Notes for Foundations: Practicing God’s Presence

Presented by Gay Barretta

This session considers the awesome reality of God with us:

●  His transcendence and immanence
●  what it means to practise His presence
●  learning to recognize His voice through listening prayer
●  how we can enter into dialogue with Him
●  in a way that brings healing and completion to our souls

These notes outline the basic flow of the teaching and contain
the full text and reference for scriptures and quotations. At the bottom of the notes are resources for further exploration of this topic.

God is transcendent, exalted far above the created universe and other than His works. Yet He is immanent within them, and manifests Himself in and through His creation.

Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven You are there. If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Your right hand lead me and Your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:7-10

Surely the Lord is in this place and I didn’t know. Jacob in Genesis 28:16

God is not far from each of us for in Him we live and move and have our being. Paul in Acts 17:27-28

This is eternal life, that they know You the one true God. John 17:3

Acknowledging God’s Real Presence with and within us is crucial to our regaining a Christian world view, what Christian reality is.

Surely you know that you are God’s temple, where the Spirit of God dwells. 1 Corinthians 6:19

It is vital we don’t confuse the experience of God’s presence with the objective reality of His being present.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand I will not be shaken. Ps 16:8

“Thank You Jesus that You indwell me by the power of Your Spirit. Thank You Jesus that I am the temple of the Holy Spirit. Thank You Lord that all of us who love You and follow You are a temple of Your Holy Spirit.”

We are made for dialogue, and listening to our loving Father is a vital part of practicing His presence.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God, and this is what we are. John 3:1

We can exchange with God in prayer taking in His words as replacement for the other words that have shaped us.

For sword take that which the Spirit gives you- the words that come from God. Ephesians 6:17

In His healing Presence listening, we gain objectivity and are drawn up and out of our ego-centric, subjective worlds. The Christ we listen to is the Christ of the scriptures who always listened to and obeyed the voice of His Father.

They received the message with great eagerness, studying the scriptures every day to see whether it was as they said. Acts 17:11-12

How do we begin to hear God?
You will know His power today if you will listen to His voice. Psalm 95:7

As we open our Bibles we can ask the Lord to breathe on the word He is speaking personally to us and quicken it to our spirit.

Through the Spirit’s prodding, we write out our responses in conversation with Him.

The third step: the prayer of quiet waiting and listening for His voice for any word He may be sending.

Prayer: “Lord You are always speaking and I choose now to quiet my heart and listen to You, to hear and receive Your Words to me.”

Resources on this topic:
Chapter six of Leanne Payne’s ​The Broken Image,​ “Listening for the healing word.”

Chapter five of ​Restoring the Christian Soul through Healing Prayer​ by Leanne Payne, “Listening prayer: The way of grace and the walk in the spirit.”

Listening Prayer​ by Leanne Payne, particularly part one, “Keeping a listening prayer journal,” and chapter 11, “Listening prayer is friendship with God.”

Practicing the presence of God with us,” lecture and prayer live audio recording from an MPC school held in Wheaton, IL in 2019.