at the last 24 hours. Invite the Holy Spirit’s guidance, review the day in thanksgiving, review the feelings that surface, choose one or two feelings and pray from them, and look forward to your next 24 hours.
Books: The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence.
Contemplation in Action, Richard Rohr and Friends.
Video: Eternal Living? Dallas Willard.