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The Practice of the Presence of God

4.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  23,721 Ratings  ·  656 Reviews
Nicholas Herman (c. 1605-1691) was born in Lorraine, France and served as a cook and shoe repairer at a Carmelite monastery. He was only a lay member of the order, and walked with a limp from injuries incurred as a soldier, yet his private thoughts provide a wellspring of devotional insight and refreshment.
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Published (first published 1691)
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booklady
Mar 11, 2013 booklady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone serious about the spiritual life
The Practice of the Presence of God is a little gem. But it is also a book you have to be receptive to appreciate. Without this requisite receptivity, its pearls of wisdom would be wasted. But with the right frame of mind and heart, it is the perfect book.

Perfect in that while it can be read in one hour; mastery of its central concept requires a lifetime. Well, at least for this soul ... and a very long lifetime at that. And I write that without the least trace of humility, remorse or even chagr
...more
Christopher
Actually, this is more of an author review as I don't take issue with the content of the book, which is highly reccomended, but rather the inconsistent lifestyle of the author.

Here it is:

"Coram Deo": to live "before the face of God" best sums up the message of Brother Lawrence. That even the most mundane tasks can be taken up with glorying in the Lord Jesus.

This is one of those places however where we ought to heed the words of Jesus concerning the Pharisees, "do what they say but not what they
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Rhonda
Jan 14, 2009 Rhonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
The major barrier to this book is the slightly stilted language. I have recommended this to several people and they cannot get past this, essentially missing the book's message. If nothing else this makes me understand why the King James Bible remains obtuse for many.

Brother Lawrence isn’t a famous man and he didn't do anything that should make us place him on a pedestal in the social-historical scheme of things. However, what this man brings to understanding God on a daily basis, in real-life w
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Jane
Jan 31, 2013 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, christian
Where I got the book: purchased on the Nook (yes, it does happen).

I'm not really sure what to say about this little book. I guess I was expecting some great revelation about how to be a better Christian but the basic message here is "practice the presence of God every day." Hmmm. That's a bit like opening a book and finding written inside, "This is a book. Read it."

Don't get me wrong, Brother Lawrence sounds like a great guy. In fact the book is part memoir, part biography, part letters and so
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Ebookwormy
Many have heard of Brother Lawrence's quote about peeling potatoes to the glory of God. This book is a collection of his letters dealing with the topic of practicing God's presence.

This is a short but profoundly meditative read. Good stuff for mothers in a hurry who want to ponder a connection with God in the midst of busy days; also palatable for people going through a hard time to read little bits at a time and absorb them without charging through. Brother Lawrence didn't intend to write a boo
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Leslie
Sep 30, 2011 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seekers
Recommended to Leslie by: My gaurdian angel?
Shelves: spiritual
One of the best books I ever read. I can hardly believe it was written by a virtually unknown kitchen monk from like a billion years ago. Seriously useful advice on exactly how to stay connected with God in constant communion. Not a bit sentimental. Nothing vain or extraneous. Nothing obtuse. Clear, solid advice. A real treasure. i'll never part with this book. I may just buy copies for everyone's Christmas this year.
Andrea
If I would have stopped reading about 3/4 of the way through, I probably would have given this book three stars instead of two.

I was disappointed to learn that really only about half of this book was written by Brother Lawrence. The first section contains a series of "conversations" recorded by someone who had spoken with Brother Lawrence and the last section was a short biography of his life. I found this biography to be so inundated with bad theology and an almost worshipful view of Brother L
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Jenn
Top Learnings:

1. We also need to be faithful, even in dry periods. It is during those dry spells that God test our love for Him. We shoudl take advantage of those times ot practice our determination and our surrender to Him.

2. Our santification does not depend as much on charing our activities as it does on doing them for God rather than oursleves.

3. It isn't necessary that we stay in church in order to remain in God's presence. We can make our hears personal chapels where we can enter anytime t
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Bob O'bannon
In a world of constant distraction, Brother Lawrence has much to teach us about offering every moment of our waking existence to a deliberate awareness of God's gracious and intimate presence, whether we're writing a sermon or working in the kitchen. One must discipline himself to be mindful of God's constant and immediate accessibility. The result is a life of peace and joy, even in the face of a painful death.

At the same time, I found myself troubled by at least three things: 1) On several occ
...more
Rachel
Jan 03, 2015 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
While there is certainly a truism presented in this book, and though I appreciated much in it, I believe it is faulty in that it encourages a mystical view of God and the practice of contemplative prayer.

