8 Persistent Prayers to Be in The Present Moment

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Are you wanting to be more fully present with your family?  Do you need to pray about enjoying the present moment?

With so much happening in our lives, it can be difficult to be fully present in the current moment.  We may be distracted with thoughts about all that happened yesterday or just in the last hour while we focus on the next day or a better month in the future.

Or we may be preoccupied with what’s supposed to happen tomorrow.

It seems Jesus anticipated this might happen and gives us direct teaching we can embrace:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6.33-34, NIV).

These eight prayers are meant to help you follow the teachings of Jesus and be alive in the present moment, to be fully aware of who you are and where you are.

Remember that if you follow Jesus, your past is covered by the cross, and your future is filled with hope because of the Resurrection.  Why not enjoy the present?

Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43.18-19, NIV).

If you need to change any of these prayers to match your specific situation, you are welcome to do so.  They are intended to be a help to you as you begin to pray to God about what is going on in your life, right now!

Prayer to Enjoy the Present Moment

Dear God, even though I had my devotional time with you this morning, I just wanted to pray to you as I seek to enjoy the present moment I am in right now.

I happen to be standing in line at the grocery store so I am praying silently, giving you thanks that I have money to buy groceries.  I give you thanks that I have a car to drive here and drive back home.  I give you thanks that I can eat and drink and am in generally good health.

Lord, I thank you for meeting me here, at this time and place, as I pray.  Thank you for making me aware of your presence wherever I go.  I feel more at peace in this moment than I have all morning.  I ask that you bless the person in front of me and behind me.

I ask that you bless the checkout person as she does her job hour by hour, dealing with so many people.  God, what a joy to be in this moment and not just be on “life autopilot.”  I give you thanks through Jesus Christ, Amen.

Prayer to Not Focus on the Past

God, I need your help.  I can’t seem to shake all the things in my past.  In my mind, I keep bringing up all the bad things I’ve done, even as I know you’ve forgiven me for them.

I know scripture says you forget, but I just seem to focus on my past so much that I can’t even enjoy the present moment.  I certainly don’t have much energy left to consider the future, that’s for sure!  I’m praying to you because I don’t want to get stuck in the past.  I want to do like the song says and turn my eyes upon Jesus.

I’d like to be able to focus on today, on what’s happening right now.  I can’t dwell in the past, as it’s already past.  It’s done and gone.  Help me let go of the past and redirect my focus on right now.  I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Prayer to Not Focus on the Future

Lord, you are the God of yesterday, today, and forever and I pray to you asking to help me.  I keep looking at the future, trying to guess at what’s coming because I don’t want to be unprepared.  My pastor said it might be more about me wanting to be in control, especially with stuff that’s beyond my ability to control.

I can’t seem to enjoy what I’m doing in the present.  My mind wanders to what might happen five minutes from now, or next week, or how this action will have impact a year from now.  It’s hard for me to even be in conversation with someone because I’m not really listening–I’m thinking about tomorrow.

I want to be a good friend and family member, but I can’t do that if I’m not really ever here, right now.  I don’t want to ignore the future, but I pray that you will work in my mind and heart to bring me peace.  I want to enjoy what I have at this moment, and who I’m with.  In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Prayer to Focus on Now

God, I need to focus on right here, right now.  I have a big presentation and I’ve got to be dialed in for the entire time.  I have a big imagination and I like to daydream, but for the next 20 minutes I ask for your help to focus on the actual present, the reality of the moment I am in.

I’ve got the presentation down pat, I believe, because I have rehearsed it over and over and over again.  I need to get into the groove of speaking and making my points.  Help me be calm and speak with clarity and confidence.  Don’t let my mind race ahead to what people will think or what they will say about me.

I pray this prayer in the name of Jesus, Amen.

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Prayer to Be Fully Present With Your Family

Dear Jesus, I need to be more fully present with my family tonight.  Really, I need to be more fully present whenever I am with my family.  But lately, while we may be in the same room together, I’m not all the way there.

I’ve been working on a business proposal instead of enjoying watching a show together.  I’ve been scrolling on my phone when my kids have tried to tell me about their day.  I could go on and on with how I try to multitask when I’m with my family and the only thing that really gets accomplished is they feel ignored and I feel guilty.

I found some good tips I will implement when I get home.  I will turn my phone off and put it someplace not where we gather as family.  I will look at the person in my family who is talking to me.  Just with those two small steps, I think I can make a good start, Lord.

Help me to be disciplined each day with those two new steps.  I can’t do it all at once but I’d like to enjoy my family–they’re all I got.  Forgive me for my misdirected priorities, Lord God.  In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Prayer to Be Fully Present at Work

Dear Jesus, I want to be fully present when I’m at work.  I don’t mean ignore other people or anything, but I want to focus on what I’m doing and do a good job when I’m at work.  I don’t want to be a quiet quitter and just do the bare minimum.

I want to produce solid results and give quality work for my company.  I want to be able to listen to my co-workers when they come to me with a question.  I want to help them with what they are doing.  I want to be fully present, so that each day I contribute toward a greater good with my employer.

And then, when I leave each day, help me to leave work at work and not bring any of it home with me.  I ask all of this in the name of Jesus, who said a worker is worthy of their hire.  Amen.

Prayer to Listen For God in the Present Moment

God, will you speak to me in this moment?  Can I quiet the noise in my anxious thoughts to hear you if you speak to me?  Your truth in scripture says that you are with me wherever I am.  Your truth in scripture says that you will never leave me, never forsake me, never abandon me.

I believe that God!  I also believe that you are speaking all the time and I want to hear you in this moment.  I will keep seeking to listen for your still, small voice.  I will keep seeking to make myself aware of your Holy whisper in the present moment.  I pray this request through Jesus Christ, my Lord, Amen.

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Prayer to Love in the Present Moment

Lord, I ask for you to fill me with your Spirit so that I can love in the present moment.  I’m about to talk with some people that I don’t like all that much but I want to be a vessel of your grace in our conversation.

Help me to see them as fellow humans you created with love.  Help to put aside my bias and negativity so that I can truly accept them and love them as they are.  And I guess, if I’m praying this for this moment, then I may as well pray that you help me to love in whatever moment I find myself.

Maybe the more I pray about loving in the current circumstance, then the more I will actually think about doing it. Thank you for hearing my prayer through Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Final Thoughts

Being present in the current circumstances can be challenging, but just because it may be tough, doesn’t mean we can’t strive for it.  We have only the time we have each day, and once a moment has happened, it is gone.  The Apostle Paul encourages us to be attentive to how we live each day:

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5.15-16, NIV).

Jean Pierre Caussade was a Jesuit priest who lived back in the 1700s.  Why that matters to you and me is that when he lived, he wrote about the sacrament of the present moment, an understanding that whatever you are doing, God is present in it.

Moreover, whatever you are doing can be considered an act of service to God.

Caussade was nudging us toward remembering the scriptural truth found in the letter of James:

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” James 4.13-15, NIV).

We can’t control the future because it hasn’t arrived yet.  We can’t change the past because it has already happened. What we have is the day before us.  We can be faithful to who is before us at the moment.  We can be faithful to what we have to any any given moment.

We can be fully present and enjoy a grace-filled now, especially as we pray to God.

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