“Practicing His Presence” – Part 1

There in my hotel room in Galveston, Texas I was worshipping and getting my heart ready for the Sunday morning service. In those early morning hours, the Lord began speaking to me about prayer. This was not exactly the subject that I had prepared for, but it was so strong I couldn’t help but to begin writing down some of the thoughts He was placing in my heart.

I quickly turned to Luke 5:15-16 which reads, “However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” The word “So” is a conjunction, which connects the former thought with the ending statement. We should take note that the supernatural demands on Jesus to teach and set the oppressed free, required a recharging, a plugging back in. Isn’t it our nature that when the demands of life come, the time in the presence of God loses its priority? We then stand in awe as we are fatigued physically, stressed mentally, and completely overwhelmed with daily life encounters. We are trying to meet the demands without the power!

I’m reading again a book entitled The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. I derived two statements from the opening book conversation that I want you to hear. “We must establish ourselves in a sense of God’s presence by continually conversing with Him. For it is when we stop our conversation with the Father, that we begin to think in line with our old nature where lack, failure, and sickness reside. The satisfaction our soul desires must be fulfilled in accomplishing the Father’s will.” These statements point out the antidote for the emotions that rob us of the “Life to the Full” that Jesus came and gave to us.

When I was a student pastor I preached a series called “Triple Threat” from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. It says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Not to preach the series, but rejoicing is the expressing of the fruit of the Spirit through joy in you, and praying without ceasing is what Bro. Lawrence speaks of, daily conversing and acknowledging the manifested presence of God in your life. Giving thanks is, well just that. Giving

thanks

not for the enemy’s opposition to God’s will for your life, but giving thanks for the victory that He ALWAYS gives! (1 Cor 15:57) Prayer or daily conversing with the Father is where your perspective is changed from defeat to victory, from sorrow to gladness, from confusion to wisdom and understanding, from depression to a heart made glad and full of joy!

One of the statements the Lord gave me in the hotel room was this, “When the Father calls you to a time of prayer – intimacy with Him – it’s to reveal in you His will and strength needed for the demand ahead.” Remember, prayer and fellowship with the Father are prerequisites for growth and increase. It empowers you to fulfill the vision and call. Before Jesus began His earthly ministry, He spent 40 days in intense communion with the Father. The devil did his job and came to steal, kill and destroy, but after all was said and done the 40 days did not produce a weary and hopeless Jesus, but Luke 4:14 reveals, “Then Jesus returned in the POWER OF THE SPIRIT to Galilee,” Prayer, fellowshipping, and acknowledging the presence of God at all times will leave you with the ability to face the day or situation with fullness and can-do power to accomplish the assignment at hand producing the will of the Father in your life.

I want to challenge you in its simplicity, to pray. I don’t mean setting time aside in the morning or at night to touch base with the Father, but from the moment you set your feet on the floor until you lay your head down at night, be aware and acknowledge the Father. Ask Him questions and see what it is that He would have you do or even how to respond in any moment. Ask Him, “Lord, would you have me pray for or encourage this person before me concerning anything?” Give yourself to what He may ask you to do or say. Be quick to listen and slow to speak. I said challenge because it’ll challenge you to stop focusing on self and the thoughts of the enemy and to be willing and obedient to what the Father directs. The good news though is that the willing and obedient eat the good of the land! (Isa 1:19)