Skip to content

Practicing the Presence of Jesus

The following is a very simple way to help practice the presence of Jesus. I really pressed in with it when I was trying to think of ways to help young children to sit still to listen to Jesus. For a young child sitting still can be a huge challenge! But then I realised that actually most adults don’t know how to just be still either. Maybe sitting still should be added to the list of spiritual disciplines!

As we take time to be still, we learn to recognise the presence of Jesus better. As we begin to rest in Jesus presence minute by minute, we can cultivate the habit of staying in Jesus’ presence everywhere we are and in all that we do.

  • Find a place to ‘be’.

It helps if there are no distractions. It could be a quiet place to sit, or somewhere to stand. I have even used Susannah Wesley’s practice of standing in the kitchen with an apron or scarf over my head so my children knew I was taking a moment with Jesus!

  • Use something to focus your attention.

In our fast paced, highly stimulated culture it can be hard to focus. A candle, cross, scarf, or something that draws your attention to a point can be helpful. A lighted candle can be good with children as you also help to teach them to sit still to be stay safe near the flame.

  • Set a time.

Don’t be religious about the time and don’t be over ambitious. Like most habits, it can take a while to develop the desire to do them. So start slow, and hunger for more! With young children, you can make it a challenge. We might start with, ‘Let’s see how still we can sit for 30 seconds’, and then gradually build up by 30 seconds each time. We only sit very still for as long as we have agreed, but we may stay a while after to pray or have a conversation as the Spirit leads (see ‘Be attentive’ below)

  • Clear your thoughts.

Try to set aside all the busyness in your mind. Don’t come with an agenda for Jesus or a prayer list.

  • Focus on Jesus.

You may find helpful to invite Jesus to help you to focus. You could just say his name, “Jesus.” Or you might simply pray, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Or “Jesus, help me to feel you near me.”

  • Be still.

Don’t speak or try to listen. Just wait. Be still. Jesus IS with you, even if you can’t feel him. As you practice this discipline you will become more accustomed to his presence.

  • Close.

Bring your time to a close with a short prayer, “Thank you Jesus for sitting/resting with me, help me to stay in your presence for the rest of this day.”

  • Be attentive.

As you practice this more, you will find that you become more attentive to Jesus presence. As you do that you may find that you desire to sit longer with Jesus and you want to talk to him. You might get a clearer sense of him speaking to you, or a word of scripture or insight will come to mind. You could ask your children/yourself, “Do you think Jesus is saying something to us in the quiet?” “What comes into your mind as you focus on Jesus today?” It can be helpful to have a notebook to hand to write down what you think/say so you don’t forget.

  • Move.

Moving on into whatever you are doing next is not be the end of practicing the presence of Jesus. It should be a continuation. He is with you always and as you cultivate this practice you are likely to notice him more.

We would love to hear how you use this practice, or some other practice. What do you do to help you to focus on Jesus? Send us your stories, experiences, practices and ideas: [email protected]

Samantha, Inspire Missioner

error: Content is protected !!