Brother Lawrence is listed here as an author than endorses contemplative prayer in this article entitled, "The Top 50 Christian Contemplative Books– A “NOT RECOMMENDED Reading List”"
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.c...

For more info on contemplative prayer, visit:
http://apprising.org/2009/1
...more
Ron
Aug 21, 2015 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian_life, short
“God alone is capable of making Himself known as he really is; we search in reasoning and in the sciences, as in a poor copy, for what we neglect to see in an excellent original.”

That also may be said of modern Christians trying to communicate the path of love and faith. This classic of faith has inspired Christians and non-Christians for over three hundred years.

This particular edition is “updated for clarity and readability.” It succeeds. I have read older translations which failed to convey
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Justin
Aug 30, 2010 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jesus
It keeps coming into my mind - how much man would be capable of if his soul were strong in the love of God, if he wanted God as much as he wanted to penetrate the power and glory of God's creation. ~ Dorthy Day, Reflections on the presence of God, p.20

[His:] disposition brought him to so great an unconcern about everything and to so complete a detachment, that it was near to the freedom of the Blessed... Nothing could hold him to earth; his vision was not bounded by time from long contemplation
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Stephanie
Apr 09, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good stuff. Free Kindle download. Read it through in one sitting.

"You need not cry very loud; He is nearer to us than we are aware of."

"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it; yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive. It is not pleasure which we ought to seek in this exercise; but let us do it from a principle of love, and because God would have us."

"It i
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Mike E.
Sep 27, 2013 Mike E. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read elsewhere this book is available as a free Kindle download. This review is based on a free version downloaded from Google Books: 1906, London: H.R. Allenson, Ltd.

Quotes:
That we ought to give ourselves up entirely to God, with regard both to things temporal and spiritual, and seek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling of His will, whether He lead us by suffering or by consolation; for all would be equal to a soul truly resigned. (10)

That we ought to act with God in the greatest simplicit
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Frank
Aug 09, 2010 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very old classic and although known by many people I wonder how many can apply his teaching. The book consists of some writings about Brother Lawrence and his practice of the presence of God and also letters written by him dealing with the practice he employed for 40 years or so as a monk. The book and practice is very simple which means it is very hard to do. You can feel the strength of his practice in every line he writes and agree with him 100% but doing it is not all that easy. Br ...more
Kazango
Sep 18, 2013 Kazango rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book 26 years ago, and now I must atone for a grave injustice I did it at that time. I was asked to read it by an acquaintance, and I agreed with distaste: can any good come out of a book written by a Catholic monk? I asked my Presbyterian self. Accordingly my opinion when finished was that it was a book of no value.

How wrong I was! Now as a Catholic I am at least honest enough to see that the book is marvelous in proposing to us that we should seek always to be mindful of our
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Will Thomas
Nov 02, 2011 Will Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A magnificent and challenging book from an uneducated man who humbly set out to serve God, and spent his life in joy. His great disappointment was that he never got to suffer as he thought he deserved!

Brother Lawrence saw his day-to-day work as service and praise to God. He set himself a discipline of awareness of the Divine Presence, until it became his habit and his life. For decades he toiled in the kitchen of the monastery, not ordained, but a lay brother, given that job because they found h
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Natalie Wickham
Oct 29, 2009 Natalie Wickham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
To be honest, the only reason I read this book is because it was included in the same volume as the afore-mentioned book on prayer by Andrew Murray. However, I found it to be a perfect continuation of the primary thing God has really been impressing upon my heart this year – the importance of walking in the Spirit and performing even the most mundane duties to His glory. I loved this thought that Brother Lawrence shares, “That in order to form a habit of conversing with God continually, and refe ...more
Jessica
Oct 06, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book! I was given it to borrow from a friend and when I saw the size of it I figured I'd have it done in an afternoon. My friend cautioned me to take my time, and I did, reading every page with mindfulness, catching bits of truths and insights not only on every page but within every sentence. This is the type of book that can be transforming depending upon the receptiveness of the reader. It is possible to experience God in the present moment, throughout one's day, living ...more
Jean Wilund
Feb 06, 2011 Jean Wilund rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The modern translation of this book is one of my all-time favorite books. Brother Lawrence had such a beautiful, genuine faith that is not beyond the reach of anyone. While we've all been inspired by great men and women of faith who have done huge things (think Hudson Taylor, Cori ten Boom...), Brother Lawrence was more like one of us, a humble - not even very talented - kitchen worker in a monastery, and yet his very present faith in God has transformed lives hundreds of years after he lived.

