Years ago, a friend and I were sharing our frustrations with each other about losing our sense of God’s presence… losing contact with God throughout the busyness of the day. We wondered whether we just sucked at staying close to God… or whether this was just normal? We talked about what we could do to fix this… perhaps we just needed to focus on Jesus more? But how? It’s hard to focus on Jesus when you’re taking a phone call and writing an email and engaging in a meeting. 

Maybe you’ve had similar thoughts? Maybe you long to be close to Jesus throughout the day but you’re not really sure how, or what that looks like when you’re in the grind? I’d like to offer you a tool to help you grow in your awareness of Jesus, but first there’s an important trap I need to address. 

The ‘Sacred-Secular’ Divide 

One of the traps I was falling into was to consider prayer as sacred (and of ultimate value), while considering daily work at my job as ‘secular’, as something that held no spiritual value. If I wasn’t directly communing with Jesus in prayer or Scripture, then I didn’t feel I was really doing what God wanted. But the thing is, work was part of God’s glorious design for humans before sin entered the story (Genesis 1:28; 2:15, 18). God did not design us to sit still and pray in a monastery all day, He designed us to work as well. Work is sacred, especially when we offer it to God and do it in ways that honour Him. 

Let me put it this way, when I do my best at my work, heartily and honestly, I am honouring God (Proverbs 31:27-28; Ephesians 4:28). It is an act of worship, it is good, and God knows that we humans (especially us blokes!) can’t multitask and talk to Him while we’re doing work that requires a lot of focus. That’s ok! That’s normal. We can breathe. Our relationship with Jesus doesn’t fluctuate based on our sense of His presence. Our relationship is not determined by our emotions. Our relationship with God was determined by God before we could think or work or feel anything (Ephesians 1:4-5), and was secured forever through Christ’s death on the cross (Romans 8:1-4)! Nothing can separate us now from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39), because we are in Christ (Ephesians 1:1). I am in Christ when I’m praying and reading my Bible in the morning, I’m in Christ when I’m writing emails, I’m in Christ when I’m mowing, I’m in Christ when I’m parenting, I am always in Christ. But more than that, not only am I in Christ, my time working heartily is just as valuable to God as an act of worship as my time in prayer. 

A Tool for Communing with God throughout the Day 

Once we’ve taken the pressure off by understanding the value of work as worship, we can then look for ways to commune with God throughout our day. Not because we feel guilty, but just because we want to. I came across a helpful tool recently in a book called The Imperfect Pastor by Zack Eswine. He surveyed how the Bible presents a 24-hour day in portions. There’s the morning portion (roughly 6am-12pm), the noon portion (12pm-6pm), the evening portion (6pm-10pm) and the ‘night watches’ (10pm-2am and 2am-6pm).

Without going into too much detail, he found it helpful to begin the morning portion communing with Jesus in prayer and so on. A lot of Christians do this kind of ‘morning devotion’. But Zack also spoke about how he found it helpful to divide the day into these different chunks. It made the day more ‘manageable’ and enabled him to reflect with God after each portion, to give thanks, ask for forgiveness, and to pray for the Holy Spirit’s strength and help for the next portion. So, he’d stop again around 12pm at the end of the morning, even just for 5-10 minutes, and again as he approached the end of noon around 6pm as he was finishing the day’s work. Sometimes night became times of prayer for him. Sometimes the Lord blessed him with deep and restful sleep. Either way, portioning up the day with God blessed him. 

I hope this tool gives you an idea of how you can approach a day more thoughtfully rather than steamrolling through it. You can put calendar reminders in place to help you just stop for a moment, give God thanks for the work He has given you to do, and to keep going knowing He is always with His children. If you long for a closer walk with Jesus in the daily grind then this tool may be something you can try. 

Grace and peace,