The Practice of the Presence of God: Summary Review and Doodle

This is my copy of The Practice of the Presence of God. 
I picked it up years ago at a used bookstore.
This “10th printing” edition was 20 years old back then and it remains a classic! (The first edition of the book was originally published in 1958.)

I was delighted to find this book and I have returned to it many times over the years.  My final thesis project in Architecture School was “Acknowledging the Presence of God Within the Home”.  I eagerly read this book in pursuit of a constant awareness of God’s Presence.

Five kids later, I don’t really feel any more proficient at the Practice of the Presence of God, but this book is a hopeful reminder that it is possible in and through the vocation I have as a mom.

Although I have purchased the current paperback copy of The Practice of the Presence of God as gifts for family and friends, I don’t have it on hand to compare the text with the original version.  The free downloadable copy of The Practice of the Presence of God appears to be the same text as the original.

The first part of the book is comprised of four conversations with Brother Lawrence and the style of writing takes a little getting used to.  The text flows less as an interview and more of a one-way series of points: almost every sentence starts with “That…”

“That in order to form a habit of conversing with God continually…we must first apply…”

The points, however, are well explained and they truly instruct.  They summarize Brother Lawrence’s “practice”, the difficulties he had and how he talked to God through the difficulties.  He explained his changing duties over fifteen years and how he tackled tasks that were not easy for him, doing “everything for the love of God, and with prayer…for His Grace to do his work well.”

Fifteen Letters from Brother Lawrence form the rest of the book.  These offer a more personal and fluid conversation and appear to be the direct written words of Brother Lawrence, reluctantly written on the condition that they weren’t shown to anyone!  Oops!  In these letters, he continues to explain the Practice of the Presence of God, often addressing the concerns of particular people in his community.

I cherish my 1975 edition of the book and often pick it up for some quick inspiration (it’s a pretty short book and much can be gained from reading one “conversation” or “letter”).  The words can stick with you and will hopefully inform your own Practice of the Presence of God in your own hectic day.

Here is my Summary Doodle for The Practice of the Presence of God.

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  1. I’d be interested in hearing more about your thesis – could you share some insights on how to acknowledge God’s presence in the home? Or do you know of any good post on it? Leila Lawler’s book “The Little Oratory” is the first thing I thought of when I read your thesis title.

  2. This is one of my favorite books of all time! I reread it often. Alas, like you and Carol above I am not constantly aware of His Presence 🙂 But this book has helped me anyway.

  3. I absolutely love this book! I have worn out several copies of this over the years. Alas, I don’t feel any more proficient in practicing the presence of God, either – but I do keep trying! 🙂

  4. This book sounds amazing. I feel like I need to hone my skills in practicing a life with God as its center. Thank you for sharing this.

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