Have you watched Ladyhawke? This fun movie comes from the eighties when Hollywood did many fantasy experiments.
Philippe, played by Matthew Broderick, is a thief. He is called the Mouse and narrowly escapes a jail by fitting through a drain. While running he starts bragging at an inn and gets caught by the guards who were in disguise. A man rescues him who has a hawk on his arm. Later on that night, Philippe meets a woman who has a wolf for a friend. Can you guess where this is going?
What I found interesting about this was Philippe’s prayer life. Have you heard of the idea of practicing the presence of God? Practicing the presence of God is about praying regularly but it is also about perceiving His presence at all times. Philippe is a pro at this. He often prays, One time trying to make a deal with God, another admitting he has just stolen again.
In the middle of all of this, he becomes a companion for the man and the woman. We see a big change in Philippe in the movie as he goes from thief to finding friends and learning to be part of a team. At one point he complains to God that he did not see any of this coming and yet later tells the man “I talk to God all the time yet He has never mentioned you.”
1 Thessalonians tells us to “pray continually” but not all of God’s directions or moments for us come with a big announcement from Him. Often the important ones are the opportunities you do not see coming. This happened for two disciples with Jesus Himself. They walked with Him along a road after He had resurrected but did not realize it was Him until the very moment he left them. That is what happened for Philippe. This whole situation changes him for the better. And through all of this change he continues to pray and practice the presence of God.
“Practicing the Presence of God” is a term used in several Christian circles. It simply means to be seeking a consistent awareness of the Holy Spirit as you go about your day. Being open to Him speaking at any time, even through a movie or a song, or silently in your thoughts as you do chores.
Hebrews tells us that some have entertained angels but the important thing is not the angels themselves, but that these people have built hospitality into their lives. One author defined hospitality as creating a safe space for people around you. I think that is how we get to practicing the Presence of God as well. We simply build an attitude of openness for Him to be present with us regularly. This is not an easy thing to do with the distractions that often come our way; but it is not impossible. Here are a few ideas:
- Try praying in the shower. You could also play worship music during this time if that works better for you.
- Pause when you see a scripture shared on social media. Just read it and take it in, or pray it over yourself or someone else.
- Some have prayed while driving. Just keep your eyes open and on the road as you do this.
- Tell God what you think of something that is happening in your day. Ask Him what He thinks about it.
- Take opportunities to pray for others, whether it be out loud or quietly in your head.
Finally, I encourage you to watch for the unexpected opportunities. They might not always be comfortable or exciting. Some will be adventurous, but that might mean difficulty and pain rather than immediate joy. Either way, keep looking for what Jesus is doing. That begins not with a huge opportunity, but with tuning yourself to His frequency by prayer, scripture, and worship.