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13. The Principles of Praying to Associate With God

Practice and Exercises for Principled Behavior

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13. The Principles of Praying to Associate With God

1. Praying to associate with God must be established on the foundation of eating and drinking God’s words; you must pray, seek the truth and associate with God within God’s words;

2. Prayer must be done to achieve an understanding of the truth, to grasp God’s will and to obey God, and not for the sake of engaging in religious ritual to deceive God;

3. Prayer is done to obtain the work of the Holy Spirit and to establish a normal relationship with God, to gain the Holy Spirit’s guidance and to reach a real association with God;

4. You must practice and enter into all the enlightenment, illumination and guidance gained from the Holy Spirit during prayer, and do your utmost to hold onto it—this is an important principle of obeying God.

Relevant Words of God:

Prayer is not a case of going through the formalities, or following procedure, or reciting the words of God, which is to say, prayer does not mean parroting words and copying others. In prayer, you must give your heart to God, sharing the words in your heart with God so that you may be touched by God. If your prayers are to be effective, then they must be based on your reading of God’s words. Only by praying amid God’s words will you be able to receive more enlightenment and illumination. A true prayer is shown by having a heart that yearns for the requirements made by God, and being willing to fulfill these requirements; you will be able to hate all that God hates, upon the basis of which you will have knowledge, and will know and be clear about the truths explained by God. Having the resolution, and faith, and knowledge, and a path by which to practice after praying—only this is truly praying, and only prayer such as this can be effective. Yet prayer must be built upon the foundation of enjoying God’s words and communing with God in His words, your heart being able to seek God and being at peace before God. Such prayer has already reached the point of true communion with God.

from “Concerning the Practice of Prayer” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

You must pray upon the foundation of the words spoken by God today, enter into the words of God and commune with God, and make your resolutions before God, establishing what standards you wish to pursue the accomplishment of.

…………

And how do you seek being touched by the Holy Spirit? What’s crucial is to live in God’s present words, and to pray upon the foundation of God’s requirements. Having prayed in this way, the Holy Spirit is sure to touch you. If you do not seek based upon the foundation of the words spoken by God today, then this is fruitless. You should pray, and say: “O God! I oppose You, and I owe You so much; I am so disobedient, and never able to satisfy You. O God, I wish for You to save me, I wish to give service to You to the very end, I wish to die for You. You judge me and chastise me, and I have no complaints; I oppose You and I deserve to die, so that all people may behold Your righteous disposition in my death.” When you pray from within your heart in this way, God will hear you, and will guide you; if you do not pray upon the foundation of the words of the Holy Spirit today, then there is no possibility of the Holy Spirit touching you. If you pray according to God’s will, and according to that which God wishes to do today, you will say: “O God! I wish to accept Your commissions and be faithful to Your commissions, and I am willing to devote my entire life to Your glory, so that all that I do can reach the standards of the people of God. May my heart be touched by You. I wish for Your Spirit to ever enlighten me, to make all I do bring shame upon Satan, that I am ultimately gained by You.” If you pray in this way, centered around the will of God, then the Holy Spirit will inevitably work in you. It matters not how many are the words of your prayers—what is key is whether or not you grasp the will of God. You may all have had the following experience: Sometimes, whilst praying in an assembly, the dynamics of the work of the Holy Spirit reach their peak, causing everyone’s strength to rise up. Some people cry bitterly and weep tears while praying, overcome with remorse before God, and some people show their resolve, and make vows. Such is the effect to be achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit. Today, it is crucial that all people completely pour their hearts into the words of God. Do not focus on the words that were spoken before; if you still hold on to what came before, then the Holy Spirit will not work within you. Do you see how important this is?

from “Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Most people think that in order to have a normal spiritual life one must pray, sing, eat and drink the words of God, or try to figure out the words of God. No matter whether there is any result, or whether there is a true understanding, these people just focus on going through the motions on the outside, and do not focus on the result—they are people living within the rituals of religion, and are not people living within the church, and even less are they people of the kingdom. …

A normal spiritual life is to live a life before God. When praying one can quiet one’s heart before God, and through prayer one can seek for enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, know God’s words, and can understand the will of God. …Is not for the purpose of saying some nice words, or to bawl before God to express one’s debt, but rather it is to practice exercising one’s spirit, to quiet one’s heart before God, to practice searching for guidance in all things, to make one’s heart a heart that is drawn toward new light every day, to neither be passive nor lazy, and to enter onto the right track of practicing God’s words. Currently most people are focused on methods, and are not trying to pursue truth to achieve progress in life; this is where people deviate.

from “Regarding a Normal Spiritual Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Look at the prayer of Jesus (mentioning the prayer of Jesus is not to make people take the same angle and position as Him), He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane: “If it be possible….” That is, “if it is possible.” It happens through consultation and not through saying “I ask You.” He was keeping a submissive heart in His prayer, and in His submissive state, He prayed: “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.” He still prayed like this the second time, and the third time He prayed: “May Your will be done.” He grasped the will of God the Father, saying: “May Your will be done.” He was able to completely submit without choosing Himself in the slightest degree. He said, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” What does that mean? It is because of the thought of bleeding on the cross to His last dying breath and the great pain. This involved death and was said under the premise that He had still not completely grasped the will of God the Father. He was very submissive since He was able to pray that way despite the thought of the pain of being crucified. His prayer was normal, He didn’t pray to strike bargains nor to say it had to be removed, but rather it was to seek God’s intentions in a situation that He didn’t understand. The first time He prayed, He didn’t understand and said: “If it be possible … but as You will.” He prayed to God in a state of submissiveness. The second time, He prayed in like manner. In total, He prayed three times (of course these three prayers did not merely happen in three days), and in His final prayer, He completely understood God’s intentions. … You must have reason when you pray, and you must pray under the premise of submissiveness. Don’t decide. Before you pray, you are deciding: I must ask God and tell God what to do. This kind of prayer is so unreasonable.

