6 Ways To Help Look For God All Day

This is the third part in my series on connecting with God.  You can read the previous posts here and here.  It goes without saying, you're trying to connect to God and look for God if you showed up here.

From my experiences as testicular cancer survivor and facing clinical depression, I have had a few challenges that have pushed me in my relationship God.  People had questioned me how my faith stood up to these and I had even wondered about it myself. However you define a "strong faith," I can attribute to certain ideas and practices.  But like so many other people in this world, like so much of life, what you know and what faith you have can be tested in a blink of an eye or in my case, the loss of vision in my right eye.

It is still hard to get used to.  I've lost close to 70% of the vision in my right eye due to what is called ischemic optic neuropathy, a blockage in some of the veins leading to my optic nerve.  I didn't know that in the beginning when I was being sent to Neuro-opthomologist.  I didn't know what it was when I was doing optical mri's or when nurses were drawing all that blood.  I didn't know what was in store when I kept handing medical folks my credit card and insurance card over and over again either!

What did I know?

I knew that even if I couldn't see out of this one eye, I could still see God.  I came to trust in what I 'saw' in my heart as I prayed my breath prayer, "My Father, my God, grant me you."  In those moments, all alone with my thoughts and emotions, I could see God.  The more I saw of God, the more I found peace even as my world changed once again.

If you really want to see God throughout your day, you must realize this is part mind set, part practice, and a whole lot of grace going before you.

1.  One Item or a Buffet Line?
Your day, your week and all your years are full of experiences that will try you and test you.  If you are growing on this journey (Kathy Escobar just completed a great series on this), then you'll need more than one way to face things.  Don't think one thing - think options: Like a buffet!  A magnifying glass, a pair of glasses, binoculars and a telescope all make things easier to see.  So do certain prayer practices.  They are here for you and me to use to see God throughout the day...if we want to do it.

2.  Follow Your Temperment.
You are you and you are not someone else.  I'm going to say this point blank - stop listening to anyone who says "this practice" or "that practice" is the ONLY way you're going to grow in your faith or see God.  Even if it is just implied, go elsewhere.  They are not YOU.  If you have been adopted into the family of God then as a daughter or son (see Romans 8:14-16), God wants you to be you, to relate to you as an individual not as a clone.

3.  Go with the flow.
What is your main interest? What is bugging you?  What is inspiring you?  Go after it, research it, ask questions about it, Google it.  In your life experience, has something on morality, theology or social issues, caused you to be inquisitive?  Then let that interest or question lead you as you look for God.  

4.  Pray the Jesus Prayer.
By the fourth century, the practice of the Jesus Prayer helped followers live out Paul's call to "pray without ceasing."  The Jesus Prayer gave birth to the practice of the "Breath Prayer," which is a personal prayer you create the follows a similar pattern to the Jesus Prayer.  Ron DelBene, author of The Breath Of Life, teaches this form of prayer and has made this book available for free in pdf on his site.

5.  Pray the Hours.
Praying the hours, the Divine hours or the Divine Office, is another ancient practice of the Church.  It is an incredible help to the Christian looking for God throughout the day.  Phyllis Tickle offers a great introduction to this practice at explorefaith.org

6.  Use Prayer Beads/Rosary.
The Rosary is a well known practice of prayer for Roman Catholics and if this is your tradition, by all means use them.  Because of theological differences, Protestant churches did not participate in this practice.  That was until the 1980's when an Episcopal priest developed a similar model simply called "Prayer Beads."  Kristen Vincent has a great site outlining the practice of using prayer beads.  The aid of something tangible can be a huge help in guiding and focusing our heart on the unseen God.

The intent of these is to help you throughout the day.  This is certainly not about creating some new law that you have to do them.  These are not tasks on a to-do list.  They are not an end to themselves either.  They are here and have been available for years and centuries.  They are not a creation or gimmick.

If our journey was a road trip, these are some of the modes of transportation to get to the end.  If your journey is as mine, to look for God throughout the day, then pick one and take it for a test drive.  What are you waiting for, it is time to hit the road!   Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.   (1Th 5:16-18 NASB)

May I Ask?  Why DO you want to see God throughout your day?
May I Suggest?  Examine your own wants and desires.  Ask yourself, "Do I want to be seen as good or do I want God?"  After that, move forward with integrity knowing yourself better and I pray, knowing God more!


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