JESUS IN ALL YOUR MOMENTS
Turning your mind constantly to God as the day unfolds
Read pages 207-208 in Life Without Lack
In addition to our regular scheduled meetings with Jesus, we also want to practice turning our minds to God throughout the day. During the day, in each new situation, you will ask Jesus to join you. If you keep watch, you will see God accomplishing his purposes in your life with you. As you notice, thank him for his loving provision and involvement. Here is what Frank Laubach said about his experiments with turning his mind constantly to God:
“I feel simply carried along each hour, doing my part in a plan which is far beyond myself. This sense of cooperation with God in little things is what so astonishes me, for I have never felt this way before.”
“My part is to live this hour in continuous inner conversation with God and in perfect responsiveness to His will, to make this hour gloriously rich. This seems to be all I need to think about.” (From page 8 of Letters by a Modern Mystic by Frank Laubach. Copyright © 2007. Used by permission of Purposeful Design Publications.)
All of our normal activities can become opportunities to connect with the Lord.
Consider your morning routine, perhaps you are in the habit of reading the news with your coffee when you get up. You could invite Jesus to read the news along with you.
As you read, make your comments to him about what you are thinking
Keep bringing your mind back to him
Thank him for being control
Ask him to intercede in things that matter to you
Express gratitude that he will be with you throughout the day
Thank him for the people in your life
Think prayerfully through your schedule. Pray and journal about how you might transform some of your regular activities. Use your imagination!
Time to practice: transforming normal opportunities!
Choose something to read. It could be news, email, Facebook, texts, even fashion or cooking advice.
Before you read, quiet your mind, slow your breathing and rest in his peace.
Invite God into your thoughts and follow the instructions above. Enjoy!
When finished, journal your reflections (printable version of this practice is available for journaling).
As you engage with others, ask Jesus to bless them.
You can consciously will the peace, joy, and confidence that you are experiencing to pass from you, like “living waters” to those with whom you are interacting. They are flowing from Jesus into you, and you can will them to enter others. (Taken from Life Without Lack by Dallas Willard, page 207. Copyright © 2018 by Willard Family Trust. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com.)
There are times when you will bless others by speaking words that are a blessing to them. Sometimes you won’t say a thing, you will just pray a blessing from your heart to theirs. Be on the lookout for opportunities and then watch how God works.
Envision your life with the people around you as you ask Jesus to bless them, willing his peace, joy, and confidence into them.
Don’t stop with people, bless everything that enters your day.
You can bless every thing and every activity, and even every interruption in your day (perhaps especially those!). Bless the foods you make. Bless each task you undertake.
As you think through a normal day, consider all the things that you could bless with Jesus. List them out. Go crazy!
You can train yourself to use every change of events or the people around you to remind you to pray and to bless.
Changing activities can be a reminder to invite God into your work, projects and relationships. Use the change to help you remember to bring God into what you are doing. This is a great way to live out the Bible teaching to pray without ceasing. You and those around you will find that your life becomes so much better!
Now visualize yourself changing activities, remembering to use each change as a trigger to pray and bless. Literally picture yourself going through the experience of remembering and blessing throughout the day when you change tasks. As you walk through this day mentally, go ahead and bless each person or event as you pray now too.
It is a delightful privilege. If you forget to play it [the “game” of keeping our minds with Christ] for minutes or hours or days, do not groan or repent, but begin anew with a smile. It is a thrilling joy – don’t turn it into a sour-faced penance. With God, every minute can be a fresh beginning. Ahead of you lie limitless anticipations. (From page 115 of Letters by a Modern Mystic by Frank Laubach. Copyright © 2007. Used by permission of Purposeful Design Publications.)
If you become weary, take a nap!
If you find yourself tired during the day, allow yourself the opportunity to take a nap. When we do not get enough sleep, it can be difficult to allow God to work fully in us. We can end up limiting him with our crankiness, irritation, and lack of focus. To let Christ into us and out of us toward others, getting good sleep, including naps when needed (if possible), is a great advantage. Adequate sleep can help us be more in tune with God and can open us up to be more transformed by him.
Analyze your normal day. Can you think of ways in which you could get a nap into your activities when you become weary?
The actual act of going to sleep can even be a spiritual practice. There are ways to go to sleep that can transform our minds and bring us closer to Jesus. Check out the practices found in Resting and Sleeping with God.
Making a Plan for Turning Your Mind Constantly to God
Looking back over your notes, list the ways in which you would like to focus your energy as you turn your mind back to God throughout your day with him. Remember that this is just a starting point, you don’t have to do everything in one day. In addition to the thoughts you just explored, consider ideas from Frank Laubach for more suggestions. Take a moment to journal and pray through your plan.
When our minds lose the edge of their zest, let us shift to another form of fellowship as we turn the dial of a radio. Every tree, every cloud, every bird, every orchestra, every child, every city, every soap bubble is alive with God to those who know His language. (From page 114 of Letters by a Modern Mystic by Frank Laubach. Copyright © 2007. Used by permission of Purposeful Design Publications.)
Pick a date
Pick a day that you would like to spend your day with Jesus at your side in each moment. If you are also in the planning process for Meeting with Jesus throughout the day, that day would be a great time to do this too. After your first day, you can decide if you want to keep going with this effort. You will find that (like most things that are worthwhile) this takes effort. It is a habit that can be strengthened over time. And what habit could be better?
*On a personal note, I have found that Prayer of Recollection and the follow up steps described in that practice have been powerful in helping me stay with Jesus in my moments.
As you pick your date, remember, this can be flexible if plans need to change. However, if you do need to reschedule, be sure to pick a new day immediately, just as you would if you were rescheduling a meeting. Write your planned date in your journal and consider telling a few friends or your small group about your plans so they can pray for you.