“Prayer is nothing else than a sense of God’s presence” (Brother Lawrence).
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
In the midst of crisis or change, Christ is with me. In the midst of the storm, He is my safe harbor. He keeps me from the breakers that would crush me. But He is more than just my refuge. He is my strength to not only endure, but to overcome. I can never fear change when He never changes. He is the one great constant in my life–the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). As I give Him my fearful heart, His peace calms my distracted mind (Philippians 4:6-7). Abiding in Him, He claims my thoughts and I discover that I, too, can be strong. I can be steadfast and unchanging. I can know His peace that carries me through the hardships of life.
The presence of the Holy Spirit in my life must be practiced. I need to seek Him daily in prayer until His presence becomes like a good habit. He becomes unconsciously rendered. I unconsciously learn to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). He is just “there” at the moment I need Him. He is just “there” in moments of sudden fear when, without Him, my world would crumble. But practicing His presence has brought His immediate peace in that moment. My heart has prayed unconsciously and He has heard its cry.
“The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words” (Romans 8:26, NLT). I don’t know always know how to give Him my suffering and fear, but the Holy Spirit intercedes for me. He prays my heart’s cry when I am unable to mentally render a thought. It is in a moment like this that I understand His peace. I have practiced His presence until He is always with me–unconsciously and consciously. I may go through my busy day with no problem, and my conscious mind is busy with my schedule and my list. Suddenly I hear something that shatters my world, and the Holy Spirit immediately arises from within to calm my mind and heart. Practicing His presence has brought His peace.
Do you have that sense of God's presence? He is right there with you speaking peace in the midst of your storm, but you may not realize it. If you will pray and practice His presence each day, He will go with you consciously and unconsciously through the days of your life rendering peace for the hardships, and joy for the times you need encouragement. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV). You are never alone. Pray. Practice His presence, and you will realize the peace of His presence.