Heroes of the Faith: Brother Lawrence

“We should fix ourselves firmly in the presence of God by conversing all the time with Him…we should feed our soul with a lofty conception of God and from that derive great joy in being his.” -Brother Lawrence

Born in 1611 in Hériménil, France, Nicolas Herman grew up during the bloody Thirty Years’ War. At the age of eighteen, Nicolas had a remarkable conversion to Christ. After serving as a footman to the royal treasurer, he decided to enter a monastery in Paris as a lay brother. He took the name, “Lawrence of the Resurrection.”

In the monastery, Brother Lawrence became a cook. In the midst of onions and fresh-baked bread, ceaseless duties and a thousand details, he learned to fulfill 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” He learned the art of practicing the presence of God. Resolving to focus his mind on God, Brother Lawrence prayed as he worked. He tried to perform every duty for the love of God. He said, “We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” 

As he walked in God’s presence, Brother Lawrence grew to reflect Christ more and more. His face shone with sweetness, love, and devotion to Christ. Despite the pressures of his work, he was never hasty or anxious. Brother Lawrence walked through life with a tranquil peace and restful spirit. People noticed his godly example, and they visited him to learn his secret. He mentored them in practicing the presence of God and wrote letters to encourage them.

An abbot, Joseph de Beaufort, collected a series of interviews and letters with Brother Lawrence. He published them in 1692 as
Spiritual Maxims. Today, we know this book as The Practice of the Presence of God. We highly recommend this devotional classic for its timeless truths and excellent advice.
Like Brother Lawrence, we too can practice the presence of God. Throughout our days, we can devote our minds to prayer and our hands to working for love of Him. If we do so, we will discover great joy in knowing His presence. As Brother Lawrence wrote, “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.”

Will you learn to practice the presence of God? Join the friendly church family of Northside Baptist Church on Sundays at 11:00 am. 

For more information, call (902) 736-6465 or email northside1178@gmail.com