The Practice of the Presence of God

The title of this article comes from a book that was first published in 1692. It is based on a series of conversations and letters between an obscure monk named Brother Lawrence and various friends of his. Lawrence never wanted his writings published, but we are most blessed that they were. Lawrence was born in 1614 named Nicolas Herman but renamed to Brother Lawrence years later.

Lawrence was a simple man who was injured in war as a soldier. For the rest of his life, he only cooked and cleaned dishes for the other monks at a monastery in Paris, France. In his simple life, he lived in the presence of God each day. Friends, this is the life God would have for you and for me.

Spiritual growth is not having more mountain top experiences. Spiritual growth is having a constant presence of God in the smallest details of your life. “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand…” (Psalm 139:17-18).

I hear people say they do not feel God’s presence. The problem is simple, they do not spend time with Him. You must get into His presence to feel His presence. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” (James 4:8).

This wonderful book explains the simple way in which we too can live in the presence of God. Lawrence said, “…we must establish ourselves in the presence of God by continually conversing with Him”. Friends, don’t make your faith complicated, for it is the simple faith that reaches the depth of all that God would have for us. Stop chasing miracles and gifts, and just seek God.

Those who pray much will be filled much by the presence of God. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Prayer is your time with God, that divine place whereby we sit in His presence. Jesus taught, “…that men always ought to pray…” (Luke 18:1).

We need to spend more time thanking Him for all He gives us and less time complaining about the things we don’t have. “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving…” (Psalm 95:2).

Lawrence said, “We must behave very simply with God, and speak frankly to Him, asking Him for help in the things as they happen.” Friend, if we would simply talk to God on everything that is before us, our lives would be radically changed. Pray aloud, that the demons would tremble at your conversations with God. Pray always, that you would never walk this life alone.

Stop regretting your failures and just turn to Him. “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

I want to be so hidden in Your presence that trouble can’t even find me. “You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues” (Psalm 31:20).

Lawrence wrote, “…we must always continue to labor, since in the life of the Spirit, not to advance is to fall back.” He also wrote, “To become truly spiritual the heart must be empty of all other things, since God desires to be its only Master.” Friend, this Spirit-filled life can be yours today just as it was for Lawrence some 3oo plus years ago.

The presence of God never depends upon the efforts of man. You need never plead for the Holy Spirit to fill you, but only ask. “…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man …that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16,19).

It is in that moment when you realize you cannot live one minute apart from God, that His presence will remain forevermore in you. “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:10).

There is one thing Lawrence wrote that pierced my heart, he said: “Do not leave Him by Himself.” Friend, if you only knew. If you only understood. God longs to have you in His presence. Won’t you make it your aim today that more and more God would fill your day?

If you want eternal joy, then get into the presence of the only One who can give it to you. “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

You can tell those who are closest to God, as they talk to Him as their friend. “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11).

I would encourage you to get this book, it can be bought for little money or found for free online. But don’t only read the book, live it. Here is the secret of living this most blessed life: don’t seek to live your faith to be seen by men, but by God. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry” (Psalm 34:15).

Blessings to you,

Paul Balius

All Scripture is quoted from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted. Please use the version you prefer to review the verses shown here. The best version is the one you read. An even better version is the one you live.

All of Brother Lawrence’s quotes are from the translation by Robert J. Edmonson, ISBN 0-941478-29-7.

8 thoughts on “The Practice of the Presence of God

  1. Greetings Paul and thanks for the great work your doing may God continue using you.

      1. Thank you for thes words of encouragement. When I pray I don’t offten feel his presence. But you have encouraged me to press on. Thank you once again


      2. You are most welcome, keep pressing in. If you ever read the full text from Brother Lawrence, you will find he too worked at this over much time. It is in that process of drawing near that we develop our desire to be with Him.

  2. Thank you Paul… your insights have encouraged and challenged me. The Holy Spirit has been using Brother Lawrence to speak to my heart for the past few months. Am asking God to help me better understand… “To become truly spiritual the heart must be empty of all other things, since God desires to be its only Master.”

    1. You are very welcome Larry. I have been so blessed by all that was written of the words from Brother Lawrence. I long to have that same closeness and humble spirit in my walk with God.

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