The Practice of the Presence of God

God’s Presence is with us Always – Image courtesy of SXU/fotoviva

I am currently reading through The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence and it is a profoundly inspirational book.

Although not compiled by Brother Lawrence itself it provides a great insight into his practice of seeking constant communion with God. It details his methods and practices and gives a good inspiration to fulfil the words of the Apostle Paul when he states that we are “to pray without ceasing”. Brother Lawrence seems to have mastered this during his religious life.

A word of warning, though – it appears that Brother Lawrence was devoutly attached to the Romanist Church and the monastic life, and there are aspects of both that make me, as an evangelical Christian, somewhat uneasy.

Yet the descriptions in this book, through a series of conversations and a series of letters, give a good impetus to me to seek to be in greater and closer communion with my God and remain in fellowship with Him.

Brother Lawrence’s view is quite profoundly stated in the opening section of this book:

[He] related that we should establish ourselves in a sense of God’s Presence by continually conversing with Him. It was a shameful thing to quit His conversation to think of trifles and fooleries. We should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of God which would yield us great joy in being devoted to Him

It is too often in the Christian life that our minds wander from a sense of God – yet Brother Lawrence, after many years of struggle with sin and condemnation, seems to have found that by constant prayer he was able to enjoy a peace and joy that is truly the mark of the Holy Spirit working in us.

Brother Lawrence did have times when this conversation slipped, and also had times when upon a reflection after tasks had been done had found himself to have fallen short. In such instances he advises: “Without being discouraged on account of our sins, we should pray for His grace with a perfect confidence, as relying upon the infinite merits of our Lord.”

Brother Lawrence would confess his sins and shortcomings and then think upon them no more as he returned to his conversation with God.

So much can be learned from this book and from Brother Lawrence’s experience and practice and I would thoroughly recommend it to your reading.

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4 Comments

Filed under Faith

4 responses to “The Practice of the Presence of God

  1. I love this little book, brother. I hope you have the version with the spiritual maxims. I have read and listened to The Practice of the Presence of God probably 100 times. After reading your familiar quotes, from the book, I think it is time to read it again. I named my blog The King’s Presence because of Brother Lawrence’s book. Although, I don’t yet practice Christ’s presence perfectly, my joy in Him continues to grow. Right now, I have stopped to love Him in my Spirit. I do believe that if our desire is to love Him, enjoy Him, rest in Him, practice His presence without ceasing, He is faithful to bring us there. He is faithful to remind us of Himself, when we have forgotten Him. He desires this fellowship far more than we do.

    I also recommend The Temple Within by Milt Rodriguez, which actually has a quote from Brother Lawrence in it.

    • Thanks for that comment Peter. I have much experience of God not being willing that I should forget Him – though I fall into sin and have oftentimes felt alienated from God, yet He has in reality been with me and has always drawn me back to Him.

      I pray that God will restore you to the place where love for Him is the overarching motive of all you do. God bless!

      • I realized my phrase “I stopped to love” may have been interpreted that I have stopped loving Him. But, I meant that I turned my attention to Him in my spirit to love Him, while reading your blog post.

      • Apologies Peter that I misunderstood, but thank you for making things clear. You got some extra prayer too! 😉

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