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The Practice of the Presence of God and The Spiritual Maxims

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  259 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
"Believe me, count as lost each day you have not used in loving God." — Brother Lawrence
This simply written little book about prayer and Christian life conveys a humble man's thoughts on the importance of experiencing God's love. A seventeenth-century French Carmelite, Brother Lawrence spent much of his time in the kitchen of a Paris monastery. Of this experience, he said:
Paperback, 80 pages
Published March 24th 2005 by Dover Publications (first published January 28th 2000)
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Bill  Kerwin
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It is truly fitting and proper—somewhat ironic too—that the author of the shortest, sweetest, and perhaps the most useful guide to prayer and union with God was written by a Catholic who never became a saint, never became a priest, and worked almost his entire life in the kitchen.

Nicholas Herman grew up amid the violence and upheavals of The Thirty Years War, and, being a poor peasant, he joined the army in order to eat and survive. One winter, while still a soldier, he happened to gaze upon the
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
SO beautiful. Like a love story. Changes your perspective on life...when we want to be "on the mountaintop" yet we are in the valley...learning to be with God in full wherever we are and whatever we're doing, kneeling before Him. He has such wisdom, this is a book you want to read over and over. The most amazing thing is that this was written around the 17th Century and his words are so applicable today.
Patrick Riviere
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rather short collection of works that contains, I believe, the entirety of the spiritual life
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating that something like this can be passed down through the ages and arrive, on both our kindles and into our minds, to impact us just as much today and in exactly the same manor as it did then.
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Count as lost each day you have not used in loving God. - Brother Lawerence
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Practice of the Presence of God is an amazing, impacting book! There are actually two books in here..."The Practice of the Presence of God" and "Spiritual Maxims". Spiritual Maxims is very good, but wasn't very impacting to me. How did "The Practice of the Presence of God" impact me? Well, it basically brought me into a whole new realm...having a continual conversation with God. How that completely changes us so much joy and peace in whatever circumstances we're facing. The exampl ...more
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Imagining God as the "ground of all being" in the way in which Paul Tillich and others have put forth in their writing speaks to me far more than any idea of a God who brings suffering to people to toughen their faith and strengthen their soul. It must be said that in all likelihood the letters in which Brother Lawrence makes these assertions were written to specific people in circumstances which may have been viewed quite differently in the 1600s. There is much bowing, scraping, and in so doing ...more
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
My minister has mentioned this book several times, so I thought I would read it. Actually, I was disappointed. The letters were helpful, but his maxiums? I realize they were written several hundred years ago, but the language was difficult for me to follow. I wanted him to make his point and then go to the next without giving me a lot of explanation. I hate to think our ancestors couldn't understand the point without the wordiness.
Mar 15, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
three stars means i liked it. that sounds about right.

it would have been interesting to read his letters and thoughts in context...seemed to have been edited or published with the intent of maximizing it's marketability in today's christian subculture...after i read thomas a kempis, i completely forgot about brother lawrence. but that's no slight to the brother.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short book that packs a lot of punch. Reading this has helped me to see a glimpse of that joy in the Christian life that is promised to us but so few of us actually experience. The practice is fairly simple in and of itself which was a bit surprising but the difficult part is practicing consistently (isn't this always the case?). This was very encouraging - I will be reading it again and again.
Certainly a touching read, but also not much present that hadn't been said before or since. There was a trait of religious tracts from people in the religious life at these times. Rarely remarkable on their own even if they capture good truths. Touching, but one could also say redundant (my own modern bias, I suppose, against repetition in literature.)
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Why did I wait so long to read this?! Moving, practical, and deep.
Melisa Blankenship
This is a simple diary like set of reflections on Brother Lawrence's relationship with God. He has very encouraging observations about leading a simple life.
Mar 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
Shelves: readit
All Christians, new and old, should read this book. Period.
Deanna Twaddle
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insight into the life of a man who made it his life's goal to be in the presence of God moment by moment. His life is admirable, but there is little mention if grace throughout.
Dec 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
I revisit this book regularly and I love it, simplicity and humility birthed a man that knew God intimately and knew how to love.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I will return to this little book often to remind myself of the simplicity of entering into the Presence of God.
Timothy Lawrence
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"My GOD, I am wholly Thine. O GOD of Love, I love Thee with all my heart. Lord, make my heart even as Thine..."

I always find it interesting to read works written by monks and wonder how much of their teachings I should apply to my not-exactly-monastic life. (Then again, post-grad life has felt rather ascetic.) Like Á Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ, which I read last year, Brother Lawrence was equal parts comforting and challenging as devotional reading.

“The greatest glory we can give to GOD is
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting combination in a man who practiced prayer in the ordinary tasks of kitchen work yet believed the key to enjoying God was freedom from the material world, I found in Brother Lawrence's writing a mixture of the inspiring and the absurd. Perhaps this is due in part to my twenty-first century eyes reading a seventeenth century work. There are worthwhile bits - not really any new insights for me, but lots of memorable sayings. I was impressed by Brother Lawrence's love for God.
David Martin
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never fails.

This, one of the earliest books I read when I began my journey in the Lord, has remained to me one of the most precious.

Having not read it in several years now, and feeling stirred to seek some of those first things, I picked it up again a couple of months ago and have been slowly strolling my way through. Again, Brother L has left my heart well-fed. Every Christian should read this beautiful little work and chew long on its truths.
Candy Shepard
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful. Simply beautiful.
Jonathan Laboy Juárez
A wonderful book of magnanimous worth and ideally so concise it could be read in a small time, but its implications are eternal: and if read and applied as intended it will change your life! It reminds us of what is important: Loving God. You might be the most famous pastor, or go to the mission fields to give yourself, or go to church and serve there all the days of your life: and yet as Paul said: without love we are nothing!

With Brother Lawrence we have an example of a man after God's own he
May 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was loaned to me in high school by a youth leader at my church. I have now located where I stashed my own copy :) It's been a while since I read it, but I can tell you that it has some very meaningful and helpful thoughts/observations/suggestions on prayer. BTW, the Amazon/publisher's/whatever's description of this book is a bit over-the-top, a bit sensational. It IS a good book, but the blurb makes me a little sea-sick.
Apr 01, 2009 rated it liked it
This is one of those books that I believe has a lot more depth than can be found on first passing. Whenever the question of "how do you live glorifying God day-in and day-out?" is asked, this will be the book that I turn to.
Personally, I found "The Character of Brother Lawrence" the most insightful portion of the book.
david shin
Mar 19, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
This was a good book. Very short. But that's not the reason why it was good. In the quest to learn about prayer, I think it's good to be exposed to many different "styles" and approaches to prayer, including this one by Brother Lawrence.
Alicia Mooney
Nov 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
This book changed my view of spiritual connection.
Nancy Graham
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2 stars. A classic that still yields insights, 350 years after its publication.
Jul 12, 2008 added it
Excellent book! It's a small, quick read, but it contains so much wealth.
Michael Tew
rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2014
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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
More about Brother Lawrence

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“That he had no scruples; for, said he, when I fail in my duty, I readily acknowledge it, saying, I am used to do so: I shall never do otherwise, if I am left to myself. If I fail not, then I give GOD thanks, acknowledging that it comes from Him.” 0 likes
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