The most delightful experience I had this Lent was reading “Enjoying the Presence of God: Discovering Intimacy With God in the Daily Rhythms of Life” by Jan Johnson.
I met Jan Johnson on Zoom doing a class during 2020. Calm and funny, she seems like a person who has great insight into God. She also was a close associate of Dallas Willard, so she was well taught.
Her wonderful short book gives examples of how others have spent the day … and night … with Jesus during their ordinary circumstances. As the back cover says, “It shows that continual awareness of God is not just for the super-spiritual, but that anyone can sense His companionship in the mundane, in-between moments of life.”
Easy and quick to Read, Yet Profound
The contents are divided into three sections: Moments to Turn Over, Skills to Develop and Questions to Ponder. The first chapter is “Trying Too Hard,” which has been a serious problem for me. I have tried to practice the presence of God by talking to him continually, which gets tiresome, I’d guess, to both of us.
Jan Johnson talks about weaving prayer into activities and praying without words. She also dispenses good advice about asking God questions and addressing our deeper fears, including coming to believe that God actually loves us.
For example, in the chapter “Hearing God,” she writes, “Continual conversation with God means that there are moments when God speaks and we listen. Even though it may be scary to think of God speaking to us, it is normal and not weird.” Some of those ways include:
- Recurring thoughts
- New ideas
- Fictional characters
- Works of art
- Kinesthetic experiences
I’m not alone in loving this book. It has an average 4.41 star rating with 150 readers on GoodReads and a 4.9 star average rating with 87 readers on Amazon. Trust me. This book can change your walk with God.