The Lost Art of Practicing His Presence
By James W. Goll
I just love it that you guys are hungry for more of God! In a recent survey on Face Book, the most asked question from those who responded was a desire for me to write tips on Practicing the Presence of God. Well, for probably a whole host of people do not know, I wrote a whole book on the subject. So for right now, I thought I would give you the Introduction from the book and then you could decide if you want to get the entire book or not. You can order The Lost Art of Practicing His Presence book from my web site at www.jamesgoll.com or from Amazon.com. I also have a study Guide called Consecrated, Contemplative Prayer also available at my online resource center with an entire CD set that goes with it. Or you can get the smaller 4 CD or MP3 set called Understanding The Lost Art of Practicing His Presence at my online bookstore as well. So here we go for starters with my Introduction from that book. Then maybe later, I will do another condensed version of some material.
A radical desire is arising across the global body of Christ from people who want to learn The Lost Art of Practicing His Presence. They are not satisfied with things in their lives or in the typical corporate church, as they currently exist. These desperate souls are crying out to Lord for mentors, training and insight to help them get down the road further themselves. They want to know Jesus and the power of His presence! In church history past, these mentors were often called “masters” or “spiritual guides”. Where are these tutors for todays growing discontent Christian populace?
In my own life, books have played a great part of my process of becoming. Books have often been my mentors - guides - and teachers to me. That is why I have been pouring so much of my life in these past few years into developing training materials, study guides and writing of books. I would love to come and sit with you - but obviously, I am just one person. But I can come into your living room through the vehicle of a good read. That is why I have written this book The Lost Art of Practicing His Presence. I want to come sit with you in your own home and have a fireside chat with you!
I want to see you grow in Christ. Now, God knows I have not arrived yet! But one thing I am committed to is giving away what I presently have been given. That is actually one of the Kingdom principles of increase - give and it shall be given! So here we are - another round of vintage material I have learned and am learning from my tutor the Holy Spirit. He is a great teacher.
Some time ago I was given a vivid dream concerning a change that would occur in the body of Christ. In this dream I was taken along the Saint Lawrence River that separates the United States and Canada. I saw the river from an aerial view much like looking down upon a map. I saw white spots begin to glow at different geographical locations on both sides of the great river. As I was awakened a “knowing” was within me. “I will raise up My church which will be planted by the river of Saint Lawrence – the river of My presence.” I realized the Holy Spirit was actually referring to the writings of Brother Lawrence concerning the art of Practicing the Presence of Jesus. Thus this book has come into existence. I want to see a church arise planted by the river of His presence!
I want to see Jesus Christ receive the rewards of His suffering. I want to see a whole generation of Mary of Bethany’s, Anna’s of the temple, and Joshua’s of meditation arise! Don’t you? You can’t think of a better thing you would like to do with your life than to pour it out as a drink offering before Him! Isn’t that right?
What is this book about? Written in the mold of my first book on prayer – The Lost Art of Intercession, this book takes you on another leg of my personal journey with the lover of my soul. Once again, I feel like a spiritual archeologist who is dusting off the relics of the past to bring them forth for the present. In this book you will learn to love what is often called the “spiritual disciplines”. But I am not presenting this from a “works mind set.” Instead, I am presenting these life-changing concepts as “spiritual privileges”. They proceed from a heart that just aches to be joined in greater union with Him so as to sing one song.
On the practical side, I have divided this book into Three Parts that are progressive in nature. Part One deals with The Inward Journey - Proceeding Into His Presence. We dust off the truths of the past of contemplative prayer and discover it is a delight not a burden. Then we have a mystery revealed to us - that we are the Father’s House. Next we discover what true communion requires. We then discover why Mary of Bethany would pour out her life’s savings on her newfound Lord in lavish worship.
Part Two is called The Quietness of Soul - Waiting Before Him. In this section we are taking a stand to take back what is rightfully ours - that which the New Age Movement and other groups have so badly distorted. Here we learn that quieting our soul before God is part of our Christian inheritance. We rediscover that He is our Shepherd and that He wants to lead us by the quiet stream. We dust off the artifacts of biblical meditation and the lost art of listening, waiting and watching with our Messiah. We even dig deeper by looking into what it looks like to walk in union with Christ Jesus.
Part Three is then termed The Outward Journey - The Fire of His Love. Once we have learned to cultivate these spiritual graces, we find that then we must do something with what we have just received or we might just burn up! We now put feet to our love relationship with our Mentor by entering into the Bridegroom’s fast. We allow Him to walk through our tabernacle and investigate if there really is any fire burning on the altar of our heart. Then we are commissioned to go put the live coals of fire of presence onto other people’s lives.
One of my goals is help make you worse off than I am! What I mean is - to want see you shake yourself off from complacency and learn to “practice His presence!” If you hunger for more of God and less of you - then this book was written just for you.
Now take your shoes off, let’s sit down for a while. I want to have a fireside chat with you. Together, let’s keep Reaching for the Lover of our Soul and have a few practice sessions in His soaking together.
With Eager Anticipation,
James W. Goll