PRAYING OVER WHAT WE UNDERSTAND IN THE WORD
Because the Bible is written in black and white, we have to read it. Praise the Lord, He created two eyes to read with and a mind to understand! Whenever we read, therefore, we spontaneously understand something. Some may say that many times they do not understand what they read. This is true, but still we understand something. We may not understand all the passages we read, but we understand some. Out of eighteen verses, we may understand one verse, or at least one phrase. We should not deal with what we do not understand. We should take care of what we do understand and not be tempted to exercise our mind to understand more. If we simply read the word, spontaneously we will understand something. We may illustrate this with eating chicken. When we eat a chicken, we do not care for the bones. Rather, we care for the tender parts. If we simply eat the delicious, tender parts, we can enjoy the chicken and forget about the bones. Then we will be nourished. No one is so foolish as to try to eat the bones. Whoever does will end up tired and hungry.
With any chapter, any passage, or any portion of the Bible, we simply should read it, understand what we understand, and not try to understand any more. Then we should not wait. Right away we should transform what we understand into prayer, the more the better. By praying about and with what we understand, we will eat the word. We will feed on the Lord through the word by exercising our spirit. We must learn to pray in this way.
We may use any chapter to illustrate the way to feed on the Lord through His word. It is easy to use a chapter such as 1 John 1, so for our illustration we can select a more difficult chapter, such as Titus 2. A new believer, a sister, may come to the book of Titus, even though she did not formerly know where Titus is. She may turn to chapter two and read verse 1: “But you, speak the things which are fitting to the healthy teaching.” She does not know what the healthy teaching is, so she continues with verse 2, which says, “Exhort older men to be temperate, grave, of a sober mind, healthy in faith, in love, in endurance.” She also does not know what these words mean, although she knows a little about love. She reads verses 3 and 4: “Older women likewise to be in demeanor as befits those who engage in sacred things, not slanderers, nor enslaved by much wine, teachers of what is good, that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children.” At this point the sister understands something. She is impressed concerning loving her husband and her children, so right away she puts these two items into prayer. She prays, “Lord, You know that I cannot love my husband. We have been married for many years, but we always fight. I cannot make it.” In this way she prays and opens herself to the Lord. Then while she is praying, the Lord as the Spirit within her imparts something into her. Even though she has never heard such a prayer before, she can still say, “Lord, I have no love, but You are this love. You are the love by which I can love my husband. Lord, fill me. When You fill me, I will be filled with love, and spontaneously I will love my husband through You, by You, with You, and in You.”
When we learn to pray in this way, the Holy Spirit will teach us many good prayers. In this way we will pray ourselves into the Lord, and we will pray the Lord into us. In the illustration above, we may go on to pray about the second point concerning loving our children. At this point we will open to the Lord, and we will exercise our spirit to contact Him. There is no need to spend the time to exercise our mind to read and understand. We need to stop the exercise of the mind and open ourselves by exercising our spirit. This opens the gate, paves the way, and gives the opportunity to the Lord to come in more and more as the Spirit. Moreover, we will learn to pray in a wonderful way, in the way of life.
We do not need to hurry to read a certain number of verses. We should simply pray about the points we understand until we feel the burden is gone. Then we can say, “Lord, now I have to go.” We may stop our prayer, but we will have received something.
(Practical Lessons on the Experience of Life, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)