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11th November 2022


Prayer Matters

We have been considering how & why Prayer matters through a series of P’s.
The privilege, place, pattern, priority, persistence, postures, partnership & power of prayer.
In the New Testament the Apostle Paul exhorts us to be ceaseless in prayer (Romans 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 2:13; 2 Timothy 1:3).
So today I want to end this series by thinking about prayer as Practicing the Presence of God.


Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


To be ceaseless in prayer we are to maintain a constant communion with our Heavenly Father.
This is possible through Jesus sacrifice on our behalf & the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Ceaseless prayer is like breathing for the physical body. Essential for life, yet carried out subconsciously.
It is carrying a constant awareness of God in our hearts & spirits.
Brother Lawrence (a 17th Century Carmelite friar) referred to this as The Practice of the Presence of God.
It is not just a nice idea for a Medieval monk but a real challenge for contemporary Christian life & prayer. It is an old habit & practice of prayer that can still be used in our day.

In its most simple yet profoundly potent form it is the recognition & awareness that God is ever with us.
God never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). He lives within us by His Spirit (John 14:15-18).
We can therefore always be in communion with Him.
Knowing we are deeply loved by our heavenly Father & surrounded by that love at all times.
Carrying the awareness of God’s presence with us & prayer burdens in our hearts & spirits.
It is maintaining an openness to hear from & be used by God at any moment. 24/7/365.

In summary this is how Brother Lawrence approached the spiritual life:
he set out to cultivate a sense of God’s presence by continually conversing with him.
Continually talking to God simply and directly, and doing everything as an act of love for God.
See the link below for more:

https://d2y1pz2y630308.cloudfront.net/15471/documents/2016/10/Brother%20Lawrence-The%20Practice%20of%20the%20Presence%20of%20God.pdf

It is asking Jesus to be with us wherever we are & wherever we are doing.
In the mundanity & in the mysteries & miracles that are life.
If we ask, He is only to glad to accompany us. Hallelujah!!!
Keep practicing the presence of God.
The Lord is ever ready & prepared – ARE WE?

For Reflection

  • How aware am I of God’s presence from moment to moment?
  • Which prayer burdens am I carrying on my heart & in my spirit right now?
  • Meditate upon the Practice of the Presence of God.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that You are ever with me,
That You never leave me or forsake me.
Jesus thank you that You are my constant friend & companion as I journey through this life.
Holy Spirit keep me in ceaseless communion with Father, Son & Spirit,
Increase my sensitivity to your still small voice.
This I ask In Jesus mighty Name.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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