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The Practice of the Presence of God Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1982

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 95 pages
  • Publisher: Whitaker House; New Abridged edition (June 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883681056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883681053
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (621 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The Practice of the Presence of God was a pivotal book in my spiritual growth. It showed me there was no division between work that is secular and work that is sacred. When done 'unto God rather than men, ' all work is sacred. And Brother Lawrence, with his sleeves rolled up and his hands elbow deep in the sink, shows us in everyday ways how to turn the kitchens in our lives into cathedrals."--Ken Gire, author of Moments with the Savior, Windows of the Soul, and The Divine Embrace --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

I have read this book over many times.
Steven E. Parker
This short book is easy reading but contains simple yet profound applications.
Like Brother Lawrence, they had learned to practice the presence of God.
Larry Hehn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

286 of 295 people found the following review helpful By Cameron B. Clark VINE VOICE on December 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first learned about this wonderful little book through another very useful book entitled "Great Books of the Christian Tradition" by Terry Glaspey. Glaspey is a Christian booklover who's well read in Christian literature and considers this book one of the top ten that every Christian ought to read. The value of Brother Lawrence's book is seen in the fact that it is one of the favorites of some of the other authors on Glaspey's top ten list: A.W. Tozer (author of "The Pursuit of God") and Richard Foster (author of "A Celebration of Discipline"). Another popular Christian author (who is a Quaker like Foster) that was influenced by Brother Lawrence is mentioned in the introduction by Hal Helms in Paraclete Press's edition of "The Practice of the Presence of God": Hannah Whitall Smith (author of "The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life"). Mrs. Smith called Lawrence's book "one of the most helpful books I know." And still another Quaker, Thomas Kelly (author of the classic, "A Testament of Devotion"), treasured Brother Lawrence's book as well. This is just a small handful of major authors influenced by this classic that testifies to its enduring value in the broader Christian community. I've read all of the above classics and therefore can personally testify that Brother Lawrence's principles are reflected in all of them!
Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (a.k.a. Nicholas Herman) lived in the 17th century and was a monk within the Carmelite Order of the Roman Catholic Church. This was the Order of such notable Christian mystics as St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross who authored other seminal mystical texts.
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112 of 115 people found the following review helpful By kmurray on June 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
A friend told me about this wonderful little book and by providence I purchased this edition as my first copy from The book I received looked different from the one they show here on the site, but it was published by Fleming H. Revell, as shown. The Preface is wonderful and tells the story of Brother Lawrence, preparing you for the text within. When I bought an additional copy from a local bookstore for my graduating neice, I was shocked to find out that the copy (published by a different publisher with a very different Preface) was much more mind-driven and so much less loving! In my opinion, this is the copy to get if you want a true experience of the Divine comfort and companionship Brother Lawrence knew. I've been growing closer to God for 40 years and this little book has skyrocketed me even closer. I hope it does the same for you. Peace. :) k
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134 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Pinyan on April 26, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The 1982 publication by Whitaker House is not very good at all. It is a loose paraphrase. In the words of the publisher's preface: "In this abridged edition, we have sought to update and clarify the language of this Christian classic, paraphrasing where necessary, while keeping the essence of the message intact." It goes way overboard. It excises several passages, some of which are distinctly Catholic:

A) mention of praying at set times throughout the day (in his Carmelite monastery) in Conversation #2
B) a reference to receiving absolution through a confessor in Conversation #2
C) references in Conversation #2 to acts of mortification are corrupted; Br. Lawrence spoke of "bodily mortifications" as "useless, except as they serve to arrive at the union with God by love" and that "all possible kinds of mortification, if they were void of the love of God, could not efface a single sin." (pp. 21-22) The Whitaker version renders these two separate clauses as one, "that all possible good works or self-abasing acts of contrition we could possibly do would not erase a single sin." (p. 18)
D) a quote from Br. Lawrence at the end of Conversation #4 in which he mentions kneeling in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament

It also re-orders his 15 letters, damaging them in the process:

A) Whitaker's Letter #6 appears to be completely fabricated
B) Br. Lawrence's 11th and 13th letters are missing completely, probably because they praise the salvific quality of suffering and bearing suffering joyfully
C) Br. Lawrence's 14th and 15th letters are merged into one, retaining only the first sentence of letter #14

The edition published by Spire is far better.
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100 of 106 people found the following review helpful By buyaclue on March 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
My pastor, who is mentoring me, recommended this book, when all our meetings were not helping me grow nor helping me throw off sinful habits.
In a world full of "doing", "performing", "keeping up with the Joneses", and an innumerable other distractions and pressures, Brother Lawrence was a man gifted by God to have the vision of true fellowship with God. He tells us simply that being a Christian means to have a constant love relationship with God, only made possible through Jesus Christ's sacrifice. He reminds us not be guilty or ashamed (a very difficult thing to know if you're not told explicitly, and something only known through faith).
The message of the churches (at least in the Western world) has been so diluted by the culture of "results" and "knowledge". We are often given guilt trips by church leader because we aren't "up to par" or because we don't buy into the church's vision. After attending a church for many years, we're still spiritually dry, and at the same time expected to serve more and more? Is that the abundant life?
Instead, we are supposed to be taught how to have fellowship with God! From that, everything else flows. There are no shortcuts!
Brother Lawrence exhorts us to have such a dear love for God that we are completely at rest with Him. It does takes time and discipline to develop the intimacy, but with any other love relationship (w/spouse, etc.), after a little effort and focus, the love between the two of you carries the relationship quite automatically.
I can truly see how the Holy Spirit is changing me because of this book, by no effort on my part to change myself. All I have to do is to be in love with Jesus. His power in me is allowing me to be more disciplined in many areas of life, and loosening my attachment to worldly things.
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