“Knowing and loving God is our greatest privilege, and being known and loved is God’s greatest pleasure.” Rick Warren
What a privilege to become a best friend of God! Have you grasped the reality of what this means?
As a humble cook in a seventeenth-century French monastery, Brother Lawrence was able to turn even a boring job, such as washing dishes, into an act of worship and an opportunity to build his relationship with God. He said, “The key to friendship with God is not changing what you do, but changing your attitude toward what you do. What you normally do for yourself you begin doing for God, whether it is eating, bathing, working, relaxing, or taking out the trash.” We read in Psalm 16:11, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Following Brother Lawrence’s example, let’s realize that worship should not be so much an event as a perpetual attitude.
I once read about a man who said that he wanted to learn to pray all the time in every situation day and night. He wanted to live in constant fellowship with God and moment-by-moment companionship with Jesus. This is a holy ambition and motivates me personally to develop this kind of intimate relationship with God. When we pray, we are speaking to God, and when we meditate on God’s Word, He speaks to us. We need both as we develop our friendship with God. Practicing the presence of God will give us rest and lead us into a more fruitful lifestyle.
But how can we practice God’s presence on a daily basis? How can we become a best friend of God?
Use Breath Prayers. Pray a brief phrase to Jesus throughout the day that you can repeat in one breath. You may want to pray phrases such as, “You will help me,” “You promise to never leave me,” “I can do all things through Christ,” “Your joy is my strength,” “I love You,” and “Help me trust You.” Breath prayers, unlike regular prayers, are short with just a few words that you can quickly pray to God at any time.
They will keep you more conscious of your relationship with God on a moment-by-moment basis. You become more aware that He is with you through all the joys and sorrows of daily life. You realize in a deeper dimension His companionship. As time goes on, it becomes a natural practice in your everyday life, and you realize afresh that Jesus really is your best friend. The promise of Exodus 33:14 becomes more real: “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” A deeper joy invades your life as you realize that you are learning to abide in Christ.
Think About God’s Word. Meditate on His Word throughout the day. Focus your thoughts on the Bible. Think about who God is and what He has done. This takes time to learn, but Scripture offers a promise of God’s prosperity in our lives when we meditate on His Word: “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:2-3).
“When you think about a problem over and over in your mind, that’s called worry. When you think about God’s Word over and over in your mind, that’s meditation. If you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate! You just need to switch your attention from your problems to Bible verses.” Rick Warren
Do you want to move into a new place as a praying intercessor and practice God’s presence even more than you ever did before? We are entering days when the Word of God in our hearts is going to be absolutely necessary. Don’t worry—we can live above all that is happening here on earth if we keep in mind that everything we do can be spending time with God. We only need to be aware of His presence during the day, whatever we’re doing. He wants to be invited into the center of our activities. He longs for our friendship.
As world conditions worsen, we will ride on high places above the storm. This is how we will defeat the enemy. Practicing God’s presence through short prayers and meditation will make all the difference. Together let’s stay aware of His presence and step up higher, into a new realm of intimacy. Let’s learn to rest in God’s presence rather than worry. Let’s become a best friend of God.
One of the favorite phrases among the young people here at the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) is: “I am God’s favorite!” The truth is that we are all God’s favorites and His heart is so big that we can all be His best friend. He is with us wherever we go. Let’s take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to walk with Jesus minute-by-minute and day-by-day. It’s available to all of us.
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:8-9).
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff