from The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence


1. The most holy and necessary practice in our spiritual life is the presence of God. That means finding constant pleasure in His divine company, speaking humbly and lovingly with Him in all seasons, at every moment, without limiting the conversation in any way. This is especially important in times of temptation, sorrow, separation from God, and even in times of unfaithfulness and sin.


2. We must try to converse with God in little ways while we do our work; not in memorized prayer, not trying to recite previously formed thoughts. Rather, we should purely and simply reveal our hearts as the words come to us.


3. We must do everything with great care, avoiding impetuous actions, which are evidence of a disordered spirit. God wishes us to work gently, calmly, and lovingly with Him, asking Him to accept our work. By this continual attention to God, we will “resist the devil and cause him to flee” (James 4:7).


4. Whatever we do, even if we are reading the Word or praying, we should stop for a few minutes — as often as possible — to praise God from the depths of our hearts, to enjoy Him there in secret.

Since you believe that God is always with you, no matter what you may be doing, why shouldn’t you stop for awhile to adore Him, to praise Him, to petition Him, to offer Him your heart, and to thank Him? What could please God more than for us to leave the cares of the world temporarily in order to worship Him in our spirits?

These momentary retreats serve to free us from our selfishness, which can only exist in the world. In short, we cannot show God our loyalty to Him more than by renouncing our worldly selves as much as a thousand times a day to enjoy even a single moment with Him.

This doesn’t mean you must leave the duties of the world forever; that would be impossible. Let prudence be your guide. But I do believe that it is a common mistake of spirit-filled persons not to leave the cares of the world from time to time to praise God in their spirits and to rest in the peace of His divine presence for a few moments.


5. Our adoration of God should be done in faith, believing that He really lives in our hearts, and that He must be loved and served in spirit and in truth. Believe that He is the most independent One, upon Whom all of us depend, and that He is aware of everything that happens to us.

The Lord’s perfections are truly beyond measure. By His infinite excellence and His sovereign place as both Creator and Savior, He has the right to possess us and all that exists in both heaven and earth. It should be His good pleasure to do with each of us whatever He chooses through all time and eternity. Because of all He is to us, we owe Him our thoughts, words and actions. Let us earnestly endeavor to do this.


6. We must carefully examine ourselves to see which virtues we are in most need of, and which we find the hardest to acquire. We should also take note of the sins that we most frequently fall into and what occasions often contribute to that fall. It is in our times of struggle with these areas that we can go before God with entire confidence and remain firm in the presence of His divine Majesty.

In humble adoration, we must confess to Him our sins and weaknesses, lovingly asking for the help of His grace in our time of need. In this way, we will find that we can partake of all the virtues found in Him, even though we do not possess one of our own.

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