“To walk in the presence of the Lord means to move forward in life in such a way that all our desires, thoughts, and actions are constantly guided by him. When we walk in the Lord’s presence, everything we see, hear, touch, or taste reminds us of him. This is what is meant by a prayerful life. It is not a life in which we say many prayers, but a life in which nothing, absolutely nothing, is done, said or understood independently of him who is the origin and purpose of our existence… When we no longer walk in the presence of the Lord, we cannot be living reminders of his divine presence in our lives.” – Henri Nouwen, The Living Reminder
These powerful words describe what the journey of prayer as every day life should be like. Everything is created by, informed by and shaped by the presence of God as “in Him we live, move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). As we walk through each day, He is present in every activity, every thought, and every moment of rest. God’s heart beats within our own and His kingdom purposes are yearning for our attention during the moments when we are forgetful of His continual companionship.
My deepest desire is to integrate the presence of Christ in me throughout my day. I desire that my first and last thoughts each day as well as everything in between would turn to the very present God…our Jehovah Shammah (The Lord is There). I was grateful to my pastor this week for preaching on this amazing Name of God. He reminded us that God knows our actions: “you know when I sit and when I rise” (Psalm 139:2), He knows our thoughts: “…you perceive my thoughts from afar” (Psalm 139:2), and He knows our ways: “You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways” (Psalm 139:3). He knew all of these things before we were even born: “For you created my inmost being and you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). How is it that this amazing God slips our minds – ever?
Yet, even though God’s word says that apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5), we spend much of our lives doing and thinking and making decisions and plans completely independently of our Father, the One who knows us perfectly – inside and out.
Perhaps all it will take is to develop some godly strategies for remembering and recognizing His presence in our world and in the continual going about our day living. Is it even possible to cultivate never ending prayerfulness? Yes! God created us for this possibility to become reality. His word declares that we are to “pray continually” no matter where we are or what we are experiencing. If we are to be “living reminders” to everyone we connect with day to day, Jesus must ooze from our pores simply because we live, move and have our being in His presence. Here are a few simple strategies to help us live prayerfully in God’s presence:
Cultivate thankfulness for all things created, and for your daily experiences simply by becoming more aware. Develop a heart of gratitude even for things you normally take for granted. If you see loveliness around you, express your thanks to the Father. If you think of a good idea, give God praise for shaping your mind. Perhaps you have an opportunity to speak life or peace or hope into another person. Give the Lord thanks for opening the way for the conversation to take place.
If you or someone you connect with has a need, or if you simply see a need around you, take time to pray in that moment for God to intervene in a life or situation. Remember to be willing for the Holy Spirit to prompt you to meet the very need you just prayed about.
Take time each day to sit in silence. If you could spend ten minutes a day in silence, simply telling God that you want to spend time with Him, enjoying Him, you will begin to experience the truth of Matthew 6:33: “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”
You will likely be able to think of many other ways to cultivate a prayerful “knowing” that God is continually present with you. As we foster our awareness of Jehovah Shammah through all of our senses and experiences, over time we will begin to encounter a deeper sense of joy and security no matter what comes our way. And, we will become living reminders of the presence of Jesus to all who come into contact with us. May living prayerfully in His presence become a continual reality for our every day lives!
Kim’s passion is to see God’s people recognize that prayer is a creative, continual moment by moment lifestyle with God as we align our hearts with His plans and purposes for His glory and for the sake of His kingdom. Her ministry involves writing, teaching and consulting. She also compiles and edits HPM’s free daily devotional, Connection! and blogs regularly on the HPM website). Kim is a member of America's National Prayer Committee, VP of Gospel Revivals, Inc. and on the Advisory Board for America Prays.
Kim has a BA in Psychology and a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Leadership.