THEME: God’s presence is always near.
GRACE: Lord, make me more aware of your presence in my life.
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read these words slowly (aloud or silently):
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3, NIV)
- Pause for a few moments of silence.
- Choose one of the following practices.
Option 1: Study [5-30 minutes]
Open your Bible to Psalm 139 and read through the Psalm slowly. Then take a moment and answer some of the following questions in your journal:
- Verses 1-6 seem to describe a relationship with God that happens internally, as if the Psalmist can talk with God through his “inmost thoughts.” Have you ever experienced the presence of God like this? If so, what was it like? If there was a specific moment that is very meaningful to you, think about that moment: what did God say to you, and how did you “hear” His voice?
- Verses 7-12 describe how God’s presence is everywhere, no matter where the Psalmist turns. Have you ever had a sense that God was “with” you in a specific place? If so, where was that place, and what was it about that location that helped you be aware of God’s presence?
- Verses 17-18 show that somehow the Psalmist is able to know the “thoughts” of God. What are some of the ways that you can know the “thoughts” of God?
- In verse 23-24, the Psalmist invites God to examine his “anxious thoughts.” What anxious thoughts are occupying your mind today? Do you feel comfortable offering those thoughts to God and allowing Him to examine them? If so, take a moment to write your anxious thoughts in your journal. As you do, prayerfully offer them to God, knowing that He is with you and wants to know your heart.
Option 2: Study [30-60 minutes]
Watch the following video of a lecture by Dallas Willard, given in 2011. For those with only 30 minutes, begin watching at 3:58 and finish at 30:32.
When you are finished, take a few minutes to reflect on what you learned. What stood out to you as most surprising? Was there anything encouraging about Willard’s description of God’s presence? What aspects of seeking the presence of God seem to be most challenging for you?
- Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what you discovered during your time of study.
- Closing Prayer: Lord, make me more aware of Your presence in my life.
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