Practicing the Presence of God

I was taking a walk in the field behind our house and trying to pray, but do you know what I caught myself thinking about as I was trying to talk with God? I was wondering what I was going to do with the old toilet we had removed and replaced in our bathroom! That’s right — I was thinking about a toilet instead of the Lord as I was trying to talk with Him! I chuckled to myself, and to the Lord (I’m very grateful for His grace and mercy, His long-suffering and patience). I tried praying again, giving thanks for His presence even though I wasn’t doing a very good job of practicing His presence at that moment!


There was a man named Nick Herman who learned to practice the presence of Jesus in his life on a daily basis. He was a dishwasher — not at a restaurant, but in a monastery. He lived a long time ago (1611-1691); though Nicholas Herman was his real name, we know him better as Brother Lawrence. His abbot collected his writings and put them into a little book that has become a classic: The Practice of the Presence of God. Probably the most famous quote in it is this: “In my kitchen’s noise and clatter, while several people are all calling for different things, I possess God just as peacefully as if I were on my knees at the altar, ready to take communion.” We can practice the presence of the Lord any time and all the time — and in all places.


“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Jesus in Matthew 28:20)


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