October 28, 2020
But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Matthew 6:6 NLT
We have a lot of views of prayer. Some see prayer as trying to twist God’s arm until He gives us what we want. For others, prayer is a duty to check off their list of things to do to be in good standing with the Heavenly Boss. I would propose prayer is practicing the presence of God.
To practice the presence of God, we have to do more than have a formula, outline, or list of things we want Him to do for us and through us. (I do have an outline for my prayer time, but it is always flexible to the moment.)
Let’s compare prayer to the relationship with a husband and wife. When I come home from a day at the office, we usually eat almost immediately. Sometimes, we eat while watching television—perhaps the news or something we recorded. We are together, in the same room, doing the same thing, but we aren’t practicing each other’s presence.
We must turn off the TV, put down our iPads and phones, lay aside our books, and actually talk to each other if we want to practice each other’s presence.
I like the way E. M. Bounds stated it, “Prayer is not learned in a classroom but in the closet.”
We must separate our attention from anything else and focus on what God might be saying to us. When we connect with God, amazing things begin to happen. Connecting with God transforms our thinking to think like God. When we start to think like God, we discover things begin to happen in us and through us that seem to be coincidental, but actually, they are divine accidents.
I believe God has creative thoughts, actions, and plans that we haven’t imagined because we haven’t practiced His presence. Once you start to separate time for the presence of God, expect to be surprised at what starts to happen. It will often be so gradual that you will not see it at first, then one day, you realize things are different because you are different. You have been in the presence of God.
Holy Spirit, I want to learn how to practice Your presence. I want to learn to shut everything else out of my life and focus on Who You are and what You want to do in and through me. I believe the best is yet to come when I learn to practice Your presence fully.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.