Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. — 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
If the name Brother Lawrence sounds familiar, it’s not because he’s Joey’s brother. He was a medieval monk who served in the monastery kitchen, and he learned to “practice the presence of God” as he scrubbed the pots and pans.
As much as I admire Brother Lawrence’s commitment, doing the dishes has never been much of a devotional time for me. The reality is that I have to be intentional to schedule time to be still in the presence of God. For me it means setting aside time every morning to surrender my thoughts, my desires, and my plans to God. I can’t coast on yesterday’s successes or live paralyzed by yesterday’s failures.
I make a daily choice to pursue God, knowing that “if I seek Him, I will find Him” (see Matthew 7:7–8)
But here’s the key: When my scheduled time with God comes to an end, I don’t say to God, “Goodbye,” “See You later,” or “Talk to You tomorrow”; instead, I accept His invitation to walk with Him throughout the day. I tell Him I want to keep the conversation going. I try to intentionally keep talking and listening as I drive to work, attend meetings, and, on occasion, clean the kitchen I practice His presence and anticipate His faithful attentiveness to my prayers.
I can’t treat my daily time with God like I treat a physical workout, where once it’s complete I check it off until the next day. Instead, I try to think of my daily time alone with God as a sort of “spiritual workout” in order to run the day’s race effectively, with more peace and joy than I could ever find running alone.
Think of it this way: Start your prayer in the morning, and don’t say “amen” until you’re falling asleep at night.
If you haven’t already done so, schedule a daily “work- out” time, even if you can dedicate only five or ten minutes at first. For the next several days, consider starting your day by reading Psalm 63:1–8. Read it aloud, making it your prayer. Then see if you can find ways to exercise the muscles of your spirit throughout the day.
Excerpted with permission from Not a Fan Devotional by Kyle Idleman, copyright Kyle Idleman.
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What better way to start the day than practicing the presence of God? It’s not something that happens automatically for everyone. Most of us have to schedule it the way we’d schedule anything else. What’s a good time for you? First thing in the morning? After dinner? Come share with us on our blog. We want to hear from you!