The Practice of the Presence of God

by
Brother Lawrence

(Adapted, Categorized and Personalized by Jim Altizer, from the title The Practice of the Presence of God, published by Fleming H. Revell Company, 1958. LOC#58-10027)

ON THE PRIORITY OF HIS PRESENCE

-Continually establish myself in a sense of God’s presence by continually conversing with Him.

-Apply myself with diligence to form a habit of conversing with God continually, referring all I do to Him.
-My only business is to love and delight myself in God.
-Accustom myself to a continual conversation with Him, with freedom and in simplicity.
-Walk before God simply, in faith, with humility and with love.
-Apply myself diligently to do nothing and think nothing which may displease Him.
-Persevere in His holy presence.
-Keep an habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with God.
-God has infinite treasure to bestow.  He pours His graces and favors plentifully; they flow like a torrent.  But I often stop this
torrent by the little value I set upon it.
-Let me make way for grace.
-Let me redeem the lost time.
-Always work at it, because not to advance in the spiritual life is to go back.
-There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.
-Continue with Him my commerce of love, persevering in His holy presence, one while by an act of praise, of adoration, or of desire; one while by an act of resignation or thanksgiving; and in all the ways which my spirit can invent.

-He requires no great matters of me: a little remembrance of Him from time to time; a little adoration; sometimes to pray for His grace, sometimes to offer Him my sufferings, and sometimes to return Him thanks for the favors He has given me, and still gives me, in the midst of my troubles, and to console myself with Him the oftenest I can.
-Lift up my heart to Him, sometimes at meals, and when I am in company; the least little remembrance will always be acceptable to Him.  I need not cry very loud; He is nearer to me than I am aware of.
-Do not always scrupulously confine myself to certain rules, or particular forms of devotion, but act with a general confidence in God, with love and humility.
-Let it be my business to keep my mind in the presence of the Lord.
-One way to recollect the mind easily at prayer time is not to let it wander too far at other times.
-My only business in this life is to please God.
-A holy habit: to think of Him always.
-I must know before I can love.  In order to know God, I must often think of Him; and when I come to love Him, I shall also think of Him often, for my heart will be with my treasure.
-Love others, but without encroaching upon the love due to God.
-If I would enjoy the peace of paradise in this life I must accustom myself to a familiar, humble, affectionate conversation with Him.
-I must hinder my spirit’s wandering from Him upon any occasion.
-Watch continually over myself, that I may not do nor say nor think anything that may displease Him.
-To arrive at this state, the beginning is difficult, for I must act purely in faith.
-Let all my employment be to know God.
-Do not love God merely for His favors, for they cannot bring me as near to God as one simple act of faith.  Let me seek Him often by faith.

ON THE PRACTICE OF HIS PRESENCE

-Nourish my soul with high notions of God.
-“I cannot do good unless You enable me.”
-Act with God in great simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, imploring His assistance in all affairs as they happen.
-Do everything for the love of God, and with prayer, upon all occasions.
-Reject useless thoughts as soon as they are perceived.
-Desire only that I might not offend Him.
-Perform all actions for the love of God.
-Consider myself as a poor criminal at the feet of his judge.
-Behold Him in my heart as a Father.
-Drive from my mind everything that is capable of interrupting my thought of God.
-Consider myself as a stone before a carver.
-Let my soul ascend and continue as it were suspended and firmly fixed in God, as in its center and place of rest.
-“My God, here I am all devoted to Thee.
Lord, make me according to Thy heart.”
-If the vessel of my soul is tossed with winds and storms, awake the Lord, who rests in it, and He will quickly calm the sea.

ON WORK

-Brother Lawerence’s Work Prayer

“O my God,
Since You are with me always
And since my responsibilities require me to apply my mind to these outward things
I beg You to grant me the grace
To continue in Your presence.
Please assist me in this
And receive all my works
And possess all my affections.”

-Never hasty nor loitering; do each thing in its season, with an even, uninterrupted composure and tranquillity of spirit.
-Worship Him, beg His grace, offer Him my heart, even in the midst of my daily business.
-Most excellent method of going to God is that of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men; purely for the love of God.

ON SUFFERINGS

-Sufferings will be sweet and pleasant to me while I am with Him; and the greatest pleasures will be, without Him, a cruel punishment to me.
-Happy those who suffer with Him.  Suffer in that manner, and seek from Him the strength to endure as much, and as long, as He shall judge to be necessary for you.
-Don’t consider sickness as a pain from nature, but rather, a favor of God.
-Find in suffering great sweetness and sensible consolation.
-He often sends diseases of the body to cure those of the soul.
-Be satisfied with the condition in which God places me.
-Offer Him my pains incessantly; pray to Him for strength to endure them.
-Get a habit of entertaining myself often with God, forgetting Him the least I can.  Adore Him in my infirmities, offering myself to Him from time to time, and in the height of my sufferings beseech Him humbly and affectionately.
-Ask of God not deliverance from my pains, but strength to bear resolutely, for the love of Him, all that He should please, and as long as He shall please.
-He is the Father of the afflicted.
-However great the sufferings may be, receive them with love.
-If I knew how much He loves me, I should always be ready to
receive equally and with indifference from His hand the sweet and the bitter.
-When I see afflictions as dispensed by the hand of my loving
-Father, my sufferings will lose their bitterness and become matters of consolation.

ON OTHER THINGS

-God always gives light in my doubts when I have no other designs but to please Him.
-Sanctification does not depend upon changing my works, but in doing that for God’s sake which I commonly do for my own.
-Don’t weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.
-The best goal to set is to become the most perfect worshiper of God I can possibly be.
-The greater perfection a soul aspires after, the more dependent it is upon divine grace.
-Don’t go faster than grace.  One does not become holy all at once.
-If He left me one moment to myself I should be the most wretched man alive.

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