III. PRAYING TO CONTACT, TO ENJOY, AND TO FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD
Praying will make our spirit strong because through prayer we contact God, we enjoy God, and we have fellowship with God. [The real significance of prayer is to contact God in our spirit and to absorb God Himself. Prayer is the contact of the human spirit with the Spirit of God, during which man inhales God into himself. Therefore, the emphasis of prayer lies not in asking God for things but in contacting and absorbing God.] First Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Unceasingly pray.’’ Prayer is like breathing heavenly air. When a man stops breathing, he dies physically. Likewise, when we stop breathing the spiritual air, our spirit becomes deadened. We need to breathe the Spirit to keep our spirit alive and healthy. Calling is a form of short prayer. We should always mingle our prayer with calling.
Most of the time we prefer to talk or do something else rather than pray; therefore, our spirit is usually not so strong. We need to pray to contact our living God. Because He is living and He is the life-giving Spirit, whenever we pray we receive life and our spirit is strengthened from within. This will dispel any feeling of death in us. If we feel dark, depressed, oppressed, and confused, we need to pray. Prayer will cause us to enjoy life. The sense of life will lift us out of our horrible pit. This type of prayer will keep us in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, while we are praying to enjoy the Lord, He may expose our past sins. We must confess these sins to maintain our fellowship with Him (1 John 1:7-9). Therefore, we must pray all the time to live the proper Christian life, to experience the divine, eternal, and indestructible life in our spirit. Now is a good time to pray for five minutes to enjoy the Lord and to absorb God into our being.
IV. PRAYING TO EXERCISE GOD’S AUTHORITY FOR GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE
Our prayer to contact God, to enjoy God, and to fellowship with God will issue in prayers for God’s eternal purpose. As you are enjoying God in prayer, the Lord may remind you that a friend of yours is still not saved and his eternal destiny is the lake of fire. You should pray for his salvation by asking the Lord to prepare his heart to hear the gospel. You also may pray that the Lord will bind the enemy so that your friend may be freed to receive God’s salvation. After your prayer, you need to go and preach the gospel to him. You need to continue to pray for him on the way to visit him and while you are preaching to him. If he is not open, then pray for him again and go visit him again. This is to exercise the authority the Lord gave the church to bind and to loose (Matt. 18:18-19). Sometimes it is better to pray with your partners in this way. The Lord likes to answer this type of prayer (John 15:16). Many of us may have experience concerning this type of prayer. We still need more practice. By praying this way, our spirit will be strengthened and God’s economy will be carried out by us. Calling on the name of the Lord and prayer are excellent ways to grow in life.
- What are the two simplest ways of maintaining our fellowship with God?
- When was the first occurrence of calling in the Bible?
- Itemize the benefits we receive from calling; use a verse for each item.
- What is the real meaning of prayer?
Quoted Portions from (Lee/LSM) Publications
- Calling on the Name of the Lord, pp. 2-12.
- Life Lessons, p. 26.
(Lesson Book, Level 4: Life—Knowing and Experiencing Life, Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)