Remaining Present When I Cannot

(written by Rachel Pickel)

When I think about what it means to “remain present”, I think of how one achieves this rather than the  literal definition.  Since the words “remain present” are not technically in the dictionary, I looked up “intention.”  (Stick with me, I promise I’m going somewhere…)

Merriam-Webster’s Word Central defines “Intention: a person or purpose that is especially prayed for.”


I frequently find myself distracted and specifically not prayerfully present. In other words, I multi-task.  As I’m typing these words, here’s also what I’m thinking about (and I’m embarrassingly honest):

  • The washer is done, it needs to be switched over.
  • Need to unpack bags from fall break.
  • I’ve only got one hour before I go pick up the kids from school.
  • What IS for dinner?
  • Where did I leave my cold coffee?
  • Should I find a sitter for date night and much-needed romance with the hubs?
  • Did I put on deodorant today?
  • I have to catch up on bible study.

When I do this, I remove gift of God’s power AND presence out of the equation and take on the day by myself.

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31-33

We owe it to God and those we love most to ESPECIALLY PRAY FOR presence from the Lord for each moment we want to give undivided attention. I know there are so many things I especially pray for: my children, family and friends, relationships, finances, and even the world….but I rarely ask for presence from the Lord.

If I want to become more present, not just in my spiritual time, but in all my time, I must ask for help to do so.  Remember, God is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent.  We should feel better knowing He’s here with us at all times. So shouldn’t we also feel compelled to offer Him the same? Or offer our family and friends the same?

“God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

In my little world, my mind never stops.  I have a good suspicion that you might be in the same place too (I really hope I’m not alone on this one).

Imagine how enriched our lives would be if we were fully present in the moments that matter most? The same way God is fully present in all we do.    

I longingly think about the following scenarios:

Quality time with my children, not multi-tasking while playing with them or helping them with homework.

Be intimate with my husband, not thinking about kids interrupting or other things I need to do. (Yes – I just said that)

Listen to a friend, not thinking about my next appointment.

Read my bible and hear the word of God, not thinking about the other things I have to do or wondering when the kids will barge in and disrupt my peace.

Do you see how I highlighted the most important part of each sentence?  Imagine how great it would be?!?

We are commanded to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  Ephesians 5:21.  To give fully to one another cannot happen when we are not fully present.  I have no one to blame but myself when I take on moments without the especially praying for that very moment.

Here is my challenge to you, I hope you will try it! Pray this prayer with me: 

I especially pray for _______________ (insert one thing you want to remain present for).  Like all things new they take practice and repetition.  You may find a deeper relationship with God and those you love the most. 

Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, make the most of every opportunity…  Ephesians 5:15-16


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