The Practice of the Presence of God
There are many approaches to God. Merton spoke of the Seven Story Mountain and saw people coming to God from so many different places. Therese of Avila saw an Interior Castle with an infinite number of rooms inside the human heart. So many ways, so much to explore. Taking the time to Practice the Presence of God gives the human heart a chance to be centered not only within our hearts, but within the heart of God.
A Sacred Space
- Set aside a sacred space in your home
- Set aside sacred time.
- You may wish to have a focal point(s) in your sacred space.
- That focal point may be an icon or a cross or other symbol that means something to you.
- You may wish to have a battery operated candle or a real one to give the space a sacred feel to it
- A meditation bell is often helpful to make us quiet.
- Remember that if you rearrange the letters in the word “listen”, you will find the word; “silence”. Both are graceful words.
- Incense introduces us to the “odor” of God. It is as ancient as prayer and meditation itself to use it.
- Keep a Silence for 20 minutes every day.
You may wish to use an App called “Insight Timer” so that you can relax and enjoy the time without worrying where you are in the 20 minute time frame.
- Remember to Breathe.
The Holy Name of God is Yah-Weh. This is too holy a name to say out loud according to the scripture. So as you inhale notice that you are saying “Yah” under your breath. On the exhale, notice that you are saying “Weh”. Thus the Holy Name is in your breath. You are Practicing the Presence of God already.
- Allow the Silence. Keep the Silence.
Have a focal point; an icon, a cross or some other symbol that means something to you.
- Repeat your sacred word or mantra; one or two words from scripture that is sacred to you.
- As you practice the Silence, you will notice that the Silence will become a Presence.
- The Presence has a name; God. God is your Creator, you may wish to listen to God.
- The Presence has a name; Jesus. Jesus is your Savior, you may wish to speak to Jesus.
- The Presence has a name; Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes you sacred. The Holy Spirit is your Wisdom. The Holy Spirit equips you with many gifts for ministry. You may wish to speak with the Holy Spirit.
- You may wish to be utterly silent and allow the Holy Name to be with you and merely to practice the presence of the Holy.
The Daily Office
Joining with millions around the world you may wish to read the scripture and pray the prayer of the church in concert with God. By reading the Daily Office, you will read the entire scripture in two years. You will read the entire New Testament in one Year. You will read the Psalter in seven weeks.
Go to this link and pray with me and many more every day.
To practice God’s Presence you may wish to keep a journal. Purchase a notebook with pockets to keep “thought scraps”, newspaper articles, letters from friends etc.
- Purchase a good pen.
- Begin by writing down the obvious. Your location, the date and time. This will at least help you get started.
Describe what has been happening in the time since you last made a journal entry or begin today. Events that are significant to you for whatever reason make a good beginning. Make a point to notice detail, description, context etc., to the point that it is helpful to do so. You may write about dreams. You may wish to write a letter to someone important to you living or those who have been collected up to our ancestors. We know that the angels can deliver these letters with or without the help of the USPS
- Describe your feelings that emerge as you describe these significant events.
- Remember that these feelings are your angels. These feelings may be depression, anxiety, fear, anger, joy, excitement, hope etc.
When you begin to write you may think that these feelings are “having you.”.As you write you will notice that it is “you who are having your feelings.”.This you will find freeing, enabling, hopeful and encouraging. You will find Grace to go on.
Journal daily or as often as you can. You will find that your Journal will become a Companion for you.