Day 1 – Introducing Brother Lawrence
Brother Lawrence was an ordinary Christian man who loved and served God in France in the 17th century.
He described himself as a clumsy oaf who broke everything. He worked in the kitchen of a church monastery and as he grew older repaired sandals.
At first he was overwhelmed and frustrated with all the rules for prayer that he was encouraged to follow. So in simplicity, he gave himself to one spiritual habit – practicing the presence of God.
He discovered that he could cultivate God’s presence in the kitchen or the shop, in the midst of all the banging pots and pans or sewing up dirty sandals.
He discovered that he could be just as close to God in the kitchen or the shop as he could in participating in a Communion Service, praying on his knees, or taking a spiritual retreat.
Brother Lawrence believed that if we would invite God into our lives as frequently as possible – spending time in God’s Word, talking with God throughout the day, thinking of God’s attributes with consistent regularity, just being with God – practicing his presence – we would be filled “with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8).
After he died a collection of his conversations, letters, and maxims were compiled into a small book, The Practice of the Presence of God, which continues to encourage Christians today.
When I cultivate God’s near presence, I likewise find myself closer to God. I discovered this the first time I read his collected writings and have repeatedly relearned it. And I’m still working at it.
We can be as close to God while singing in worship or spending daily time with God as we can while we are cooking a meal or checking our phones.
“Though you have not seen him [Jesus Christ], you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8).
Action Step: Whatever you’re doing – getting ready for the day or crawling into bed at night, working online or reading a book, talking or listening, sitting or commuting, working or playing, eating or cleaning up – take a moment, however brief, and become aware of God’s near presence.
This is God’s Word for you today,