Brother Lawrence (1605-1691) served as a cook and shoe repairer at a Carmelite monastery in France. Brother Lawrence was not a scholar or a leader in matters of worship, but he was a man of prayer. Brother Lawrence describes his constant practice of speaking with and reflection upon God amidst the mundane tasks of life. He tried to practice reflecting upon God each and every moment of each and every day. His letters on his prayer life were published in a short book, “The Practice of the Presence of God.” This book has become a classic work on cultivating an awareness of the presence of God in everyday life.

How can we remain aware of God in the midst of our busy and modern lives? I must admit it is not an easy task. The best way I have found is to think of God as already with me. If God is present already, the next step is for my “presence” to be aware of God’s “Presence.” This is the first step of a deeper spiritual growth. Practice the presence of God. Practice being aware of God each day.

Richard Rohr writes the next step is to go from just being aware of the Presence, to knowing and enjoying God's Presence. Rohr writes, “The contemplative is not just aware of the Presence, but trusts, allows and delights in it.” This awareness is in itself a prayer. A form of communication or even communion with God, perhaps made possible by our living in a renewed state of awareness of the Presence of God.

Brother Lawrence was able to chop vegetables, prepare meals for hungry monks, wash pots, and stay aware of the presence of God. He did not need to be in a church sanctuary or in a mountain meadow to know that God’s Presence was with him. 

The psychologist Carl Jung inscribed over the front door to his home, "Bidden or not bidden, God is present." We start by recognizing God's presence, inviting God into our hearts and our homes. I invite you to say to God; "Lord, I welcome you into my daily life today.” Our day may be filled with the Presence of the one who is always present.

My prayer is a simple one, “Lord, help me to be present, fully present with you today” as I practice your presence in my life.

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Cliff