Brother Lawrence

Lawrence on Worship in Spirit and Truth

Today's Worship Quote is another from Brother Lawrence, the 17th century Carmelite monk who "practiced the presence of God." Here, he is commenting on Jesus' words in John 4:24: "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth" (NIV).

HOW TO WORSHIP GOD IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH
There are three things in this question to which it is necessary to reply.

First: To worship God in spirit and truth means to worship God as we ought to worship Him. God is Spirit, so we must worship Him in spirit and truth, that is, by a humble and true adoration of spirit in the depth and center of our souls. God alone can see this worship; we can repeat it so often that in the end it becomes as if it were natural to us, and as if God were one with our souls, and our souls one with Him.

Second: To worship God in truth is to recognize Him for being who He is, and to recognize ourselves for what we are. To worship God in truth is to recognize as a very present reality in our spirit that God is infinitely perfect, infinitely worthy of worship, and infinitely distant from evil, even beyond His divine attributes. Who will be the man who, lacking in wisdom though he may be, will refuse to employ all his strength to render his respect and worship to this great and infinitely worthy God.

Third: To worship God in truth is further to admit that we are entirely contrary to Him, and that He is willing to make us like Himself if we desire it. Who will be so imprudent as to turn himself away, even for a moment, from the reverence, love, service and continual adoration which we most justly owe Him?

-Brother Lawrence (c. 1611-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, translated by Robert J. Edmonson, Paraclete Living Library, 1984.


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Lawrence on Worshiping All the Time

Today's Worship Quote of the Week comes from a letter that Brother Lawrence (17th century Carmelite monk) wrote to a woman who was overcome with the cares of life. He instructed her in "the practice of the presence of God."

WORSHIP ALL THE TIME

Madame,

In the midst of your work console yourself with Him as often as you can. During your meals and your conversations, lift your heart towards Him sometimes; the slightest little remembrance will always be very pleasant to Him. To do this you do not need to shout loudly. He is closer to us than we think.

We do not have to be constantly in church to be with God. We can make of our heart a prayer room into which we can retire from time to time to converse with Him gently, humbly and lovingly. Everyone is capable of these familiar conversations with God - some more, some less. He knows what our capabilities are. Let us begin: perhaps He is only waiting a generous resolve on our part. Take courage: we have little time left to live. You are almost sixty-four years old, and I am approaching eighty. Let us live and die with God! The sufferings will always be sweeter and more pleasant when we are with Him, and the greatest pleasure without Him will be cruel torture. May He be blessed by all. Amen."

-Brother Lawrence (c. 1611-1691) in The Practice of the Presence of God, translated by Robert J. Edmonson, Paraclete Living Library, 1984.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Lord, take my heart for a prayer room. Help me to practice your presence today. Amen!

Have a great week!


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.