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Brother Lawrence summarized his journey of practicing God’s presence: While “somewhat difficult in the beginning, [it] secretly accomplishes marvelous effects in the soul, draws abundant graces from the Lord, and, when practiced faithfully, imperceptibly leads it to this simple awareness, to this loving view of God present everywhere, which is the holiest, the surest, the easiest, and the most efficacious form of prayer.” What happens when you develop an awareness of God? You see God more and more at work within

Praying breath prayers – prayers that you can pray in one breath – is a valuable exercise in practicing God’s presence. Brother Lawrence illustrated: “Formulate a few words interiorly, such as: ‘My God, I am completely yours,’ or ‘God of love, I love you with all my heart,’ or ‘Lord, fashion me according to your heart,’ or any other words love spontaneously produces.” Simple breath prayers can express our heartfelt desires, keep our minds fixed on God, and move our wills to

In practicing God’s presence Brother Lawrence had no qualms in reiterating ways for making the habit stick: (1) The priority of “purity of life”. (2) That “fostering this awareness of God within, must always be performed gently, humbly, and lovingly, without giving in to disturbance or anxiety.” (3) Taking “special care that this inner awareness, no matter how brief it may be, precedes our activities, that it accompanies them from time to time, and that we complete all of them

To keep us from discouragement, Brother Lawrence says that God often brings the Christ follower “savory, delicious [spiritual] nourishment, though it never sought nor did anything to obtain it, and in no way contributed to it itself, except by its consent.” We do actively pursue God. Yet at times God will surprise us with his manifest presence and we experience something wonderful, unexpected and unsought. A situation changes. A financial benefit. A job breakthrough. A physical touch. A new friendship. A conflict

Brother Lawrence wrote, “We would be surprised to know what the soul sometimes says to God, who is so pleased with these conversations that he grants it all its desires, providing it is willing to remain with him always, and in its center.” Have you ever been surprised by your own words in prayer? Perhaps the words you prayed, the spirit and passion in which you prayed them, the authority in prayer you exercised, the Scriptures that came to mind that were