Tag Archives | Brother Lawrence

Prayer & the Laundry


Photo by Matt Clingan

Photo by Matt Clingan

It was Martin Luther who said, “Work, work, from early until late. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

I always have the same reaction to this quotation: Guilt. Capital-G Guilt. And I’ll be honest with you, I sometimes also think, Three hours? What in the world would God and I talk about for three hours?

Sad, isn’t it? I have always believed that prayer must be at the center of my relationship with God, yet I can’t think of one single morning that I set aside three hours to pray.

Especially since becoming a parent, I’ve always been more attracted to the Brother Lawrence school of prayer. Brother Lawrence, a seventeenth-century French monk, described a way of praying that he called practicing the presence of God in which he was in constant communication with God even and especially while he was doing tasks such as washing the dishes. Nineteenth-century nun Thérèse of Lisieux also echoed these ideas in her Story of a Soul, writing that Christ was most present to her “not during my hours of prayer … but rather in the midst of my daily occupations.” What better type of prayer practice for a busy mom, right?

Yet I find it hard to be Brother Lawrence. Sometimes I go for hours if not days without being in communication with God at all. Perhaps because I am more of a spiritual beginner than Brother Lawrence, I seem to need some more concrete reminders as a way to connect with God.

Please go to practicingfamilies.com/2013/03/15/prayer-the-laundry/ to read the rest of my post at this awesome new site about spiritual formation and families.

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