Lessons on Prayer, by Witness Lee

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When we live in the light of life, there are always two aspects to its work in us. On the negative side, it deals with us, scrutinizes, penetrates, exposes, purges, subdues, and ultimately, prostrates us. On the positive side, it causes us to have the burden, guidance, words, and utterance for prayer. Such burden, guidance, words, and utterance for prayer are the result of the shining of the light of life in us. This shining in us is the anointing of the ointment in us. Once you have the positive work of the illumination, learn to bring your whole being to a halt and pray before God according to that illumination. Do not care too much for the needs in the outward environment nor for the items of prayer in your memory. Pray according to whatever the illumination shines on and anoints in you.

Brothers, only those who have learned the lessons of prayer can know what is meant by “the wind blows where it wills.” Only such ones know what is meant by being able to move freely. At this point you can somewhat understand how the big wheel in Ezekiel chapter one completely follows the movements of the spirit. Wherever the spirit goes, the big wheel goes. You do not make a decision to pray for such-and-such a work, such-and-such a person, or such-and-such a church. Rather, you pray entirely according to the moving of the spirit within. The spirit within blows like the wind. All you need to do is follow its blowing.

Take the prayers of Daniel as examples, and you will see that the Holy Spirit worked in him positively as well as negatively. You can see that Daniel was a man who prostrated himself before God. In doing so he represented both himself and the entire people of Israel. Having allowed the light of life to thus work in him, he began to utter positive prayers before God. He could cry out to God: “O our God…cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary…for the Lord’s sake…O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake…” (Dan. 9:17, 19). See how this kind of prayer touches great heights and depths! This is; what we mean by the positive work of the light of life in us.

Brothers, I believe that many among us need to enter into this lesson of prayer. We may tell the new believers, “On Monday, pray for your relatives and friends; Tuesday, for the church; Wednesday, for the gospel; and Thursday, for the work abroad.” It may not be wrong to tell new believers to pray in this way as an initial exercise, but our experience tells us that these fixed prayers will gradually become dead prayers. The more you pray this way, the more you become dead, the emptier you are within, the less you touch reality, and the worse you feel within. Hence, we need to learn to be enlightened by life. Whenever we go before God to burn the incense, we must learn to have something to set upon the showbread table. We must also learn to light and dress the lamps at the lampstand. On the negative side we need to prostrate ourselves under the illumination. On the positive side we need to allow the light to anoint us with what God desires and what He wants to accomplish. Then these will become our burden and leading. This illumination and anointing will give us the words and the utterance to pray before God.

Read the prayer in Daniel chapter nine, and you will have to admit that Daniel was a man who not only had the burden, but also the utterance to pray. Consider what he prayed: “O our God…cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary…for the Lord’s sake.” His word, his expression, was really full of such utterance that God could not help but be touched. That word was able to bind God and compel Him to act. That prayer was uttered not just because someone desired to pray before God. Rather, it was that such a man having been illuminated within, prostrated himself before God, and, at the same time, received the positive burden, guidance, words, and utterance from God. Then he prayed according to the inner shining. Hence, such prayer was valuable and weighty before God.

We all need to learn to stop the activity of our being, our self. We must not allow our decision, memory, outward needs, or clamorings to disturb the positive work of the light of life within us. We should only pray before God according to what we see and feel under the positive shining of the light in us.

(Lessons on Prayer, Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)