I have been in group situations wherein the leader would invite us to join in prayer by saying, “Let us put ourselves in the presence of God.” I knew the intended meaning; but, then, I got thinking about it more literally. God is with us all the time. He is always present. The idea of putting ourselves in his presence, of course, means that we intentionally and mindfully focus on the transcendence of our loving Father. We give full attention to our prayerful encounter.
Nowadays it is not easy to eliminate distractions. Distractions are so accessible. Of course, some distractions are unavoidable, especially if we have large families or special needs in our family situations. The devil likes to distract us and is very clever at doing so. The last thing the devil wants is for us to strengthen and grow in our relationship with God.
When I first tried centering prayer—during which I tried not to pray rote prayers or even spontaneous word-prayers, but to just be and enjoy God’s presence in the voluntary silence of the present. I did not find it easy!