Kevin G Cook

Theology | Worship | Resources

Practicing the Presence of God: 12 Tips from Brother Lawrence

November 6, 2014  |  theology

For one of my classes this fall, I have been reading through The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. I’ve read this a couple of times before as devotional reading and it is a blessing each and every time! It is a timeless classic about a monk who learned how to practice remaining in God’s presence at all times and in all circumstances, in work as much as in prayer. Yesterday, I compiled a list of 12 of my favorite practical tips that Brother Lawerence gives for staying in the presence of God.  Here you go!

Be aware of your own sins and do not be surprised by them. It is your nature, the only thing you know how to do. Simply confess your sins to God, without pleading or making excuses, and peacefully resume your regular activity of love and adoration. And when you don’t sin, thank God for it, because it is only by God’s grace.
Carefully examine yourself to see which virtues you are in most need of and which you find the hardest to acquire. Take note of the sins that you most frequently fall into and what occasions contribute to your fall. In times of struggle, go before God with entire confidence and remain in the presence of His divine majesty.
Keep the eyes of your soul focused on God. Learn to hold the attention of your heart on God alone by exercising your will to remain in His presence.
Understand and believe that it is a serious problem to think of our prayer time as being different than any other. Let all of your daily activities unite yourself with God just as your prayers do in quiet devotions.
Never be satisfied with a brief moment of worship. We are often content with too little. Don’t settle. God is Spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and truth. Worship God with a humble, sincere love that comes from the depth and center of your soul, and recognize Him for what He is, and yourself for what you are.
Empty your heart of everything that would offend God. He wants to posses your heart completely. Before any serious work can be done in our souls, God must be totally in control.
Sacrifice yourself for some time in his presence. God won’t allow a soul that is searching for Him to be comforted anywhere other than with Him.
Sometimes you just need to free yourself of present responsibilities for a period of time to devote yourself entirely to prayer.
In prayer, simply present yourself to God as if you were a poor man knocking on the door of a rich man. Fix your attention on His presence. Long verbose prayers encourage wandering thoughts.
God often allows us to go through difficulties to purify our souls and to teach us to rely on Him more. So offer God your problems unceasingly and ask Him for strength to overcome them.
Your soul learns which activities bring God’s presence nearer and remains in His presence practicing those activities. Discover your soul’s language and practice it regularly.
Remember that it is not possible to become spiritually mature all at once.

About the Author

Kevin Cook is a 4th year student at Asbury Theological Seminary and an Aspirant for Ordination in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). After graduating, Kevin hopes to plant a contemporary three-streams Anglican Church. He and his wife Nicole attend Wilmore Anglican Church in Kentucky.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Business Administration from Florida State University. Kevin enjoys playing music and leading worship, reading fiction and spiritual classics, drinking coffee, and spending time with family and friends.

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