A Bit of Background
“I can try to help you, but I can’t fight a war for you”.
I used to say this to my children when they were young. Now they are in their twenties, I still do. I thought it was from Star Wars, but I wasn’t sure.
In fact, Qui-Gon Jinn says “I can only protect you; I can’t fight a war for you” to Princess Amidala in Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999, Lucasfilms).
Now, you have to be careful applying quotes from Star Wars to real life, but my version holds up, I think. I wanted them to understand that we will always be faced with difficult circumstances and that our own efforts to make things better, whilst well-intentioned, only get us so far.
We need bigger resources – more than I could provide; we need a different understanding of contentment; and we can discover joy – despite whatever is happening in our lives.
Nothing is easy.
During a particularly challenging time in my life, I started to meet with God.
Not a big decision, I simply realised that nothing I could do was going to make anything better or easier.
All my intuitive strategies for making things work were exhausted. So, I found a chair and each morning I sat down and met with God. Using a simple booklet of truths from scripture, I prayed my way into each day. I made myself available by just sitting there. Eventually, my list of things to pray for became repetitive.
So I stopped asking and started accepting.
I waited on God;
I prayed the name of Jesus;
I claimed the power and peace that I already had as I waited in his presence.
I had discovered an abundant source of… something.
There is something unique about a faith relationship with God that enables us to experience the presence of Jesus every day, in every situation.
And God has gifted us with the ability to imagine - to think visually.
That's where these ten practices came from.
Simply picturing an encounter with Jesus and visualising the experience in my circumstances.
But it's more than passive meditation - it's purposeful, pragmatic and expectant. It's us doing our bit in the contract of faith to welcome Jesus daily into the complexity of everyday.
Living by faith (that’s acting in the expectation and hope of God’s intervention without being able to see it in the present) reveals an extraordinary abundance of life; a unique understanding of our place in God’s plan and despite our circumstances, certainty and hope for an eternal future.
And yet so much of our time is spent dealing with the complex reality of everyday life that we can find ourselves forgetting to engage with the presence of Jesus.
We are so busy getting on with our lives. Everyone has different priorities: solving problems, studying, working, looking after people – there’s always something else to do.
But supposing we just stop for a moment.
Pause. Breath. Wait.
These practices, built on the truth of scriptures found in the Bible, show how our potential for experiencing God’s provision can be simple. Just waiting and allowing our thoughts to be prompted by simple ideas.
It is a simple strategy to discover how joy and contentment are our default setting in God’s perfect design for us, and what extraordinary peace can be found, even in the most complex reality of everyday life.
Every life is different.
Nothing is easy.
But by acknowledging the presence of Jesus in each day, we begin to unleash a new understanding of the power of God in our lives.
Andrew Piper is a designer and communications consultant.
30 years of professional practice combined with a lifetime of Christian experience resulted in the desire to create a resource that people of faith can use on their terms and easily apply in daily life.