Context: A few days ago, on 13.7.22, I posted a blog outlining the daily conflict I experience between praying and writing (https://wp.me/p45bCr-bxF).
Since then, I have continued to face this long-standing issue, until I had a significant breakthrough two days ago. In the evening, whilst preparing for yesterday’s journey to the UK, I chose one of my favourite books to take with me. It was: “The practice of the presence of God”, by Brother Lawrence, who became a Carmelite lay-brother in 1666. Though small in size, it offers deep spiritual wisdom, comfort and encouragement. Unable to resist opening it, I came across the writer’s familiar advice, “That we should establish ourselves in a sense of GOD’S Presence, by continually conversing with Him.”
In his constant practice of the presence of God, Brother Lawrence drew no distinction between the times set aside for prayer, and his work in a busy monastery kitchen. “The time of business,” said he, “does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess GOD in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”
I’ve read these words before, but this time, they struck home in a new way. At last, I grasped that as long as I am continually practicing a sense of God’s presence by loving, worshipping and communing with God, there is no conflict at all between praying and writing – or any other activity, for that matter. This is what it means to, “Pray continually”.
So, yesterday morning, a new prayer flowered from what I had learned, though it proved very difficult to express. Having a constant headache, and feeling stressed about the day’s journey made it all the harder. However, I was able to write this blog on the boat, having even used the lift to reach my seat – praise God!
Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; NIV).
When I’m practicing
Prayer and writing
Because, no matter
What I’m doing,
We continue to commune
We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them (1 John 4:16; NIV).
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever (Psalm 16:11; NLT).