Summary: When God works, He does so with specific law and definite principle.
LET US PRAY
by Watch Nee
III. PRAYER AND GOD'S WORK Isa. 62:6-7
A. When God works, He does so with specific law and definite principle.
God's primal principle is that He wants man to pray.
There was once a Christian who well knew how to pray. He declared that all spiritual works include four steps:
1. God conceives a thought which is His will.
2. God reveals His will to His children through the Holy Spirit, causing them to know
that He has a will, a plan, a demand and expectation.
3. God's children return His will by praying to Him.
4. God will then accomplish this very thing.
How many things the Lord indeed desires to do, yet He does not perform them because
His people do not pray.
B. God pauses in the execution of His will until we pray. We keep on praying until He accomplishes His work.
C. The three wills in existence.
1. The will of God.
When God wishes to do a thing, He first puts His own thought in us through the Holy Spirit. Only after we have turned this thought into prayer will He perform it. He needs the cooperation of us men. He needs a will that is one with His will and is sympathetic to Him. If God does everything without involving us men, then there is absolutely no need for us to be here on earth, nor do we need to know what His will is.
This event had been prophesied many hundreds of years before by Joel. But the Holy Spirit came down only after many disciples had gathered and prayed.
Could the gift of the Holy Ghost have been delayed? What about those who don't receive? Can the next coming of Christ be delayed? Can a revival be delayed? Etc.
2. The will of Satan the enemy.
3. The will of man. God created man to be united with Him in defeating Satan and his works. Being created with a free will, man is expected to exercise his will for union with God's will in opposing the will of Satan. This is the purpose of creation as well as the purpose of redemption. pg 6
D. Each time we pray, we need to see three aspects:
1. To whom are we praying --> to God.
2. For whom do we pray --> men.
3. Against whom are we praying --> Satan.
E. Praying with a burden.
*Remember, for the burden to be genuine, it must be from God. Oftentimes, without your setting a time for prayer beforehand, you sense a burden to pray. This indicates that there is one item in God's will which requires your prayer. Pray when you feel the burden of prayer--this is praying according to God's will. We should pray it out until we feel relief. If the burden grows too heavy and cannot be discharged by prayer, then we should fast. pg 34
LET US PRAY
IV. THE PRINCIPLE OF PRAYING THRICE
A. There is one particular secret about prayer that we should know about, which is, a praying three times to the Lord.
1. The Lord in the garden of Gethsemane.
Matt. 26:44 He prayed until He was heard and then He stopped.
2. Paul's thorn in the flesh.
II Cor 12:8 Paul ceased praying only after he received a word from God.
This simply signifies the fact that before we stop, we must pray thoroughly until
God hears us. Sometimes we may have to pray five or ten times. What is important is that there needs to be prayer till the burden is discharged. This is the principle of praying thrice. This is the secret to success in a prayer meeting. pg 38
B. Let us not allow our prayer to jump about like a grasshopper: hopping to another matter before the first one is thoroughly prayed through, and before this second matter is thoroughly prayed for, we are found skipping back to the very first matter. pg 38
C. Burden is the secret of prayer. If a person does not feel within him burden to pray for a particular matter he can hardly succeed in prayer. In a prayer meeting, some brothers and sisters may mention a great many subjects for prayer. But if you are not touched inwardly, you cannot pray. Therefore every brother and sister who comes to a prayer meeting ought to have prayer burden so as to pray. pg 39
D. Do not be totally absorbed in only considering what burden you yourself have; you should also sense the burdens of other brothers and sisters in the meeting.
E. Suppose the entire gathering for a prayer meeting is yet involved with one particular matter. Then no one present should try to inject another prayer that is only according to his own personal feeling. pg 40