I
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Diane
Aug 16, 2012 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple, powerful. If one used this philosophic, spiritual path Love would be in mind consistently, constantly. Alas, the distractions of the illusory world just keep showing up and off I go again. But still, his Wisdom remains true and also in my holy mind. A very important read.
Ben Larson
Jun 10, 2012 Ben Larson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For such a short book it sums up so clearly the way we should practice abiding and remaining in Christ. Such a great book!
Gottfried
Feb 05, 2016 Gottfried rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading the Ignatian spirituality, I am amazed to see that this book lined up with the same message, "The Presence of God."

The more I get close with Christ, the deeper I see my wickedness.
I think, the message which this book taught me was that during tough times, I would to ask God to love him more than ever. The struggle would be real, but to love him during that time? Not easy

We are created to love him, every moment, at times we wander off. It is our duty to love him with all our heart
...more
Rusty Gregory
Feb 19, 2014 Rusty Gregory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must READ!
§--
Apr 11, 2010 §-- rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Amazing. Beautiful, even. I was very moved by this portrait of Brother Lawrence, a simple, unlearned monk who was lame, worked as a cook, talked to God in his heart all day with a "sweet and calm" countenance.

And for all this talk about speaking to God, all this ethereal stuff about spiritually being on Heaven while the body is on earth, this is one of the most practical books I've ever read. Brother Lawrence doesn't speak in poetry; rather, in his simple, rural peasant way, gets right to it.

1
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Rick Davis
Jul 02, 2014 Rick Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bible-theology
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection is, to borrow a phrase, a book for transformation and not merely information. In fact, as far as information goes, this book has only one main idea. Namely, we should live our lives every moment with the realization that God is present with us, and we should lift up our hearts to Him frequently in a spirit of prayer. It’s a painfully obvious principle going back to St. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing. ...more
Art
Apr 20, 2009 Art rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brother Lawrence is a 17th century Carmelite monk who engaged in a near continual conversation with God. Even while he was doing seemingly menial tasks of while he was sick, he had a constant consciousness of the presence of God.
This book is a collection of conversations with him and letters from him that describe and prescribe his daily inner and external dialogue with God.
I learned from brother Lawrence a couple of ways to sustain the dialogue. One thing I learned was that he described his c
...more
Skylar Burris
This is a collection of letters from Brother Lawrence primarily about how he obtained closeness to God through the “practice of the presence of God.” It begins with a narrative introduction about Brother Lawrence, incorporating some information from “interviews” (more like conversations) with him. There were some real gems in here that struck me, and I admire Brother Lawrence’s high spirituality, but I also found it difficult to relate to in some ways. “It is, however, proper to deprive [the bod ...more
Peter Broady
Dec 03, 2013 Peter Broady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first encountered this book while perusing my parent's bookshelf when I was younger - perhaps in my early teens - and was apparently impressed enough by it that it stuck in my memory, because while thinking this morning about the importance of realistically and continually 'conversing' with others in one's own mind - a kind of 'practice of the presence of others', I was reminded of this book and decided to re-read it.

What is remarkable about this book is how relatable it is even to someone who
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Eric Bradley
Apr 16, 2013 Eric Bradley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I have had several recommend "Brother Lawrence" (as I have heard it refereed as) over the years, for whatever reason I did not read it until now. While a wonderful read, I am glad I waited until now because of the depth that this simple book addresses the spiritual life. Brother Lawrence was a French monk who simply tried to practice what he calls “being in the presence of God” by being in constant prayer, even throughout his work day in the kitchen on his monastery. The book is collect ...more
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Everyday spirituality 6 61 Oct 31, 2013 08:49AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Practicing His Presence - 12th Sept Book 1 2 Sep 27, 2013 06:54AM  
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Brother Lawrence was born Nicolas Herman in Hériménil, near Lunéville in the region of Lorraine, located in modern day eastern France and as a young man went into the army due to his poverty. At the age of 18 he received what he felt was a revelation of the providence and power of God. He went on to fight in the Thirty Years' War and later served as a valet, but within six years joined the Discalc ...more
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“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” 113 likes
“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.” 57 likes
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