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Blog-Pastor-Dave Day 52 – Reintroducing Brother Lawrence

Day 52 – Reintroducing Brother Lawrence

Brother Lawrence actually never wrote the book we know as The Practice of the Presence of God. Yet this slender volume has become one of the top ten devotional classics of all time, popular among Catholics and Protestants alike, and acclaimed by many including John Wesley and A.W. Tozer.

His spiritual leader, Joseph de Beaufort, collected Brother Lawrence’s letters and notes after he died in 1691 at age 77, added four conversations he had had with Brother Lawrence, and published them in two parts in 1692 and 1694.

The Practice of the Presence of God is still being published and republished today. A complete edition would contain these four conversations, 16 of his letters, and his spiritual maxims.

We never know the eternal impact we are making on others.

Brother Lawrence never would have thought that he would make a difference. Coming from a poor peasant family. Never having received a formal education. Serving in the military and wounded in battle. Coming to genuine faith in Jesus. Failing as a religious hermit. Becoming a household assistant.

Then at age 26, in 1640, he made a serious decision to join the strict Order of Discalced Carmelites, who lived in a monastery in Paris and would go barefoot or wear only sandals.

Being assigned to the monastery kitchen with all its mundane and tedious chores of cooking and cleaning, Brother Lawrence drew near to God in the kitchen and showed the way for others to live continually in God’s presence.

He cooked meals, ran errands, scrubbed pots, and later repaired sandals, all as expressions of God’s love. He knew God as “over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:6).

The French theologian Francois Fenelon described Brother Lawrence as “gross by nature, yet delicate by grace.” Clumsy on the outside, but on the inside humble, peaceful, and holy.

Who would have thought that such an ordinary Christian man would serve as an example into a deeper relationship with Christ for more than four centuries: His simple faith. His down-to-earth wisdom. His intimacy with God. His joyful heart.

We never know the eternal impact we are making on others.

Action Step: Give God thanks for people who have shaped your spiritual life. If possible, thank them too.

This is God’s Word for you today,
Pastor Dave



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