The Practice of the Presence of God

The Practice of the Presence of God

by Brother Lawrence


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781949627039
Publisher: H Publishers
Publication date: 09/20/2018
Pages: 52
Sales rank: 269,523
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.11(d)

About the Author

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (c. 1614 - 12 February 1691) served as a lay brother in a Carmelite monastery in Paris. Christians commonly remember him for the intimacy he expressed concerning his relationship to God as recorded in a book compiled after his death, the classic Christian text, The Practice of the Presence of God.

Brother Lawrence was born Nicolas Herman in Hériménil, near Lunéville in the region of Lorraine, located in modern-day eastern France. As a young man, Herman's poverty forced him into joining the army, which guaranteed him meals and a small stipend. During this period, Herman claimed an experience that set him on a unique spiritual journey.

He fought in the Thirty Years' War and following an injury, left the army and served as a valet. After some time, he joined the Discalced Carmelite Priory in Paris.

Nicolas entered the priory in Paris as a lay brother, not having the education necessary to become a cleric, and took the religious name, "Lawrence of the Resurrection". He spent almost all of the rest of his life within the walls of the priory, working in the kitchen for most of his life and as a repairer of sandals in his later years.

Despite his lowly position in life and the priory, his character attracted many to him. He had a reputation for experiencing profound peace and visitors came to seek spiritual guidance from him. The wisdom he passed on to them, in conversations and in letters, would later become the basis for the book, The Practice of the Presence of God. Father Joseph de Beaufort, later vicar general to the Archbishop of Paris, compiled this work after Brother Lawrence died. It became popular among Catholics and Protestants alike, with John Wesley and A. W. Tozer recommending it to others.

His death in 1691 occurred in relative obscurity, but his teachings lived on in the compilation of his words.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1 First Conversation

I met Brother Lawrence for the first time today. He told me that God had been especially good to him in his conversion. He was eighteen at the time, and still in the world. He told me that it had all happened one winter day, as he was looking at a barren tree. Although the tree's leaves were indeed gone, he knew that they would soon reappear, followed by blossoms and then fruit. This gave him a profound impression of God's providence and power which never left him. Brother Lawrence still maintains that this impression detached him entirely from the world and gave him such a great love for God that it hasn't changed in all of the forty years he has been walking with Him. Brother Lawrence had formerly been a servant to the treasurer of the monastery and had been very clumsy. He believed that in order to be saved, he'd have to be punished for this clumsiness. Therefore, he sacrificed all of the pleasures in his life to God. But, rather than punishing him, God gave him nothing but wholehearted satisfaction. Often, he would tell the Lord endearingly that he felt deceived, because his Christian walk had thus far been so pleasant and not filled with suffering as he had anticipated.

Brother Lawrence insisted that it is necessary to always be aware of God's presence by talking with Him throughout each day. To think that you must abandon conversation with Him in order to deal with the world is erroneous. Instead, as we nourish our souls by seeing God in His exaltation, we will derive a great joy at being His. Another thing he mentioned was that our faith is too weak. Instead of letting faith rule our lives, we are guided by our petty, everyday, mechanical prayers, which are always changing. The Church's only road to the perfection of Christ is faith.

The dear brother remarked that we must give ourselves totally to God, in both temporal and spiritual affairs. Our only happiness should come from doing God's will, whether it brings us some pain or great pleasure. After all, if we're truly devoted to doing God's will, pain and pleasure won't make any difference to US. We also need to be faithful, even in dry periods. It is during those dry spells that God tests our love for Him. We should take advantage of those times to practice our determination and our surrender to Him. This will often bring us to a maturity further on in our walk with God.

Brother Lawrence wasn't surprised by the amount of sin and unhappiness in the world. Rather, he wondered why there wasn't more, considering the extremes to which the enemy is capable of going. He said he prayed about it, but because he knew God could rectify the situation in a moment if He willed it, he didn't allow himself to become greatly concerned. To succeed in giving ourselves to God as much as He desires, we must constantly guard our souls. In addition to being involved in spiritual matters, the soul is involved in the things of this world. But when we turn our backs on Him, exposing our souls to the world, He will not so easily answer our call. When we are willing to accept God's help and guard our souls according to His desires, we may commune with Him whenever we like.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Dorothy Day1
Editor's Introduction14
The First Conversation--August 3, 166623
The Second Conversation--September 28, 166627
The Third Conversation--November 22, 166636
The Fourth Conversation--November 25, 166640
I.To a Nun49
II.To a Nun54
III.To the Same58
IV.To a Woman in the World62
V.To a Religious65
VI.To a Nun73
VII.To a Woman in the World76
VIII.To a Nun78
IX.To the Same81
X.To a Woman in the World84
XI.To a Nun86
XII.To a Nun91
XIII.To a Nun94
XIV.To the Same96
XV.To the Same98
XVI.To the Same100
Spiritual Maxims
On Faith105
Necessary Practices for Attaining the Spiritual Life106
How We Must Worship God in Spirit and in Truth110
Of the Union of the Soul with God111
Of the Presence of God114
Means for Attaining the Presence of God117
The Benefits of the Presence of God119

Customer Reviews

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The Practice of the Presence of God 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed when I gave this to a friend for his birthday only to find out it's not the whole book! My copy which I've had for ages has 4 Conversations, 13 letters, and a 38 page section of "Spiritual Maxims." The copy he got has 4 Conversations and 4 Letters... that's it! Not even half of the book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bro. Lawrence is someone all Christians should model after because he, himself, modeled after Jesus. He teaches Christians how to live an overcoming life avoiding sin and walking in the presence of God. Read it. I loved it.
Kiefer Winborn More than 1 year ago
brother lawrence had some of the best thoughts on spiritual subjects.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most powerful books on fellowship with God that you will ever read. The author shares how to have a prayer life throughout your whole day and every waking moment of your life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book alot. If you are wanting a deeper understanding of God, or want to be incouraged, this is the book for you. You will not regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Nook book listed on the page with this book is NOT the same book as the paperback and does not contain all of the content.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book in teens when first became a Christian. Very practical steps to become in God's presence throughout your very day and night, through home, work, and spiritual journey. Short, but filled with practical Christian ethics
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book shows us how to serve God in Simplicity and joy. We don't have to be perfect because only God is. Teaches that we serve God best when we serve in the ordinary tasks of the day. This is a book to read & reread throughout your spiritual journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good. Will take more than one reading to properly absorb, because of language difference at time written. Excellent principles to enhance one's awareness of and relationship with God.
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This book will not disappoint. Everyone should read it.
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Mayos1 More than 1 year ago
This book breaks down the rigorously structured views and practices regarding how to be and pray as a Christian into an every day real world approach. Brother Lawrence emphasizes how frequent chats with God (versus occasional formal prayers) will assist us with experiencing God's love and presence each and every day.
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