Nothing Without the Lord

by | Nov 5, 2022

A priest once told me, “Whatever you do, remember: Nothing without the Lord.” 

That phrase stuck with me: “Nothing without the Lord.” It’s helpful to remember that whether I’m waiting to get off an airplane, driving in my car, or just working, the Lord is always with me. He is always near. He is always in us, and we can be aware of Him. This makes me smile. It’s a peace and a joy to know the Lord is always with us. 

This is a simple way to remember fundamental truths. The Lord will be with us until the end of the age (Mt 28:20). He’s the vine, we’re the branches, and if we stay connected to Him, we’re going to bear much fruit (Jn 15:15). His grace, love, and friendship are always with us. Jesus and the Father will come and dwell with us (Jn 14:23). 

Scripture says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. . . . The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:4-7). The phrase “nothing without the Lord” helps keep my mind and heart in the Lord and helps me make my needs known to Him. He is my friend; He’s with me always. The more I can remember that the more his presence, love, and peace can be in my heart. 

Scripture also says, “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thes 5:16-18). Rejoicing always is a fundamental part of God’s will for us. We’ve been delivered, we’ve been saved, we are loved, and if we keep following Jesus, we’re going to join Him in the most overwhelming love, communion, and goodness of eternal life. It’s already beginning, but it’s going to blossom after our deaths. When we’re raised from the dead, it’s going to be amazing, so rejoice always—even amidst the difficulty. 

“Pray constantly” (1 Thes 5:17). I’m finding this phrase, “Nothing without the Lord,” a way of praying more constantly. My goal is to remember, more and more frequently, to thank the Lord, ask for his help, and acknowledge his presence in everything.  

People often say they wish they knew God’s will for their lives. This verse tells us, “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thes 5:16-18; emphasis mine). It couldn’t be clearer: Nothing without the Lord. 

Even in the very most mundane and bodily aspects of life, give glory to God—because the Lord is with us always. After all, Scripture tells us, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). 

I travel a lot, and when I’m alone in a strange city, it helps to remember the Lord is at my side. Sometimes we experience his presence, sometimes we don’t, but in faith to acknowledge that the Lord is always with us is important. 

St. Teresa of Avila said, “All harm comes to us from not keeping our eyes fixed on You; if we were to look at nothing else but the way, we would soon arrive. . . . Remember Jesus close to your side. . . . Get used to this practice! Get used to it! I’m not asking to do anything more than look at Him.”1 That’s virtually identical to, “Nothing without the Lord.” If we keep our eyes on Jesus, we will soon find ourselves at our destination, and we will get the help, strength, peace, joy, and confidence we need to manage the challenges of daily life in this world. 

Work Cited 
  1. Ralph Martin, “The Fulfillment of All Desire” (Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing, 2006), 129.


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About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Ralph Martin</a>

Ralph Martin

Ralph Martin is president of Renewal Ministries. He also hosts The Choices We Face, a widely viewed weekly Catholic television and radio program distributed throughout the world. Ralph holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome and is a professor and the director of Graduate Theology Programs in the New Evangelization at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He was named by Pope Benedict XVI as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization and was also appointed as a “peritus” to the Synod on the New Evangelization. Ralph is the author of a number of books, the most recent of which are A Church in Crisis: Pathways ForwardThe Fulfillment of All DesireThe Urgency of the New Evangelization, and Will Many Be Saved? He and his wife Anne have six children and nineteen grandchildren and reside in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


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