Presence Prayer: Practice Together

Presence prayer is choosing to believe in and concentrate on God’s continual attention towards us in order to increase our awareness of and dependence upon his very personal presence.

As both Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach note, it is no easy task to maintain the level of awareness of God that they advocate. For some of us, maintaining that degree of awareness of the people in a small room is difficult enough. Sharing the practice of the presence of God with a spiritual friend or group can be a tremendous encouragement on a day-to-day or week-by-week level.

Knowing that someone else is trying to seek God in the same way you are will prompt you not to give up when you become discouraged and will provide a sympathetic ear when you need to talk about your struggles. Often, when you feel stuck in your own practice, someone else in your group will be able to see your need from a different angle and suggest ideas that you would not have thought of on your own. Regularly reporting on one another’s progress, sharing victories, praying for each other’s successes, and picking each other up when you stumble, helps maintain momentum and renew joy in the practice.

Furthermore, if your fellow practitioners join you in other activities—shopping, apple-picking, painting the house, going to movies—then you will have opportunities to share the practice itself, rather than simply reporting on it to one another. For example, you might choose a prompt such as announcements from the public address system during an afternoon at the mall (step 3) or play the game of minutes together over dinner (step 5). Take care not to trivialize your references to or rest stops with God, but with intention join in turning to him. Eventually you will notice that God makes his way into your conversations and your silences much more organically.

Deepening your connection with God will work in reverse to deepen your connections with those brothers and sisters who share your practice of the presence. The relationships will feed each other over time so that the energy you have expended to maintain ties with God will witness against easily letting go of the ties with one another—in spite of changes in your work, family structure, geographic location, and health. This, too, is a foretaste of the communion we will enjoy in heaven.

Brother Lawrence’s Sanctuary on the Spot

Practice

Sample the Prayer

Consider

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