Practicing the Presence of Jesus

In his website article, Process Spirituality: Being Versus Doing, Kenneth Boa discusses a number of interesting points and includes the following…

“Here are some suggestions for practicing the presence of Jesus:

  • Send up “flash prayers” at various times during the day. These are very brief prayers or mental notes that acknowledge God’s presence or lift up others. They can be offered when waking, sitting down for a meal, walking, driving, waiting, listening, and so forth.
  • Try using the same short prayer throughout the course of a day, such as the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”) or another brief prayer (e.g., “I love You, Lord”; “I thank You in all things”; “By Your grace, Lord”; “Thank You, Jesus”).
  • Pray and work (ora et labora). Do your work with a listening ear that is cocked to the voice of God. When you combine prayer and action, even trivial tasks can be spiritualized through a divine orientation. Invite the Lord to animate your work so that the ordinary is translated into the eternal.
  • Play to an Audience of One; live coram deo (before the heart of God). Seek obscurity and anonymity rather than public accolades so that you will desire to please God rather than impress people.
  • Ask Jesus to energize your activities and cultivate an attitude of dependence on Him, even in areas where you have knowledge and skill.
  • Monitor your temptations as they arise (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life) and turn these moments into opportunities to turn your eyes to Jesus. We do not overcome sin by trying to avoid it, but by focusing on Jesus.
  • Experiment with prayer. For instance, try praying for strangers you see while you are walking or waiting or driving. Ask the Lord to direct your prayers and listen for His promptings and impressions. Reach beyond your own concerns and become a channel of God’s grace and mercy to others.
  • Develop an eye that looks for God’s beauty and handiwork in nature when you are walking and driving: plants, flowers, birds, trees, the wind, clouds, the color of the sky, and so forth. Learn to savor the wonders of the created order, since they point beyond themselves to the presence and awesome mind of the Creator.
  • Turn the other pleasures of this life (times with close friends, enjoyment of great music and food, etc.) into sources of adoration for the One who made these things possible. Cultivate a sense of gratitude for the goodness of life and the tender mercies of God that are often overlooked.
  • Ask for the grace to see every person you meet and every circumstance you face today as a gift of God. Whether these experiences are bitter or sweet, acknowledge them as coming from His hand for a purpose. Look for the sacred in all things, and notice the unlovely and those who are usually overlooked. Remember that the EGRs (extra grace required) in our lives are there for a purpose.
  • Since we tend to live ahead of ourselves by dwelling in the future, try occasional time-stopping exercises by standing in and relishing the present moment. Realize that Jesus is with you and in you at this very moment and thank Him for never leaving or forsaking you even in the smallest of things (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5).”