Years ago, I read The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.
In the 70’s this book was a huge ‘read’ by any self-respecting follower of Jesus. I participated in at least 6 small group studies and preached a sermon series on the book.
At our hippie church, we didn’t talk about movies or TikTok, we shared the latest Brother Lawrence quote.
He lived 1611-1691. Wounded in war, Brother Lawrence became a monk in France where he began writing about experiencing the presence of God. In his monastery he served God with humble chores, some of which included cooking.
His classic quote below, I have remembered for over 40 years…
In the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things. I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees in the Chapel.
For 300 years, the writings and sayings of Brother Lawrence have attracted and encouraged Christians. Brother Lawrence believed that it was always possible to be in the presence of God.
Wow. I can do this for about a minute and then I think about whether I need another Starbucks from my Keurig coffee maker.
Acts 3:20 in the English Standard Version says, “That times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
In our age of tension, disagreement, and anger … I need times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. The writings of Brother Lawrence have been popular and helpful for hundreds of years simply because he learned to walk in the constant presence of the Lord.
In the book Practice … the below quote describes how he lived …
Brother Lawrence had some outside business to attend to, he never worried about it beforehand. Rather, he found God would give him a picture as clear as a mirror image of exactly what to do at precisely the right moment… Before he had experienced God’s swift help in his affairs, he had attempted to plan every detail, doing the job in his own strength. Now, though, acting with childlike simplicity in God’s sight, he did everything for the love of God, thanking Him for His guidance. Everything he did passed calmly, in a way that held him close to the loving presence of God.
Okay … another Wow quote …
All we have to do is to recognize God as being intimately present within us. Then we may speak directly to Him every time we need to ask for help, to know His will in moments of uncertainty, and to do whatever He wants us to do in a way that pleases Him.
All we have to do!!!??? I began trying this 40 years ago. By God’s grace I’m still trying, and I’m making a renewed effort this morning to walk completely in God’s presence.
Read the book and Brother Lawrence will talk about faith … the key ingredient to walking in the presence.
Many continue to read Brother Lawrence. If you download a Kindle copy today, note that Amazon lists it as a bestseller (300 years after being written). It is downloaded because Brother Lawrence actually learned to walk in God’s Presence.
Okay … another Wow.
A final quote …
(Brother Lawrence) has become so accustomed to God’s divine presence that he relies on it for help on all sorts of occasions. His soul has been filled with a constant inner joy that is sometimes so overwhelming, he feels compelled to do what may seem to some as childish things, in order to prevent the feeling from becoming too intense.
Joy too intense. Here I go again … Wow.