Brother Lawrence, a seventeenth century uneducated monk, is best known for a book of his letters and conversations, The Practice of the Presence of God.  He lived and died testifying to a keen awareness of God’s constant companionship all through the day.

In one of his essays, he answered the “How” question.  The essay is titled, “Means for Attaining Unto the Presence of God,” and these are the six means he identifies:

First, a great purity of life.  Intentionally doing what displeases God pushes us away from him.

Second, a great faithfulness in the practice of His presence.  What he means is simply that we have to keep reminding ourselves that we need God – “calmly, humbly, lovingly.”

Third, before taking up any task, look to God.  Use the transition points of the day when you start a meeting, begin a chore, get in the car, wake up, go to sleep, eat a meal – use them all as reminders to look up.

Fourth, offer up in secret a few words.  He offers some examples of brief one-liners that can usher us into awareness of God’s presence at any time.  “My God, I am wholly yours.”  “Oh God of love, I love you with all my heart.”  “Lord, make my heart like yours.”  Search the Psalms for some ideas of short prayers.

Fifth, the practice of the presence of God is somewhat hard at the outset.  In other words, don’t give up too soon.

Sixth, control and master the senses.  This is what Paul is saying in Colossians 3:2, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”  When pleasure, leisure, and possessions are our passion, we squeeze out God.

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