from “The Significance and Practice of Prayer” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Prayer is one of the ways in which man cooperates with God, it is a means by which man calls upon God, and it is the process by which man is touched by God’s Spirit. It can be said that those who are without prayer are dead ones without spirit, proof that they lack the faculties to be touched by God. Without prayer, they are unable to attain a normal spiritual life, much less are they able to follow the work of the Holy Spirit; without prayer, they sever their relationship with God, and are incapable of receiving God’s approval. Being someone who believes in God, the more you pray, the more you are touched by God. Such people have greater resolution and are more able to receive the latest enlightenment from God; as a result, only people like this can be made perfect as soon as possible by the Holy Spirit.

from “Concerning the Practice of Prayer” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

After praying, the Holy Spirit will enlighten and illuminate people, and lead people, and will give people the faith and courage to put the truth into practice. Some people read the word of God every day and don’t produce these results. After they read God’s words, and they fellowship and communicate, their hearts will be bright, and they will have a path. If the Holy Spirit also gives you some moving, burdens and guidance, then it will be very different. If you are moved a little after merely reading God’s words, and you shed tears at the time, that moving will fade away after working for a while. If you have a tearful prayer, an earnest prayer or a sincere prayer, your energy will not go down three days after the prayer is over. Doesn’t everyone have this kind of experience? This is the result obtained from prayer. The purpose of prayer is so that people can come into the presence of God and receive the things God intends to give them. If you frequently pray and frequently come into God’s presence, then you will have a continual relation with God, and you will always be moved by Him, always receive His provisions; and therefore you will be transformed, your conditions will continually improve and will not regress. Especially when brothers and sisters join together in prayer. When the prayer is over, there is an exceptionally large amount of energy, everyone’s face is full of perspiration and they feel they gain a lot of things. In fact, after a few days of being together they haven’t communicated much, it was prayer that aroused their energy, and they wish that they could abandon their families and the world all at once, they wish that they could give up everything, all except for God. You see that their energy is so great. The Holy Spirit works to give people this power and people will never fully enjoy it! If you don’t rely on this power, harden your heart and stiffen your neck; or if you rely on your own willpower and aspirations, then where can you go? You won’t get far before you trip and fall, and you will not have that power as you go. People must maintain contact with God from beginning to end, but people get rid of God as they go. God is God, people are people, and they go their separate ways. God speaks His word and people walk their own paths. When people have no power, they may come to God and say a few words to borrow some power. After they borrow a little power, they run away. After running for some time, they run out of strength, and go back to God and ask Him for a little more strength. People are like this and they can’t hold on for a very long time. When people leave God, then they have no path.

from “The Significance and Practice of Prayer” in Records of Christ’s Talks

The more you live a spiritual life, the more your heart will be occupied by the words of God, always concerned with these matters and always bearing this burden. After that, you can reveal your innermost truth to God through your spiritual life, tell Him what you want to do, what you’ve been thinking about, your understanding of and your own way of seeing God’s word. Don’t hold back anything, not even a little bit! Practice speaking the words within your heart to God, tell Him the truth, and don’t hesitate to speak what’s in your heart. The more you do this, the more you will feel God’s loveliness, and your heart will be pulled more and more toward God. When this happens, you will feel that God is dearer to you than anyone else. You will never leave God’s side, no matter what. If you practice this kind of spiritual devotional on a daily basis and do not put it out of your mind, but treat it as your calling in life, then God’s word will occupy your heart. This is what it means to be touched by the Holy Spirit. It will be as if your heart has always been possessed by God, as if there has always been love in your heart. No one can take that away from you. When this happens, God will truly live inside you and have a place within your heart.

from “A Normal Spiritual Life Leads People Onto the Right Track” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Key to the belief in God is being able to put the truth into practice, care for God’s will, know God’s work on man when He comes in the flesh and the principles by which He speaks; do not follow the masses, and you must have principles in what you should enter into, and must hold to them. Holding firm to those things within you enlightened by God is of help to you. If you do not, today you will veer one way, tomorrow you will veer the other, and you will never gain anything real. To be like this is of no benefit to your own life.

from “Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

All those before Me who sincerely search for Me, who have hearts that hunger and thirst for righteousness, I will enlighten you, reveal to you, allow you to see Me with your own eyes and touch My will in person; My heart will surely be revealed to you, that you may understand. You must practice that which I enlighten within you according to My words, otherwise you will be judged. Follow My will and you shall not go astray.

from Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning

The Spirit of God works within people to bring them enlightenment and illumination, and to have them cooperate with Him and practice. … All of you should see clearly from God’s work that His trials of people’s confidence and love require that they pray more to God, and that they savor God’s words in front of Him more often. If God enlightens you and has you understand His will but you do not put it into practice at all, you will gain nothing.

from “You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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