Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Practical Way to Practice His Presence

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?


Camille said...

I love this...I read it on Susan's blog too and I have been following Ann at Holy Experience for awhile as well. Such lovely encouragements in the right direction!

Hope you are doing ok...I've been praying for you!

In His love,

mamma bear said...

I highly recommend that book by Bro. Lawrence. It is one of my favorites! Very effective!
I have Scripture taped up all over my house at eye level, and in my car on the visor. :) It makes it so much easier to memorize and meditate on God's Word and to practice His presence when you are constantly reminded to do so!
Thank you for this post.

J said...

Joining in here! :) I'm off to get my digital watch with the broken tie to a verse...set to chime on the hour...thanks for the encouragement!

Rachel said...

I am going to join in with you. I have been trying to get more prayer into my daily life.

Last year I read an article that stated that the average person spends 6months of their life at red lights. I am someone who throws a fit at red lights. When I read this I realized that if I get annoyed at every red light I hit, then I am spending 6months of my life in an angry or annoyed state.

I decided to start praying every time I was at a red light. This slowly turned into also praying whenever I'm in line somewhere (women's bathroom anyone?) I haven't been going out of the house as often lately so I have gotten out of the habit, so I am going to join you to bring more prayer into my life again.

(long time reader, first time commenter)

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

What a wonderful way to keep our minds on the Lord! I'll have to get the appropriate equipment to join in, but I love this!