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The Practice of the Presence of God

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  28,682 Ratings  ·  783 Reviews
This work contains letters, ways and spiritual principles of Brother Lawrence, the 17th-century French monk who in his monastery kitchen discovered an overwhelming delight in God's presence.
Paperback, 93 pages
Published July 1st 1994 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 1691)
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Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone serious about the spiritual life
February 7, 2018: Lent starts a week from today. If you haven’t figured out anything to do yet, why not journey with the French and Austrian Carmelites as they reflect along with Brother Lawrence in his ‘practicing the presence of God’. The retreat is on-line, free and you may sign-up here. You will receive weekly reflections on this delightful little classic which has fascinated and challenged many since these letters were compiled several hundred years ago. The book itself can also be read on- ...more
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
Douglas Wilson
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
I read this many years ago (I think), but just now listened to it on Audible. Enjoyed it -- he has a good functional grasp of grace, even though his theology of it was a little muddy.
Sep 24, 2011 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.
Jan 14, 2009 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
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
Jan 24, 2013 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
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
Dec 29, 2012 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”"

For more info on contemplative prayer, visit:
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
Mike E.
Sep 13, 2013 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.

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
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Catholic man who loved Jesus with all his heart. Even Protestants covet this book in our time. Since I'm a Calvinist, I'm one of them.

This devotee finds God in mundane tasks, like washing dishes. Read in 1999.
Aug 30, 2010 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
Aug 16, 2015 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
Apr 09, 2012 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
Will Thomas
Nov 02, 2011 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
Sep 15, 2013 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
Natalie Weber
Oct 29, 2009 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
Oct 06, 2010 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
Aug 16, 2012 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 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!
Rachael Marsceau
This is by far the most Catholic book I've ever read. I was surprised to discover that, apart from one chapter, the book is not written by Brother Lawrence, but rather it is a compilation of letters and conversations collected by a friend of his, who wanted Brother Lawrence's life and service to be remembered after his death.

While I found the idea of constant prayer and moment-by-moment submission to the will of God to be motivating and inspirational (albeit a little mystical perhaps), I mourne
Peter Broady
Aug 05, 2013 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
Rick Davis
Aug 01, 2010 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
KC McCauley
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will help you acknowledge and realize the presence of God more in your daily life. He was a man who would "pray without ceasing." He truly had a heart for the Lord, and reading this book will help you have the same. Here is what was said about Brother Lawrence:

• So, likewise, in his business in the kitchen (to which he had naturally a great aversion), having accustomed himself to do everything there for the love of GOD, and with prayer, upon all occasions, for His grace to do his work
Brother Lawrence sets an example that we should all strive for in how we are to perceive the world, our relationship with people, work and ultimately our relationship with God through this simple and short book that includes letters that the Brother wrote to various friends and other things that were collected from him or written about him.
To acknowledge that God is sovereign and that we truly exist and take each breath because God wants us to and that our greatest joy and fulfillment in our li
Aug 09, 2010 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
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I purchased this book out of curiosity after my pastor read a brief excerpt from it in church one Sunday. It consists of a record of conversations with, and letters from, Nicholas Herman of Lorraine, or better known as 'Brother Lawrence', a 17 century monk, regarding his personal walk with God and how to actually practice the constant presence of God in one's own life.

From the very first page, I've wondered how I could write a review to properly give this book justice. While there are certain s
Eric Bradley
Apr 12, 2013 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
Gottfried Sam
Dec 22, 2015 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
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Everyday spirituality 6 64 Oct 31, 2013 08:49AM  
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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.” 141 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.” 79 likes
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