Building a Personal Prayer 3: Where Is Your God?

Amazing God, Everlasting Mother/Father,
Patient, persistent, pursuing Lover:

You are an awesome God,
an all-encompassing,
all-invading,
all-embracing Presence,

And you are here,
with me and in me, now.

Building on my understanding of God described in the previous post, I praise the awesomeness of God and realize that God is present with me all the time! That Presence is all-encompassing –“So high, you can’t get over it; So deep, you can’t get under it; So wide, you can’t get around it!” (Traditional Song)

“You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me”—Psalm 139:5 (NRSV)

I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can’t take it all in! –Psalm 139:5-6 The Message Bible

God’s Presence is all-invading:

You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.—Psalm 139:15-16 The Message Bible

God breaks down my barriers and invades my private space – but I am willing to allow it because God’s Presence is an all-embracing Presence. It is not judgment and punishment, but forgiveness and acceptance, deep peace and love!

My choice is you, God, first and only.
And now I find I’m your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.
And then you made me your heir!  –Psalm 16:5-6, The Message

As I submit myself to God’s Presence, I realize that God is here, with me and in me now. And that Presence will continue even after this prayer time is over!

You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
    in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. –Psalm 16:11 (NRSV)

NOTE:
I did not sit down and intellectually decide to write a prayer and decide how to structure it. Only as I am writing this series do I see the structure that grew out of it. If you passionately desire a closer walk with God, maybe this will help you. I included reflection questions after the first post in this series. For the second and third posts, consider these:

  1. Who is your God? Focus the beginning of your prayer on God. Praise God for what and who God is!
    Have you had a numinous experience of God? Remember and reflect on such an experience in your prayer with love and appreciation.
    Is there a word picture of God, perhaps in Scripture, that speaks to you? The Psalms are an excellent source for examples.
    I grew up on the conceptions of Warner Sallman and Cecil B. DeMille for images of Jesus. Many, but not all, of my prayers and meditations see that Jesus in my mind, even though I believe that his appearance was quite different.
    Can you relate to God as Mother as well as Father? As feminine as well as masculine? Are you locked in to traditional concepts? Let God out of the box!
  2. Where is God for you? Is God remote and “out there?” In traditional Christian theology, the Presence I describe in this post is the Holy Spirit. Affirm your faith that God is present with you now, whether or not you feel God’s presence!
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About Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith has 20 years’ experience in technical writing and management in software companies. She also has more than 20 years in Christian ministry as an educator, course designer, retreat leader, spiritual director, pastor, and coach. A United Methodist Deacon, Smith has her M.Div. from Boston University. She is a graduate of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance, and is certified in Spiritual Direction and Retreat Leadership from Boston College.
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