Prayer is one of God’s richest gifts of grace.
And like other gifts we receive daily, it is easy to lose the sense of awe and wonder at how lavish and gracious God is. We can lose sight of the fact that God, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, has made a way for ordinary broken people to come into His presence in prayer. Stop for a moment and let that sink in. Until Christ came and sacrificed Himself, only one man (the High Priest) was able to come into the presence of God and only once a year. He wasn’t just able to walk in. He had to purify himself and make sacrifice for himself and Israel. I often wondered how nervous or even scared he was to go behind the curtain into the Holy of Holies to experience the Shekinah Glory of God.
But when Christ said, “It is finished!” that temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom and all God’s children were given access to His glorious presence. That should make you want to fall on your knees in worship and thanksgiving. But if you are anything like me, we often come to prayer with have an agenda and a list of things to talk to Him about, so we just begin talking. We praise Him, thank Him, confess to Him, ask things of Him, share our hearts with Him and say AMEN. Too often we don’t take time to listen to Him in prayer or to just let ourselves enjoy being in the presence of the one who loves us more that we will ever be able to comprehend.
To help me combat the tendency to forget that I am in the presence of the Sovereign God, my loving Father, I would like to share a prayer discipline that enable me to practice the presence of God…it enables me to just “be” in His presence and revel in how glorious He is and how blessed I am to be His child.
This practice is based on the opening words from Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God…”.
To begin, be sure you are in a comfortable position, so you are not distracted. Take a few slow deep breaths. Then slowly say, “Be still and know that I am God.” Continue to breathe deeply and slowly and let your mind consider what it means that you are in the presence of the one true God of the universe. Let yourself be filled with the awe and wonder of a child at such a great gift of grace.
After a moment, say, “Be still and know that I AM.”
As you continue to breath slowly consider what it means that God is the great “I AM.” Again, open yourself up to try to grasp the magnitude of God’s glory and power.
Continue breathing slowly and say, “Be still and know.”
Now allow yourself to think about what you know about God and even more importantly, what He knows about you. One of the great needs of humans is the need to be known. We can have that need met in God’s presence. Don’t lose sight of the fact that this supreme being wants us to know Him intimately.
Wait a few moments and say, “Be still.”
As you continue to breath slowly and deeply allow yourself to feel the gift of stillness. Set aside all striving, posturing, or trying to achieve. Just be still. You are safe in His presence. You are protected by His grace so be still and rest. In a busy, hectic world this is a gift to treasure.
After a time say, “Be.”
God accepts and loves us just as we are. One of my favorite sayings is, “Who you are at this moment is enough.” You are enough for God. Experience that acceptance in His presence. Allow yourself to be completely enfolded in His presence and His love.
This practice can take as long as you have time.
However long it is, I pray it will help you practice being in the presence of God and in doing so, your soul will be filled to overflowing the sure knowledge that He is King and you are His child.