The Practice of the Presence of God


The practice of the Presence of God is a contemplative form of prayer that is a ‘practiced habit ‘ of ‘being with God’. This Practice was made famous by a Discalced Carmelite Lay Brother, Lawrence of the Resurrection, (Nicolas Herman), who lived in France in the 1600’s. A very simple man, Brother Lawrence was a cook and a sandal-repairer within the Carmelite Monastery. Well known for his wisdom, his Maxims and letters were collected and edited, and made available after his death, resulting in his spiritual masterpiece, The Practice of the Presence of God. 

Method of Practicing the Presence of God from Brother Lawrence

Speaking humbly and  lovingly with Him all the time, at every moment, especially in times of temptation, suffering, aridity, weariness, even infidelity and sin.

The practice is an application of our mind to God, or a remembrance of God present, that can be brought about either by the imagination or the understanding.

During our work and other activities, even during reading and writing or religious exercises-no matter how spiritual- we must stop for a moment, as often as possible, to adore God in the depths of our hearts, to savor him.

The habit is formed by repetition of acts and frequently bringing the mind back into God’s presence….conversing with God everywhere, asking him for what is needed, and rejoicing continuously with him in countless ways.

It is not necessary for being with God to be always at church. We may make an oratory of our heart and from time to time converse with Him in meekness, humility and love.

- Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection

This practice of the presence of God, somewhat difficult in the beginning, when practiced faithfully, secretly brings about marvelous effects in the soul, draws down the abundance of God’s grace upon it, and leads it imperceptibly 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.