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Practicing the Presence of God

January 17, 2024 | Riley Weaver

My son, Johnny, loves climbing. Even though his two-year-old vocabulary is limited, he often says, “Climb, climb!” We try to limit his climbing to a couch cushion, but we’ve found our little daredevil on top of his ride-on truck, the back of the couch, and even our bed. If you’re a parent, I know you get it.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, he climbed onto one of our dining room chairs. Unfortunately, the chair fell over with him on top of it. My wife, Kayla, and I were a few feet away, but we didn’t see him atop the chair in time to catch him. We quickly ran over, picked him up, and calmed him down. We thought it was just another fall, but Kayla noticed he was carrying his hand differently this time.

The next day, we took him to the doctor. The X-ray showed that his wrist was fractured. He needed a cast. Honestly, I was angry. “How is Johnny going to play with his cousins at Christmas?” “How is this cast going to look in family pictures?” Those questions were going through my mind. As we were walking out, Kayla, the optimist in our family, said, “I thank God that Johnny was able to get the care he needed.” In a moment of weakness, I thought, “Don’t bring God into this. There’s nothing good about this situation.” As quickly as the thought left my mind, I knew I was wrong.

You’re probably wondering, “What does this have to do with practicing the presence of God?” This spiritual discipline comes from a book, The Practice of the Presence of God, written by a seventeenth-century French friar called Brother Lawrence (or Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, to be precise). He served as a cook in a monastery. In his noisy, crowded kitchen, he learned to hone his awareness of God’s presence no matter what was happening around him.

In Conversation Four of The Practice of the Presence of God, this is said of Brother Lawrence: “It was observed that in the greatest hurry of business in the kitchen he still preserved his recollection and heavenly-mindedness. He was never hasty nor loitering, but did each thing in its season, with an even, uninterrupted composure and tranquility of spirit. “The time of business,” said [Lawrence], “Does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”

Said differently, Brother Lawrence felt as aware of and close to God when he was working in his kitchen as he did when he was praying or taking communion. I don’t know about you, but I want to feel that close to God in every moment.

This reminds me of what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, be mindful of God, especially his love for you. This can take the form of active prayer or simply practicing his presence. Either way, God’s love gives us reason to rejoice.

What does this mean for you? If you’re at work, practice the presence of God. If you’re doing chores, practice His presence. In the good and the bad, practice His presence. If, like me, you find yourself in a doctor’s office receiving unfortunate news, practice His presence.

I want to leave you with these encouraging verses. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whatever is happening to you, God is with you. Are you practicing His presence?

  • Jeremiah 23:24: “’Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?’ declares the Lord. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.
  • Psalm 139:7: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?”
  • Acts 17:27-28: “[God] is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.'"
  • Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
  • Matthew 28:20: Jesus said, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
  • Romans 8:38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


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Plainfield Christian Church

800 Dan Jones Rd | Plainfield, Indiana 46168