Summary: Prayer is the most wonderful act in the spiritual realm as well as a most mysterious affair.
LET US PRAY (Section 1)
by Watchman Nee
I. WHAT IS PRAYER?
A. Prayer is the most wonderful act in the spiritual realm as well as a most mysterious affair.
1. The power of prayer lies not in how much we pray but in how much our prayers
are in accordance with the principle of prayer.
a. God's people must pray before God himself will rise up and work: His will
is only to be realized through the prayers of those who belong to Him.
b. Earth must bind first before heaven will bind; earth must loose first before heaven will loose. God has His original will in heaven realized on earth when His people on earth get in accord to His will and pray for it to come to pass. pg 5-6 Matt 16:19 & 18:18
*All the wills of God are eternal. (According to Watchman Nee.)
B. Prayer is the union of the believer's thought with the will of God. Prayer is simply speaking
the will of God through the mouth of a believer.
C. Prayer is the occasion wherein to express our desire for God's will. Prayer means that our
Will is standing on God's side. Aside from this, there is not such thing as prayer. pgs. 7-8
God's purpose is for us to be so filled with His will that we forget our own interests.
D. Prayer is not:
1. The expressing of our wish for God to yield to our petition and fill up our selfish desire.
2. The praying for our needs.
A serious error concerning prayer prevails in our common understanding, which is to say, that we often think of prayer as an outlet for expressing what we need--as a cry to God for our help. We do not see that prayer is the asking of God to fulfill His needs. We ought to understand that God's original thought is certainly not the letting of believers achieve their own aims through prayer, rather it is God accomplishing His purpose through the prayers of the believers.
In heaven and on earth there is only one prayer which is legitimate and acceptable to God--which is asking Him to fulfill His will. Our needs should be lost in God's will. pg. 9
The question is now no longer whether your need is met but whether God's will is done.
3. The forcing of the Lord to change His will and perform what He is unwilling to do.
4. The attempt to restore heaven's heart.
a. It is a most erroneous concept to hold that God being hard, we therefore need to engage in combat against Him in prayer so as to subjugate Him and thereby cause Him to alter His decision. pg 12.
b. We strive before God in conflict only because His will is being blocked by either men or the devil, and so, we greatly desire Him to execute His will in order that His own determinate will may not suffer because of opposition.
c. True, we seem to be striving against God as though to compel Him to change His will to suit our pleasure, but in reality is against all that is opposed to God so that He may fulfill His will. pgs. 12-13
E. Prayer does not alter that which God has determined. It never changes anything; it merely achieves what He has already foreordained.
1. What about Hezekiah? II Kings 20:1 - 8
Answer: God had already determined it to be His will for him to live 15 more years. However, Hezekiah had to pray or else he would have died.
2. What about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane? Matt 26:36 - 45
If Christ had resisted the will of God, could the crucifixion have been delayed or postponed or canceled? We know the will of God was for it to happen. Could Christ have denied the will of God? Did He have a will to surrender to God? "Not my will but thine be done."
F. Prayerlessness does effect a change.
1. Because God will let many of His resolutions go suspended due to the lack from His people of prayerful cooperation with Him.
2. God will temporarily permit Satan to be on the offensive should His people forget His will and fail to show sympathy by cooperating with Him. pg 7
G. True prayer is a real work. pg 10
Praying according to God's will and praying only for His will is indeed a self-denying work. Unless we are completely weaned from ourselves, having not the slightest interest of our own but living absolutely for the Lord and seeking only His glory, we will into like what He likes, nor seek what He seeks, nor pray what He wants us to pray. pg 10