I was recommended The Practice of the Presence of God by several members of my church group. As this work is now a classic that meant it was free for me to download to my kindle. I am a relatively new Christian, my family are not religious. Therefore from time to time I like to read Christian literature to help with the growth of my faith and to hear what other Christians have to say.
The Practice of the Presence of God is a collection of the wisdom of Brother Lawrence, who served as a lay brother in the Carmelite Monastery, Paris in the 1600s. Brother Lawrence lived a simple life working in the monastery’s kitchen. Even with his humble position Brother Lawrence became well-known for his experience in profound peace and so attracted many visitors to the monastery seeking his advice. I think the fact he had such a simple and humble life actually adds to the appeal of Brother Lawrence. Living in a modern society where the focus is just on having more it is so refreshing to read about a man who is really happy with just what he had. Every day he took time to thank God for what he had rather than asking for what he didn’t have. I think this something we could all do with trying.
Brother Lawrence did not set out to write a book. The Practice of the Presence of God was published after his death, and was compiled from interviews with Brother Lawrence and from letters he wrote. This means the writing style is simple and natural as Brother Lawrence is addressing people he knew. I felt this was a positive as the advice came across as down to earth and not patronising at all. I often felt like Brother Lawrence was talking to me directly. None of the advice is anything particularly profound yet it is profound in how simple the ideas are. I found myself quite surprised at how obvious some of the advice was and yet I hadn’t been doing it before!
A simple but thought-provoking read. I highly recommend The Practice of the Presence of God to those interested in Christian literature. I hope this is a book I will return to during my life.