“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NLT).
You can also use a short phrase of Scripture: “For me, to live is Christ.” “You will never leave me.” “You are my God.”
Pray it as often as possible so it is rooted deep in your heart. Just be sure that you’re motivated to honor God, not trying to manipulate him into doing your own bidding.
Practicing the presence of God is a skill, a habit you can develop. Just as musicians practice scales every day in order to play beautiful music with ease, you can learn how to think about God at different times in your day. You can train your mind to remember God.
At first you will need to create reminders to regularly bring your thoughts back to the awareness that God is with you in that moment. Begin by placing visual reminders around you. You might post little notes that say, “God is with me and for me right now!”
If you are seeking an experience of his presence through all of this, you’ve missed the point. We don’t praise God to feel good but to do good. Your goal is not a feeling but a continual awareness that God is always present. That is the lifestyle of worship.
“Jesus, we need you”
A man drives home from work. Before he encounters his little rascals and his wife, he wanders through his backyard and hugs the tree that is located in the centre. He holds onto it for a long time. Then he enters the house happily.
The next day, a friend who happened to witness this, asks him for his reasons. After having pondered all night if his friend wanted to become a gardener as a child or if he, like Dogmatix*, has developed an affinity for trees.
“For me, the tree is Jesus. I hold on to it until my problems and worries disappear, then I go inside and I’m happy”, he replies. “I know Jesus takes care of us. It is his responsibility to ensure that everyone in our family is happy.”
Even if you invest everything into your spouse, you will never be able to fulfil his/her deepest longings. Only Jesus can do this.
If you as a couple know that Jesus is on your side, you will go through life differently. You will count and reckon on him at all times, you will discuss everything with him, you will set your hopes on him, you will know that Jesus will make sure that nobody and nothing will ever be able to break down the strong bonds of your marriage.
Put an extra chair at the dinner table tonight. Invite Jesus into your marriage as your best friend and helper.
* the dog that belongs to Obelix in the Asterix comics