Presence or Performance?

Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’ So they said to Him, ‘Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?’

John 6:29-30 ESV

Prayer requests are not hard to come by these days. I sit down in the morning before the Lord and He easily brings to mind the friend who is grieving, the loved one who is sick, the elderly, the trials, and pains in my own life. It is a growing list every day it seems.

That doesn’t even count the bad news we saw last night on TV that needs prayer; politics, growing cases of the virus, economic issues. It can feel so overwhelming and I feel so small as I bring it all to the Father in the morning.

As I sat before Him again this morning, the thought occurred to me afresh that He was really listening. He was present in the room with me. I sat soaking in the truth of that moment. He is near to us and makes His dwelling with His people, it is His way.

I began to pull out the list of prayer requests. I know He wants me to bring Him all that concerns me, that the trials and details, He desires to hear my heart even though He knows it already. He is after relationship. Relationship means casting my cares into His lap.

This morning in my Bible reading in John 6, I sensed this question surface from the Lord, “Are you after My presence or my performance?”


I do so love His Presence, and I love the sense of Him with me throughout my day.

How often do I bring a “to-do” list to God and expect performance over simply desiring Presence?

When my boys were small, they loved to cuddle. They would crawl into my lap silently after naptime, complete with their favorite blanket and stuffed Elmo. It was the sweetest. I would inhale their scent and enjoy their warm, fresh-from-sleep velvety soft skin.

They didn’t say anything, nor did I. It was just a moment of presence. Time together. I enjoyed that they just wanted to be with me. No expectations. No Christmas list given. Just a moment to sit with Mama.

There is certainly time for requests, and He desires we bring them to Him.

But what if our heart and motive started with a desire for His Presence?

Crawling into the Father’s lap during the hard trials to spend time with Him, acknowledging He is near without asking Him to perform on our behalf. That is real intimacy and relationship.

In those precious moments with my boys, bonds were built between us, not when I bought their requested item at Target, but when I cuddled them, sang over them, and we enjoyed one another’s nearness.

  • When was the last time you just sat in His Presence? Enjoy the moment knowing your Father is near to you and loves you and delights in you.
  • Can you relate to moments like this with your own children or nieces and nephews? How differently might you see God’s response to you when you consider that He feels this way about you?

Check out some of my favorite quiet time goodies HERE.

About Me

I’m Mariel & I invite you to greater intimacy with God through His Word for yourself, using my TEND method of Bible study.

Leave a Comment