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1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)

Today, time has become our most precious commodity, and we are often tempted to allow prayer to be crowded out with all the demands placed upon our lives. But the value of prayer in the Christian life is without price. Brother Lawrence had little of earthly value but he was rich in his relationship with the heavenly Father.

In a little booklet entitled The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence wrote, "The time of business 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 tranquillity as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament." Brother Lawrence was a lay brother and a member of the barefooted Carmelites in Paris during the mid-seventeenth century, a humble, uneducated man who lived in the very presence of the living Lord, unaffected by the stress and demands of daily working conditions. How do we acquire this calmness and a stressless attitude amid all the demands of the twenty-first century? Brother Lawrence gave us the secret. While he was experiencing the shouts of fellow workers and the clanging of pots and pans, for a fleeting moment, he revisited the peace and quietness of the blessed sacrament.

Let us endeavour to have a five-minute time of prayer at the very moment our consciousness meets our new day, in preparation for whatever we may encounter, to impact our lives. Throughout our day, in times of stress, may our mind make a fleeting visit to our tryst in prayer, and experience that same quietness and peace as we are again momentarily in the presence of the living God. Impossible? May we indeed try this wonderful practice tomorrow with the help of God, who does all things well.

Prayer: Our gracious heavenly Father, we ask that You remind us, during our awakening moments, to dedicate our first precious few minutes to claiming Your help in all the happenings of our unknown day. We come with this sincere petition in the name of Your Son and our Saviour Christ Jesus. Amen.

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Vena Poole

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