Practicing The Presence Of God
How Can I Sense God’s Presence?
Life is hectic. And prayer, let’s face it, we often times find it extremely difficult to make time for it. But all of us feel the tension of the busyness of life. We ask questions such as, “Why don’t I feel God?” or “How do I know what God wants for my life?”. These are important questions and in the midst of such crazy schedules many of us feel like we are missing out on hearing God’s voice.
Allow me to introduce you to Brother Lawrence. Born Nicholas Herman, the man we came to know as Brother Lawrence was born into a peasant family in sixteenth century France. He was a footman, a cook, and a soldier in the course of his life and at the age of 29 joined the Discalced Carmelite monestary in Paris. It was during the next five decades he would pioneer a unique way of combining one’s daily work with an intimate and ongoing communion with God. He writes,
“We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him and when that is done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before Him, who has given me the grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.”
It is from this unique fifty-one year exercise that we have received the beautiful work The Practice Of The Presence Of God, which is a collection of letters and notes to loved ones. Perhaps one of the most beautiful things about it is that he never intended to get famous from revealing his secret to a thriving experience of God’s presence. In fact, it was his loved ones, who after his death and having witnessed a lifetime of fruit in their lives and in the life of Brother Lawrence, decided to publish his story, and since then it has become one of the most nourishing and enduring spiritual books in history.
One way you can begin today to practice God’s presence is to know that he is already present where you are. The Apostle Paul quotes the Greek poet Epimenides in Acts 17:28, “for in Him we live and move and exist.” God is ever-present wherever we are. If we can first acknowledge that and then continue through the day by engaging God in our work, we experience a greater awareness of the Lord’s interaction in our daily lives.
I want to encourage you to read through this book. I believe that the fruit that comes from your life from practicing God’s presence every moment of each day will produce much love, joy, and peace in your life.