I am a person with an internal turntable. Most of the time, I have a song playing in my mind. I didn’t even know this about myself until my daughter was about eleven. We had gone camping in our caravan and I was in the large ablution block. My daughter came to find me. I asked her how she knew which of the ten or so doors to knock on. “It was easy,” she said, “I heard you humming.”
My husband confirmed that I hum under my breath. I am trying to make this work for me in my aim to maintain a constant awareness of God. If I consciously set a song on my turntable, I can catch myself humming it during the day. If it is a song of praise or a hymn, I am brought back to being aware of the presence of God. I think the same result can be achieved if Christian music is played in the background all day. Every now and then our minds might notice a phrase and bring us back to mindfulness of God.
Another of Brother Lawrence’s ideas is to pray short, conversational prayers all day rather than to pray long sessions of complex prayers.
Rick Warren embroidered on this idea by suggesting “breath prayers” throughout the day. This is a brief sentence or simple phrase that can be prayed in one breath. Examples are: “Jesus, You are with me,” “Help me trust You,” “I’m depending on You.”
A similar technique is to meditate on Scripture. While we can’t read the Bible all day, we can mull over verses we have read or memorized. Anybody can learn to do this. Rick Warren writes, “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 problem to Bible verses.”
Maxie Dunnam has helpful techniques in his course, “The Workbook of Living Prayer.” One chapter is headed, “Let interruptions call you to prayer.” He suggests choosing an interruption that takes place often during the day and using it as a trigger to remember to pray. For a week the assignment was to choose an interruption to trigger the Day by Day prayer, “May I know you more clearly, love your more dearly and follow you more nearly, day by day.”
At the time I chose a red robot as my trigger but I no longer drive as much as when I was still working, so I need to find another trigger. Maybe my cell phone! Imagine if I could pray every time my cell phone makes a sound or I touch it! Maybe I would be able to be in constant conversation with God!
Ephesians 6:18 says, “Pray in the Spirit at all times, and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” (NLT) It is only in the power of the Spirit and by the grace of God that we can have a relationship with God. It is only by that same power and grace that we can be in constant conversation with Him.
Lord Jesus, I really do want to know You more, love You more, trust You more, converse with You more and follow you more nearly, day, by day, by day. Amen.