One morning a couple of weeks ago I prayed the prayer I often pray before rising: Lord, I know You are always with me, so today, would You please help me to know—to really know—that You are with me? Will You please do life with me today?
Usually when I pray that prayer, I hop out of bed without waiting for a response. But I lingered for a moment on this particular day, and to my surprise (I really wasn’t expecting a response) I heard God say, For something different, how about if you do your day with Me rather than Me doing Mine with you?
It may not seem like a big difference—God doing life with me, me doing life with God—but actually, it is huge. As soon as I heard His words, I realized that I had been asking God to be my Helper for the things I’d be involved with that day. Which isn’t bad, I hasten to add. He is our Helper and wants us to do everything in His strength. However, even though I was well intentioned, I realized that subtly, I’d been putting God on my program rather than seeking how I could be on His.
So, I accepted His suggestion. Okay, Jesus, that’s good with me. Please help me to stay with You throughout the day, to be involved with You in the things You want to be about today.
As you might guess, my day went differently from how it usually does. Each time I’d start a new activity, see someone, or think about something, I’d try to remember to ask, Jesus, what are You doing in this? How do You want to meet this person or address this issue? What are Your desires?
(In the interest of full disclosure: I’m no saint, so please notice the operative word “try” in the previous paragraph. I did not succeed in asking these questions in every aspect of my day. Many times I forgot. But I did try to remember to do that, and the result was much different and better than if I hadn’t tried!)
For example, at work I ran into someone I had never had a conversation with. Introvert that I am, I was fine with that. What’s wrong with a smile and a silent nod? But I asked Jesus if He had anything He wanted to do for her or say to her, and He did. He reminded me of a new venture she was beginning; Ask her about that. So I did. And we had a 10-minute conversation. I got the impression she was encouraged.
That afternoon I was on the phone with someone I’d be doing ministry with a few weeks down the road. Before we hung up I asked Jesus if there was anything He had in mind for her. Instantly I felt that He wanted me to pray with her. I didn’t really want to do that . . . I enjoy praying on the phone with friends, but not so much with people I have never met. But before I could lose courage, I blurted out, “Can we pray together?” She agreed. And when we finished, she told me that she thought she had heard the answer to a wrinkle in the program that we’d not been able to iron out earlier in the conversation.
Still later that day, I attended a prayer meeting and sat next to someone I barely know. This person shared a serious prayer need that was burdening her greatly. To my dismay, she started to cry. I’d never seen this person cry before. She seems to me a very private person. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to console her, but I didn’t want to intrude on her space. Oh yeah, I forgot. This isn’t up to me. Jesus, what do you want for this person right now? Well, it seemed He wanted me to lay a comforting hand on her shoulder. But I didn’t want to do that! So I reminded Him of a few things. Some people don’t like to be touched! That’s a very forward action, Lord. Besides, I think she stopped crying. I think she’s good now. Right, Lord, okay, Jesus? He didn’t respond. Sighing, I told Him, Okay, if she sniffles again, I’ll do it. But please don’t let her sniffle again!
Well, guess what. She sniffled. So quickly, before I could talk myself out of it, I placed my hand gently on her shoulder. I could feel her relax. It felt good to think that she was feeling Jesus’ love for her, through me. After the prayer meeting, she shared more of her concern with me privately. I felt as if being with her the way Jesus wanted to be with her had opened the door to deeper relationship.
I wish I could say I’ve done every day like I did that special day a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t. It takes a lot of focus and concentration, and frankly, I am easily distracted. However, I still aim to keep company with Jesus like that, and as I continue practicing, offering myself the grace I know He offers me, I am sure it will come. After all, incredibly enough, He enjoys my company as much as I need His.