Each day I rise to know more of Thee. In my weaknesses and frailty, in my circumstances that surround, I look to Thee to overcome. When I stumble, I cry out to You who sets My feet on a higher path and teaches me the way to walk, for You work in me all you desire me to become. I rest in You, though not at all times in complete patience. You teach me even how to rest. You teach me how to cast off my own efforts and depend on your strength. To be one with You, to function with you flowing through me to accomplish all that is before me. This is where I desire to live – walking with Thee.
Your words to me are as honey, satisfying and sweet. A moment in your presence refreshes and brings new insight into all things. You renew My youth as eagles and satisfy my mouth with good things. Without You all is darkness and even daily tasks are grating, but with You even the mundane becomes sweet for it is as unto you that I accomplish each work. In You, Lord, even the high and lofty tasks are humbling and do not provoke to pride for it is in thee that I even derive creativity.
Brother Lawrence was a monk living in Paris, France in 1600s who served as a cook at a monastery. He learned to practice the presence of God in all things, even in the tedious and common tasks. Below are several quotes that demonstrate this practice from the book The Practice of the Presence of God:
- “He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.” -Brother Lawrence
- I regard myself as the most wretched of all men, stinking and covered with sores, and as one who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King. Overcome by remorse, I confess all my wickedness to Him, ask His pardon and abandon myself entirely to Him to do with as He will. But this King, filled with goodness and mercy, far from chastising me, lovingly embraces me, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the keys of His treasures and treats me as His favorite. He talks with me and is delighted with me in a thousand and one ways; He forgives me and relieves me of my principle bad habits without talking about them; I beg Him to make me according to His heart and always the more weak and despicable I see myself to be, the more beloved I am of God.” -Brother Lawrence
- “Let us thus think often that our only business in this life is to please GOD, that perhaps all besides is but folly and vanity” -Brother Lawrence
- “The difficulties of life do not have to be unbearable. It is the way we look at them – through faith or unbelief – that makes them seem so. We must be convinced that our Father is full of love for us and that He only permits trials to come our way for our own good. Let us occupy ourselves entirely in knowing God. The more we know Him, the more we will desire to know Him. As love increases with knowledge, the more we know God, the more we will truly love Him. We will learn to love Him equally in times of distress or in times of great joy.” – Brother Lawrence
- “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:8-14