"How do we enter an intimate, ongoing communion with God? The answer is simple: with practice. We undertake experiments of everyday life in which we are learning to be with God. And the stuff of our day-to-day experience is the place where these experiments go on. This with-God life takes no time, yet it occupies all our time. When we go to work, we go to work with-God. At work we are learning how to bless those who curse us, how to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice, how our very presence can be a joy to others. And the experiments are numerous and varied: "Today, Lord, teach me somehow to bless every person I meet. Show me the preciousness of each individual. Fill my mind with creative new ideas and show me how to break the horns of cruel dilemmas." The same is true for times at home with family and time with neighbors and friends."
~ Richard Foster, Longing for God: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion
That we might accustom ourselves to a continual conversation with Him, with freedom and simplicity. That we need only to recognize God intimately present with us, to address ourselves to Him every moment, that we may beg His assistance for knowing His will in things doubtful, and for rightly performing those which we plainly see He requires of us, offering them to Him before we do them, and giving Him thanks when we have done. ~ Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
Mindfulness has been a transforming process spiritually for me and I am a firm believer that if we silence our oftentimes rambling and distracted thoughts, we open ourselves up to new levels of consciousness and new ways of experiencing God's presence. I wrote about this very thing in a post titled :Experiencing God - http://ascendingthehills.blogspot.com/2010/10/experiencing-god.html .
Prayer, and as Brother Lawrence puts it, continual prayer, is another way to open ourselves up to God's presence and to His reality. I love how, in Foster's passage he says, "This with-God life takes no time, yet it occupies all of our time." That is so true! To open oneself to continual conversation with God and to find God, who is true reality, manifested in the present moment, applying the teachings of Jesus directly in our lives, is something that we can do while doing our most ordinary tasks and chores. In Brother Lawrence's book he mentioned many times to others that his prayer time differed very little from his everyday ordinary moments of doing his many tasks, mostly in the kitchen, at the monastery. He was in sync with God, within and outside of conventional prayer.
It takes awhile to get into the custom of seeking God and experiencing Him continually throughout one's day through experiencing His presence and through prayer. Some don't think it possible, but my opinion differs from theirs. I'm not going to even give the illusion that I live that way. But I know it is possible because of those who have walked the ancient paths of faith before us. Those like Brother Lawrence, whose book I highly recommend, who can help aid us in beginning our journey towards experiencing God ever deeper with each passing day.
Thank you for being the kind of God that we can get to know. The God that opens His arms to His children, beckoning them to draw near. Give us the strength and direction, the focus and prompting from the Spirit, to seek you continually, to grow with you. I pray that with each passing day we enter deeper in our understanding of you and experience you in new ways. May our lives serve as living testimonies of your grace, your mercy and love. May we always seek to bring you glory, honor and praise.
In Jesus' name,