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The Practice of the Presence of God (Paraclete Essentials) Paperback – June 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

 All things are possible to one who believes; even more to one who hopes; still more to one who loves.

This Classic work--the original guide to "practicing the presence of God"--has inspired millions of people in a variety of editions since it was first published after the author's death in 1691.

Brother Lawrence was a humble monk who spent much of his monastic life working in the kitchen. His life and writings reveal the secrets of daily, moment by moment fellowship with God. " In the way of God, thoughts count very little," he says. Full of realistic honesty, friendliness, and simplicity, The Practice of the Presence of God shows that it's possible to meet God among the pots and pans--in the ordinary , daily events of life. This edition, rendered from the original French into graceful, comtemporary English, will nourish and delight all who seek to know and love God more intimately.

About the Author

Brother Lawrence(c. 1611 – 1691) was born Nicholas Herman in the Lorraine region of France. As a young man, he fought in the Thirty Years’ War before joining the Carmelite order in Paris as a monk at the age of 24. The Practice of the Presence of God was originally compiled from his letters and conversations, immediately after his death. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is the author of New Monasticism, and forthcoming from Paraclete Press: The Wisdom of Stability.

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Product Details

  • Series: Paraclete Essentials
  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press; Series: Paraclete Essentials edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557256942
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557256942
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Fr. Charles Erlandson on August 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
It's nice to see a variety of new editions of The Practice of the Presence of God out there and that this little book is readily available. This Paraclete edition has some materials in addition to the Conversations and Letters found in all editions and may, therefore, be worth getting for those who want more from and about Brother Lawrence.

To me, practicing the presence of God is the missing part of the life of prayer and worship in the lives of many Christians. This little book is a basically a commentary on these 3 words from 1 Thessalonians 5:17: "pray without ceasing." Brother Lawrence was able to achieve this by continually turning to God throughout the day as he worked in a kitchen and by carrying on a familiar conversation with God before, during, and after work.

The main part of the book is divided into Sections: 4 Conversations and 15 Letters. Personally, I found the letters more compact and helpful. This particular edition also includes A Eulogy of Brother Lawrence, Spiritual Maxims, and Brother Lawrence's Way of Life, all of which are helpful additions. Throughout, Brother Lawrence communicates some profound truths about how to pray without ceasing.

Here are just a few of his insights:
The foundation of the spiritual life in him had been "a high notion and esteem of God."

"We should establish ourselves in a sense of God's presence by continually conversing with Him."

"We ought to act with God in the greatest simplicity."

"The most excellent method he had found of going to God was that of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men, and (so far as we are capable) purely for the love of God.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Maxwell-carr on November 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the book that has shaped my view of walking with God more than any other. It basically says: 'Just keep talking to God in your heart. Or at least just keep lifting your heart in thanks to God as often as possible! Just lift your soul in thanks to God, no matter when, or where, or what you're doing. Ask His help when you need it. Be honest and frank with God. Recognise that you're in desperate need of His mercy but know also that He loves you and has granted you His pity.' And that very message comes across again and again and again - you can't possibly miss it.

Without doubt it's the best book on communing with and praying to God that I've ever come across. The simplicity and practicality of this book is so great that I doubt it could be replaced in the category of books on prayer. What he says never gets tiresome; it only makes you want to experience God's presence more and more. It makes you want to get right down to what he tells you: why not just focus on God and praise Him even this moment? You don't even need words, just offer your love to Him. There are just no other books on prayer like it. It's short, whilst many others are twice as long. It's full of very personal examples of what it is to do as the Brother suggests, while others are lacking in intimate experiences of how to practice what is written. There is a staggering reality to what the Brother writes, because it all comes straight out of his life! His letters were real, historical letters, which expressed exactly what he lived and practiced everyday. The conversations were real events, which another personally engaged in with the great Brother. So much of the book's force comes from the fact that the author was widely regarded as a man who practiced what he wrote.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By I.D. on January 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
If I had to choose one book in the world to provide loving and effective guidance for the God-seeking soul, it would be this small book. It is very simple and profound at the same time. I think, the message it contains and the technique it teaches are all that is needed in order to establish loving relationship with God in this life and in the eternity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Moses Goldman on June 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't know how to begin with this book. What strikes me about it most is that Brother Lawrence seems very concerned with getting you to understand that it's better not to love God for the things he does, for the favors granted in prayer, for anything he gives... but to love God for God and God alone. To make room for only the kingdom and thus everything will come as it may, not to live a life where you worry about what the day will bring, what outcomes there will be to living a "spiritual" life. It's a pretty simple message, to simply be with God and start from there. A wonderful book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shirleen L. Smith on November 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to develop a closer walk with God. Through the history and letters of Brother Lawrence it is possible to see a life centered around an on-going conversation with God. By paracticing the attitude and prayer life of Brother Lawrence, one can learn how to come closer to God. I appreciate this translation of Brother Lawrence's letters, for they stay closer to his time and place in history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L.S. on June 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great read, speedy service. This book opened my eyes to a deeper relationship with God that is more intimate and real.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dr. william j. a. marshall on November 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This wonderful collection of holy thoughts helps us to remember the need to be praying constantly---not by sayin g prayers but by communicating with GOD how wonderful HIS blessings are at the PRESENT MOMENT and how grateful we are for HIS Blessings and tender care.

Dr. Marshall
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