The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life, by Witness Lee


Next we have the fifth verse, 2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is God-breathed.” The Lord is not only the Spirit within our spirit; He is also the Word in the Scripture. Every word in the Bible is His breath. The Scriptures help us to call on the Lord, to breathe the Lord in. The Greek word, pneuma, translated as Spirit also means breath or air or wind. Therefore, the Lord Jesus as the Spirit is the breath of life to us. If you know that the Lord Jesus is the Spirit, the breath, it is easy to breathe Him in. One who does not know how to breathe may say that calling on the Lord is too simple. To him, saying, O Lord Jesus! O Lord Jesus! is too simple. However, if he does not like to be so simple, there are sixty-six books that can be used. He can open up to any chapter, to any verse, to any line, and begin to pray. As an example, he may pray, “In the beginning God created. Amen! In the beginning, O, in the beginning. Amen! God created. God created the heavens and the earth. Hallelujah!” (Gen. 1:1).

The Bible is a wonderful storehouse. Come to the Scriptures and pick up all the riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8). Do not come only to read by exercising your mentality. That may dry you up. Along with your reading, you should exercise your spirit to pray what you read. If you would do it, you will surely be filled with the Lord. This is to feed on the Lord. So many can testify that this is true. When you have tasted it, you will never give it up. However, do not insist upon it as an item of our Christian faith.


Romans 10:12 says, “The same Lord of all is rich to all who call upon Him.” How could you enjoy the riches of Christ? The best way is to call upon Him. The Lord is rich to all who call upon Him. At any time, in any kind of situation, simply call, “O Lord Jesus! O Lord Jesus!” Do not try to get yourself delivered out of your circumstances. If you do not know how to answer someone; if you do not know what to do; if you are afraid that you will lose your temper; if you are fearful that you will be tempted; call on the name of the Lord. The Lord is rich to all who call upon Him.

First Corinthians 12:13 says that we “were all given to drink one Spirit.” We have been positioned to drink, but how do we drink? In the same chapter, verse 3, it says that “no one can say, Lord Jesus, except in the Holy Spirit.” In other words, when you say Lord Jesus, you are in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we all need to practice saying, “O Lord Jesus.” This is the real calling on the Lord. It is not just to pray. It is not just to ask. It is to call upon Him.

Lamentations 3:55-56 says, “I called upon thy name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon. Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.” I like the word, “I called upon thy name, out of the dungeon.” Sometimes our dear wives or husbands are our low dungeon. Out of your low dungeon, call upon the name of the Lord.

These verses also clearly show us that our crying, our calling on the name of the Lord, is our breathing. In breathing is drinking, and in drinking is eating. When you breathe, you drink; when you drink, you eat. Open yourself from your spirit, and with your mouth call, “O Lord Jesus.” It is so sweet, so refreshing, so comforting, and so enlightening. Also, it is so strengthening and even so watering. Then try the pray-reading.

These two matters are very practical for the church life. The early believers practiced calling on the name of the Lord. It was an evidence that they were followers of Jesus as the church people (Acts 9:14). And the Apostle Paul, in Ephesians, a book on the church, charged the believers to “receive…the word of God, by means of all prayer” (6:17-18). To receive the word of God by means of prayer is to pray-read the Word. This is for the church to be prevailing against the evil power of Satan, as shown in Ephesians 6.

No one can say that the fact of pray-reading is not in the Bible. One may say that in the Bible there is not such a term as pray-reading. Neither is the word Trinity in the Bible, but the fact of the Trinity is in the Bible. The fact of pray-reading is also in the Bible. Therefore, we need to receive the Word of God by prayer. But do not think I am teaching this as a part of our Christian faith. I am not teaching calling on the Lord and pray-reading the Bible as the Christian faith, but I am recommending them as the best practicality for the church life.

(The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)