“Practicing the Presence of God”
Do you struggle with prayer? Brother Lawrence was a monk who was born in the 17th century He never received any formal education and yet he left behind one of the classic memoirs of the devotional life, The Practice of the Presence of God.
In 1666 he became a lay brother in Paris. He worked in the kitchen calling himself the “servant of servants.” He was at first confused about prayer because of the “many different ways of going to God.”
And so, in his own life, he determined to attempt to create a habit of living every moment in ‘the presence of God’. He labored to control the wandering of his mind as he blended work with prayers. He continued this life until he died at the age of 80. His writing expresses the joy of living daily in the presence of God.
He said, “Sometimes I imagine myself as a stone before a sculptor from which he will carve into a beautiful statue. Presenting myself before God, I ask him to form his perfect image in my soul and make me entirely like himself. The soul which enjoys God in this manner desires nothing except God . . . Let him do what he pleases with me; I desire only him and to be wholly devoted to him.”
Brother Lawrence speaks of his confusion over the ‘many different ways of going to God’ that he read about in books, until finally he resolved to relate to God in a way that fit his needs.
What personal approach to living with God have you found most helpful?
What struggles have you had with a mind wandering during prayer? Can you open yourself to the presence of God in the midst of your daily tasks?
In this time of seasonal and global change, let us turn to prayer to be connected to the God who loves us so much.
Pastor Linda Miles