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Present Yourself

Posted by Jessica Garcia on

For three years, this is what I prayed at the start of every day:

"Lord, here I am. In my finitude, I am here before you. I present myself to you."

It surprised me when my first assignment at the Institute for Spiritual Formation, Talbot School of Theology was to pray this simple, seemingly pointless prayer each morning. I had heard about how intense this degree program would be and I was eager to dive into whatever demanding spiritual disciplines were involved. This simple prayer of “presenting myself” to God seemed strange when He already knew everything about me. Not only was I telling God the things He already knew about me, but I was telling myself those same things I already knew as well (get the full “Prayer of Presenting”).

God used the next couple of years as I engaged in this practice to show me something amazing and mysterious—most of our life with God is not spent learning new things but allowing the Spirit to bring the same truths to bear on our hearts in even deeper and more profound ways.

“God loves me.”
“God forgives me.”
“God is with me.”

If you are a believer in Jesus, you can probably read these truths and identify that, to some degree you understand and experience their impact. Yet you also know there is more to these truths than you fully grasp in this moment. What would it be like to truly know the fullness of God’s love and forgiveness with perfect understanding and unwavering belief in every fiber of my being in every moment? It’s sad to think that, for so long, I thought the journey toward this was in simply “trying harder.” I’m so grateful now to discover that the journey is a relational one. This simple practice of being present to God and present to His truth gave the Spirit room to do incredible transforming, relational work in my soul that I could never have done through my own efforts.

All of this significance came to mind for me when I first heard “Here’s My Heart” by Chris Tomlin which we sang in our services for the first time on Sunday, February 19. I love the opportunity it gives us to “present ourselves” to the Lord and open our hearts more deeply to His truth:

Here’s my heart, Lord
Here’s my heart, Lord
Here’s my heart, Lord
Speak what is true

I am found, I am yours
I am loved, I'm made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free

I’m always especially excited when I find a song that I know will not only serve us well in our Sunday services but could be a good companion for us individually throughout the week as well. Its simplicity makes it easy to sing or think of in the midst of daily life and can help keep us open and attentive to God. If you find tools like this helpful, I hope you’ll remember this song as we continue to sing it in our services. Or perhaps you’ll even want to give the full “Prayer of Presenting” a try (or your own version of it). As we continually invite the Holy Spirit to bring His truth further to bear on our hearts, I pray we’ll be present and attentive to experience each gobstopper-like layer of its transforming sweetness.

Listen to Here's My Heart by Lauren Daigle.

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