Besides conversations recorded by others, Brother Lawrence also connected with friends via letters. Some of these have been included in the book, The Practice of the Presence of God. Below is the essence of his fourth letter, and responses that come to my mind.
* In this very personal letter, Brother Lawrence uses the word picture of faith as a rushing river. When we neglect to think on God, “we hinder [Him], and stop the current of His graces.” But when we allow our faith freedom, “He pours into it His graces and favors plentifully. There they flow like a torrent…”
* We must practice “to be always with God; and to do nothing, say nothing, and think nothing which may displease Him.”
* Results of living in the Divine presence:
– continual comfort and peace
– joy and delight
– contentment and satisfaction
* Even if we are committed to living in the presence of God, we will sometimes stray from thoughts of Him. Then He recalls us to Himself.
* When we refocus on God, “He rests in the depth and center of [our] soul,” and we are “beyond doubting it.”
* We are often, unfortunately, content with much less than God has for us.
* We have no guarantees of length of life. “There is no room for delay.”
* We must always work out our faith. “…not to persevere in the spiritual life is to go back.”
* “If the vessel of our soul is still tossed with winds and storms, let us awake the Lord who reposes in it. He will quickly calm the sea.”
* Why am I content with less than God offers? Do the things of this world that drown out the sound of His voice really offer me anything like the comfort, peace, joy, delight, contentment and satisfaction that living in communion with God promises? Let us reach for the best, which is to live continually in the presence of God.
* It takes practice and perseverance to learn to recognize God’s voice in our lives. I believe the noise around us often overwhelms us. I believe that the more we listen to God’s voice, the more easily we will recognize it. The more often and willingly we respond to His voice, the more sensitive we will be to it.
* Let us remind ourselves, and others if we can do so in love, to do, say and think nothing that may displease God.
* Let us remember to call upon the Lord of the wind and waves when we are afraid of life’s storms.
I will close this devotional thought with Brother Lawrence’s own words:
“I will pray for you. Please pray also for me, as I am yours in our Lord.”