Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Stacy Averette

Hello, lovely friends. Today I want to share with you a wonderful book I’ve been reading. I’m not done with it yet as it is one of those books that requires time and attention to read slowly and digest. If the amount of underlining and notes scribbled in the margins with exclamations and question marks are a clue, this book is a keeper and one I will reread again and again.

The book I’m referring to is Enjoying the Presence of God: Discovering intimacy with God in the daily rhythms of life, by Jan Johnson.

“Enjoying the Presence of God offers simple, tangible insights into practicing God’s presence and makes them relevant to ordinary people as they play sports, dig in the garden, or rock a baby. It shows that continual awareness of God is not just for the “super-spiritual,” but that anyone can sense His companionship in the mundane, in-between moments of life.”

Jan Johnson was already on my “favorite authors” list and this book will likely not be the last of her works that I read. Click here to get your own copy. This post contains some of my favorite quotes from the first few chapters.

Stacy Averette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and some links may be affiliate links. We may receive a small fee at no extra cost to you if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these.

The Day My Quiet Time Died

I remember the day my quiet time died. After gathering all my devotional props, I settled into a terrible emptiness. I needed God as I had never needed Him before, but my regimented prayers were puny containers for my anquish. —pg. 8

I knew when I read these words in the first chapter I had found a kindred spirit. I’d found myself at exactly this same place years ago and in the process discovered a deeper, more personal relationship with God.

I was anxious to see if she had discovered the same thing I had or if she was going to do what so many do and simply offer me a new formula or system or program for “spiritual success”.

I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. (Psalm 69:2-3)

Were I as honest as the psalmist, I’d have to admit that I had been mad at God—why hadn’t He fixed everything and put my life in order as I’d wanted it? Could I admit to God that I felt I was a disappointment to Him, and He was a disappointment to me? In a moment of terror I did, and the sky didn’t fall. pg. 9

I still felt broken, but somehow hopeful. It seemed as if God were wringing all that self-sufficiency out of me and asking me to seek Him in whatever way He led. me. He wasn’t going to fix my life quickly, but He was going to mold my character. At the time, I couldn’t see it, but God was showing me that He did not want me to be a can-do go-getter but ‘one who becomes broken bread and poured out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ.” pg. 9

As I experimented with unpretentious, plain-speaking conversation with God, the adventure began. God wasn’t squinting down at me from His Supreme Court chair waiting to see if I mentioned every name on my prayer request list. He was sitting next to me on the backyard swing, eager to hear me, waiting me out, offering me cues. pg. 10

This isn’t a method but a relationship. pg. 10

I had complicated the spiritual life with my notebook and checklists and invented my own version of “spiritual correctness.” In truth, I needed only one thing—God. I didn’t need a great quiet time, I needed a God centered lifetime. I saw that my responsibility as a Christian was to seek God’s company, not to seek spiritual maturity. pg. 11

Practicing God’s prescence moves His companionship beyond church gatherings, before-meal graces, and quiet times to infiltrate the ordinary moments of life. pg. 14

Enjoying God’s presence places us squarely in God’s lap, where He enjoys us:

The Lord your God is with you, . . .He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17) pg. 15

Enjoying God’s presence means we stop trying to prove ourselves to God and decide to love Him and enjoy Him forever. pg. 17

There’s no need to impress God with long lists of requests or complicated prayer notebooks. This sort of formula-based spirituality teaches us to follow other people’s path to God, rather than developing our own relationship with Him. pg. 18

I hope you’ve enjoyed these excerpts from Enjoying the Presence of God and you can click here to get your own copy. 

Jan’s book was inspired by one of my all-time favorite books, Practicing His Presence, by Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach. Click here to get a copy. 

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