We are all familiar with the truth of God’s Presence with us through the Holy Spirit. But how many of us truly experience His Presence throughout our days? Personally, I enjoy a robust quiet time early in the morning, which then continues during my drive to work. During this time I sense the Lord’s Presence in a very real way, but then the demands of the day kick in. I decided to try something new this year, adding mini prayer breaks throughout my day. By increasing awareness of God’s Presence through prayer, I hope to sense His Presence more readily at other times.
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.
Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.
We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
increasing God Awareness
We know God is always with us, as Jesus promised the Father would send the Holy Spirit, who dwells with us and in us. (John 14:16-17). But sometimes the demands of our everyday lives make it difficult to recognize His Presence. We can practice and learn more awareness of God’s Presence with us throughout our days. Cultivating an awareness of God’s Presence is a spiritual discipline like Bible reading, prayer or worship, available to all Christians. So how do we cultivate an awareness of God’s Presence with us? Psalm 89:15-16 gives us a clue:
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
They rejoice in your name all day long;
they celebrate your righteousness.“
Walking in the Presence of the Lord
The richness of this verse blesses me as I sit with it. The Hebrew word used here for “presence” actually means “face” or “countenance”. Walking in the light of God’s countenance, able to speak with Him “face to face” certainly brings joy to my heart. But “all day long”? Believing God is with me in the moments of my day, how could I remain present to Him, literally walking in the light of His countenance?
Mindfulness teaches us awareness of the present moment; awareness of our present experiences. As Christians, we believe God’s Presence is with us in every moment, so putting the two together, we become more aware of God’s hand in every moment. Resulting in joy and thanksgiving as we see in Psalm 89. Turning our thoughts consistently towards God, helps in increasing awareness of God’s Presence through prayer.
increasing awareness with prayer
Prayer seems an area of struggle for many Christians. We all learned prayer is simply a conversation with God, but it often ends up one sided. Often, I come away from my prayer time feeling I “talked” too much and listened too little. I thought about this a good deal over the past weeks and concluded I am complicating the process. What I mean by “complicating he process” is, I get all wrapped up in the method, ensuring my prayers contain the proper “components”. The other problem for me is, I spend concentrated time in prayer morning and evening, which pressures me into squeezing everything into those two intervals. Books abound on the topic of prayer, methods of prayer and mechanics of prayer, yet it remains the most neglected of spiritual disciplines.
Throughout my day I do still talk with God, but it is not with focus or full awareness of His presence. I take mindfulness breaks throughout the day, staying present, so I thought, “why not incorporate centering prayer, heightening my awareness of God”? If I used prayer prompts during those breaks, turning my thoughts Godward, my awareness of His Presence would increase. Offering me the opportunity of seeing Him at work in each situation and moment of my day.
Using mindfulness breaks throughout my day, adds a level of calm and focus especially on difficult days. Using various breathing techniques, and sometimes Bible verses, I calm racing thoughts and emotions. This keeps anxiety in check, allowing me to “respond” rather than “react” to people and situations. But I wondered if adding specific prayer prompts during these mindfulness breaks would increase my awareness of God’s Presence? I use a similar technique in my quiet time journaling, you can read about my process HERE. It is an unbelievable blessing, but admittedly takes more time than I have during my day.
Developing a system for increasing awareness of God’s Presence through prayer during my day required simplicity. Using a series of prayer prompts and short focused prayers, I devised a plan to incorporate this aspect into two mindfulness breaks throughout my day. Each break lasts between five and ten minutes, consisting of mindful breathing, a prayer prompt and a short focused prayer. Below I outline one week of prayer prompts and short prayers used in a typical week.
Mindfulness Centering Prayer
My initial attempts incorporate a mindfulness prayer break mid-morning and mid-afternoon. I find a quiet place where I can expect no disruptions for five to ten minutes. This means my phone is silenced! Each session begins the same way with mindful breathing. I compiled a FREE guide with various breathing techniques you may find helpful. Grab your FREE copy at the end of this post.
I spend two to three minutes in mindful breathing, simply focusing on my breath. I allow any thoughts to come and go without judgement or grasping onto them. My favorite visual for this is, to view my thoughts as balloons rising up in the air. Then I focus on a chosen prayer prompt, which may be question or a statement. While maintaining calm, deep breathing, I consider this prayer prompt in my mind as if the Lord spoke it to me directly. After two to three minutes, I pray my brief focus prayer, sitting quietly for another few moments. When ready, I open my eyes and resume my day. As you will see from the prayer prompts and short prayers, they all focus on the Presence of God. This keeps my mind present, and God foremost in my thoughts rather than the events of my day.
Prayers and Prayer Prompts
As outlined above, I incorporated two mindfulness prayer breaks into my day and I use the same prayer prompt and prayer twice each day. below is a list of seven prayer prompts and seven prayers for each of the seven days in a week. You can choose from the list which prompt and prayer you will use for your day perhaps in your morning quiet time. I don’t always use a different one each day, I may repeat a particular prompt or prayer as the Lord leads. Keep things fluid, don’t complicate the process by rigidity, allow the Lord to guide your focus. Remember, the purpose of this process is increasing awareness of God’s Presence through prayer.
- Am I fully trusting God’s guidance today?
- God cares about even the small moments of my day.
- God will help me work through feelings of anger today.
- Where is my agenda for today clashing with God’s?
- God speaks peace to my troubled thoughts today.
- Which of my attitudes displeases God today?
- I hear God’s voice above the distractions of my day.
- Father God, I trust You to lead me one moment at a time today.
- Thank you, Lord that your Presence brings significance to the small moments of my day.
- Father God, help me to curb my anger and frustration, responding with peace that comes from You.
- Show me Lord, what you are already doing today, that I may align my ways with yours.
- Dear God, help me take my troubled thoughts captive that I might bring them to You.
- Open my eyes to attitudes that grieve you today, Lord.
- O Father, let me hear Your voice above all of the others today.
Increasing Awareness of God Through prayer
The present moment is the only opportunity we have to experience the presence of God. Practicing some form of mindfulness combined with prayer increases awareness of God’s presence in each current moment. Because God’s Presence is available to us in the calm moments as well as the moments of busyness when we feel we can barely breathe. Truly, God is present whether we are reading our Bibles, at our jobs or washing dishes. Adding mindful prayer breaks simply helps us recognize him there.
Every moment is an opportunity to connect with God, allowing us the privilege of offering thanksgiving and praise for His detailed involvement in our lives. Essentially, by practicing mindful prayer we train our minds to focus our thoughts more on God and less on cares, worries and distractions. We can increase our awareness of God in our every day lives, transforming even menial tasks into extraordinary “God moments”. I highly recommend a little book, that opened my eyes to meeting God in the everyday. It’s called “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence, a 17th Century monk who spent much of his time in small tasks. Ultimately, practicing the Presence of God will transform our perspective of every day moments into meaningful encounters with God.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”