Most followers of Jesus understand the importance of bringing Jesus into every part of their life. The questions is, how do we do that? We read verses that tell us to “pray without ceasing,” (1 Thes. 5:17) or that we are to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests … always keep praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Eph. 6:18) The reality is that we can only focus on one task at a time. It is challenging to focus on paperwork and prayer at the same time.
In order to meet this challenge God and prayer into every part of our lives we need to understand that not every prayer is said with words, and not all worship is done with our mouths. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) says, “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.“ What you do can be a prayer if you let it. But what we do only becomes a prayer if we become conscious of the presence of God in every part of life.
A friend of mine walked the 800 kilometer El Camino trail in Spain. He entitled his blog, “Every step a prayer.” That is a good metaphor for life. It is not that he prayed every step of that incredibly long 800-kilometer journey. But he made every step a prayer by continually dedicating his journey to the Lord. If we were to make every social media post a prayer, and every task at work a prayer, and every meal prepared a prayer, every step a prayer – it would make a huge difference in our lives.
One of the ways of getting there is by fostering a consciousness of the presence of Christ. Some people call this discipline, “Practicing the presence of God.” What we are doing is fostering the habit that calls to mind that God is with us and bringing the power of his presence to bear on every part of our life.
Like any habit, there are three phases to doing this. I call them the
“Three R’s.” Remember, Routine, Respond.
We need to triggers to help us remember. A trigger is something that happens in our lives that remind us to do something else. Some of you have a trigger of walking into the kitchen, which triggers the routine of going to refrigerator, opening it and find something to snack on – and then eating that snack. The reward is the taste of the food. We need triggers that help us remember that God is present.
The traditional or basic triggers are when you get up in the morning, before you eat breakfast, lunch and supper and before you go to bed at night. These are the traditional times to pray throughout the day. You can add to these triggers other transitions in you day – like when you get in a car, or when you start a new task. Write down what your triggers are going to be that will cause you to remember that God is near.
When the remembrance is triggered we can go into a routine of a simple prayer. I recommend a prayer something like “Lord Jesus, thank you that you are here right now. I pray for your kingdom to come and your will to be done in this present moment, and if there is anything I can do to co-operate with you, let me know.” You may go on to pray about what you are experiencing that present moment. A simple prayer like that creates a reward.
We become conscious that God is with us. It reminds us to pray for what is going on in the present moment, and thus we will more answers to prayer. As we bring the power of the kingdom of God to bear on the present moment.
It takes effort to create the habit of practicing the presence of God. However, there may not be a discipline that will help you along more in your spiritual life than this. In practicing the presence of God, we learn to bring God into every part of our lives.