The valley of death’s shadow is a place no one wants to be, yet Yahweh is certainly there if I am there. Against the backdrop of our Lord’s cry on the cross “Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani!” and His glorious resurrection (a) we are sobered by the terror of His death and (b) anchored by the God-with-us in the Son and the Spirit.
Let us stop allowing ourselves to be treated as aliens. Prayers for God’s presence are uninformed. The people who assume God’s absence are ungrateful and forgetful. God-with-us is neither temporary nor conditional. If there is no intention to deceive, the prayer leader – regardless of any title he or she bears – by asking for God to be present is wasting time, is stomping on the ironclad promise “I will never leave you or forsake you”, and misrepresents the facts.
Think what would it mean if God moved out of his residence, moved on from his relationship with one individual.