Ever since I read Brother Lawrence's Practicing the Presence and several of Andrew Murray's books about 10-12 years ago, I have longed to 'practice His presence' or ' abide in Him' in a greater and more consistent way. I have amazing quiet times with Him, but often times feel like I leave Him in my room as I chase off into my day.
One of my all time favorite verses is Psalm 27:4
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.
Oh, I just love that verse! Dwelling in His presence, all day, beholding and gazing upon His beauty! I know He is always with me, that's not what I mean. I guess I somehow mean a more tangible and focused way.
While reading Susan's blog, I came across this post on "Cultivating the Discipline of Prayer". Finally, a practical way to practice His presence! Have you heard of the 60/60 challenge? Here is her quote:
"Here's the challenge: Set your watch to chime every hour and use that small prompt to turn your heart and thoughts heavenward. The second part of the "60/60" refers to the duration of the challenge~ 60 days"
I have been practicing this lately and love it! My watch can only be set for 30 minutes at a time, so I guess God wants to hear from me a little more frequently. ;-) I think, starting November first I am going to start the challenge, but will 'practice' until then.
Want to join me? Wouldn't be wonderful to spend a few minutes of every waking hour with your heart turned towards the Lord for the rest of the year?
I am combining this idea with another idea I read on her blog and that is carrying around scripture on a 3 x 5 card to pull out of your pocket and meditate on it throughout the day. I loved this idea too, as I love all the verses that talk about 'meditating on His word day and night', but again, how to make it happen? I have tried this before, but at the end of the day found my card still in my pocket untouched since I wrote it. :-(
My pants or skirts don't always have pockets, so I snatched one of my children's 'chorepak' holders, which we aren't using. ;-) I put my scripture in it, and hooked my watch on it. I just clip it on and away I go.
(If you are wondering why I don't wear my watch, I like my gold watch better)
I have even taken to stuffing prayer cards that I pray for my husband in there. Praying every hour, or thirty minutes in my case, you can cover a lot of ground! I am loving this. It doesn't have to be a long and drawn out process. It can be as simple as just turning your heart towards Him for a few seconds. Or, you can pray, or read your scripture card, or go through a prayer list, or just take a few mindful breaths and say Jesus.
You can make it whatever you want it to be. Each of my prayer breaks look differently depending on what I am doing at the moment the timer goes off and how the Spirit leads me.
I like the idea of a watch timer, I can assure you if I had to get up off my buns to set a new timer I might not do it. Just being honest here. I might eventually get a watch that I can set a 60 minute timer, but for now, I'll just enjoy Him twice as much.
Brian had the idea of using a lanyard to wear around your neck if you don't have one of these handy clippy thingys. That is of course if you don't have pockets.
I have already seen many benefits from this.
*I find myself checking my timer as it feels so long since I last prayed.
* The children are seeing this and are intrigued. I thought it better to just quietly be an example instead of forcing them to join in. If there are some children by me when the timer goes off, I say, "let's pray together" and we'll hold hands or get on our knees at the couch and pray. Nothing forced, just fun. They seem to be enjoying this. I have even noticed my older boys bowing their heads, unprompted by me, when the timer goes off.
*Imagine what this is teaching the children!
*I find myself with time to pray for more people than usual.
*I finally 'feel' like I am with Him all day.
What do you think!? Want to join in?