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4.6 out of 5 stars
31
4.6 out of 5 stars


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VINE VOICEon 28 March 2013
I went through a lot of reviews and downloaded some of the free Kindle editions before finally selecting this one.
It's easy to say Brother Lawrence is an excellent spiritual guide. I assume that you're only looking for a copy because you already know this. So what you want is to know which version to read. And it appears that they aren't all equal - some, it even appears, have letters merged, and perhaps messages that aren't to the editor's taste, simply removed. If I'm reading Brother Lawrence, I may not be capable of reading Medieval French, but I'd like it to be as true to the original as possible.
That's where this edition comes in. From my limited knowledge, it is true to the original with nothing added and nothing taken away. It includes the notes of the conversations (which is where we get the background to the whole of Br Lawrence's spiritual life), the letters (the letters are great, but each is so specific that you need a context - that's where the conversations come in), and the Spiritual Maxims (of themselves a little too metaphorical, but after you've read the conversations and the letters then they make sense).
I would recommend this edition, and I'll be happy to discuss if you disagree with me, and to read other editions that you recommend. If anyone has a facsimilie in the Medieval French I'd be happy to look at that too!
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on 25 July 2014
This a a serious little book written hundreds of years ago but so relevant to Christians today. Its the daily walk with God that matters most not our once a week trip to Church.
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on 30 January 2007
This book will change the prayer life of any Christian who reads it.When I first read it some years back it made a momentous change to my approach to my personal prayer life and my relationship with God.Undoubtedly a book inspired by the Holy Spirit.
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on 23 March 2011
This is a real gem, a little book to treasure and go back to again and again, full of practical wisdom to help develop your relationship with God. Brother Lawrence keeps it all so simple yet it is so profound. A must read.
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on 11 October 2011
This is a lovely little book which christians from a broad spectrum of church backgrounds should be able to relate to. I have found it tremendously encouraging and plan to re-read it many times.
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on 4 June 2011
Brother Lawrence was a humble man who experienced life in the presence of God to its fullest. In this little book he shares his experiences and how he learn to live everyday in the presence of God. Very inspiring little book...
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on 17 April 2012
This book is excellent. Instead of being a modern book on prayer that tells you how to pray more effectively, it is more of a reflection on living the whole of life in the mindful knowledge of Gods presence. It is an encouragement to live like this through challenging and difficult circumstances as well as in the positives through the reflections of the author. The slightly archaic english only seems to enhance the slight sense of otherness you get from this book. It inspired me to think of prayer as not only something done in prayer times at specific points in a day but as a constant communication. A very interesting and enjoyable and encouraging book.
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on 26 December 2009
Good material recommended for those who seek a productive change in their personal relationship with God
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on 22 May 2010
This is the book that has shaped my view of walking with God more than any other. It basically says: 'Just keep talking to God in your heart. Or at least just keep lifting your heart in thanks to God as often as possible! Just lift your soul in thanks to God, no matter when, or where, or what you're doing. Ask His help when you need it. Be honest and frank with God. Recognise that you're in desperate need of His mercy but know also that He loves you and has granted you His pity.' And that very message comes across again and again and again - you can't possibly miss it.

Without doubt it's the best book on communing with and praying to God that I've ever come across. The simplicity and practicality of this book is so great that I doubt it could be replaced in the category of books on prayer. What he says never gets tiresome; it only makes you want to experience God's presence more and more. It makes you want to get right down to what he tells you: why not just focus on God and praise Him even this moment? You don't even need words, just offer your love to Him. There are just no other books on prayer like it. It's short, whilst many others are twice as long. It's full of very personal examples of what it is to do as the Brother suggests, while others are lacking in intimate experiences of how to practice what is written. There is a staggering reality to what the Brother writes, because it all comes straight out of his life! His letters were real, historical letters, which expressed exactly what he lived and practiced everyday. The conversations were real events, which another personally engaged in with the great Brother. So much of the book's force comes from the fact that the author was widely regarded as a man who practiced what he wrote. His immense godliness, humility, genuine knowledge and love for God were well known by all who came into contact with him. And the Brother attributes all of his Christian growth to this simple method he offers us. That makes you think that anyone can do it - even you!

Brother Lawrence never thought that he would amount to anything at all, and he never sought to. He never intended to be a great theologian; he never read much; he never became a great preacher. All he wanted was to walk with God, as Enoch and Noah of old. Though the Brother wanted to remain quite hidden through-out his life and for all the centuries that followed, God had other plans and has made this one of the most infamous of all Christian books. I will certainly read it again, probably a few times, during my life. I wholeheartedly recommend it to all Christians, especially new believers. The sooner you get into your way of life what the Brother says, the easier it will be to retain walking with God consistently. I am an evangelical believer, of the Reformed persuasion and I've never come across such a simple, life-transforming book about how to walk with God. It is a fantastic little book and one every Christian should read at least once to really get at what the Brother is saying.

Outstanding, and outstandingly real too.
10/10
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on 5 August 2010
A humble seventeenth-century French Carmelite monk speaks across the centuries and his message is so simple and profound - the essence being to remember and practice the presence of God in everything you see and do with purity of heart. Father Lawrence led a cloistered life and much of it in the monastery's kitchen but whatever he was doing he offered it up and remembered his creator. As he moved about his humble daily activities he withdrew within the secret place of the soul to commune with God with simplicity and purity of heart. This he says is the way to forget the worldly self which causes the human being distress. Everything he did - even the smallest act - was done for the love of God showing that the divine presence is even in the little things of life ( c.f. Therese of Lisieux). He offered up everything.

He does warn that when we enter into the spiritual life we may at first encounter all sorts of afflictions and distress as we work on discovering who we are in the depths of our being. We will find there countless thoughts, habits and past deeds that we are ashamed of and as a result might go through trials and tribulations realising that we are totally unworthy of such infinite love that the creator wishes to bestow on us. Brother Lawrence suggests that God often puts us through this chastening in order to purify us and that we should look at such suffering as a means to growth and transformation rather than wallow in self-pity. Brother Lawrence urges us to call on aid from God to persevere in the discipline of probing the depths of who we are whilst also recollecting the divine presence in everything good or bad that happens in the circumstances of life. We need to proceed with faith and if we should do so Brother Lawrence says that we attract God's grace.

That is the basic message of this short book of 100 pages but it is a very powerful one that is worth continual reflection. I recommend this book to all those who may have started the practice of centering prayer. Brother Lawrence takes it further and shows that dwelling quietly in the Presence is not just something we do on the meditation cushion or church pew but in everything we do. In modern day parlance this way of being within action is called 'mindfulness' of the present moment. The difference is subtle and profound in that we are mindful of Christ's spirit and God's infinite love.

Meditating on Brother Lawrence's words is a helpful practice. Take for example: 'we give ourselves a world of trouble and pursue a multitude of practices to attain to a sense of the Presence of God. And yet it is so simple. How very much shorter it is and easier to do our common business purely for the love of God, to set His consecrating mark on all we lay our hands to, and thereby foster the sense of His abiding Presence by communion of our heart with His! There is no need either of art or science; just as we are, we can go to Him, simply and with single heart.' (page 62)
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