Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Practicing His Presence

About seven years ago I picked up a book called Practicing His Presence, a modern translation of Practicing the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence. That book made a profound impact on my life at the time. Today Mandy and I spent a few hours at Half Moon Bay. I took it with me and began reading it again. In my usual fashion, I will no doubt quote from it from time to time. I do, however, plan on reading the entire book.

The book begins with excerpts from a few of Frank Laubach's works. Laubach had read Brother Lawrence (who died in the 1600's) and had been impacted. He decided to try an experiment in which he would try to think about God for one second of every minute. Sounds like a daunting task, doesn't it?

Here's a great article by Dallas Willard on Frank Laubach. He lists the following as major themes of Laubach's works:

1. Submission to the will of God means cooperation with God in the moment-to-moment activities that make up our daily existence.
2. This cooperation is achieved through continuous inner conversation with God.
3. That conversation in turn is, from our side, a matter of keeping God constantly before the mind.
4. One learns to keep God constantly in mind by experimentation, by trying various experiential devices, until the habit of constant God-thought is established.
5. Then God permeates the self and transforms its world and its relations to others into God's field of constant action, in which all of the promises of Christ's gospel are realized in abundance of life.
6. It is possible for all people under all conditions to establish this habit if they make constant effort and experiment within their peculiar circumstances to discover how it can be done.

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