Abiding in God
I need your presence every passing hour;
I need your grace to foil the tempter’s power.
Give me your love my guide and stay to be.
Through cloud and sunshine, O, abide with me.
This week we are abiding, finding our home and dwelling with the Divine in the hymn, Abide with Me. The second verse echoes the first verse by calling us to notice and name how much we need God’s presence. I find each line of the second stanza so profoundly powerful.
I need your presence every passing hour ~ yet, how do I practice staying awake and alert to God? So often we can compartmentalize prayer as a moment, rather than a flow that we are caught up in to center our hearts. To pray without ceasing, the Apostle Paul wrote, as an invitation – but Paul did not give us a five-step manual on how to do that. One way to pray without ceasing is to simply repeat this line of the hymn. Steve Cuss has a prayer practice before walking into a meeting ~ or signing on to a Zoom session ~ to remind himself that God is already at work in that room before he enters. Perhaps that is another way we embody and embrace this line.
I need your grace to foil the tempter’s power ~ there are so many traps that trip us up in this world. People’s hard hearts and hate hover in the air. We promote cynicism and criticism as a higher form of intelligence. We tend to minimize kindness and love as Pollyanna. We want mercy for ourselves and justice for everyone else. We fail to see the humanity in each other because we don’t really love ourselves ~ or sometimes we love ourselves too much. The temptations to stray from God call out to us – which is why we need God’s presence every hour.
Give me your love my guide and stay to be ~ which makes so much sense given what we discussed above.
Through cloud and sunshine, O, abide with me ~ is another beautiful line that you can repeat on the hour, every hour this day.
Prayer: Abiding and abundantly present God, be with me and open my life to notice Your presence in cloud and sunshine and every moment today. Amen.