14. The Principles of Praying to Worship God
1. Praying to God is done to understand the truth, obey God and worship God; true prayer must worship God with heart and with honesty;
2. When you obtain the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination during prayer, you should thank God and praise God, and when you enjoy the work of the Holy Spirit, you must prostrate yourself to worship God;
3. You must often give thanks and praise to God in light of the enlightenment, knowledge, attainments and enjoyment you gain—this is true worship of God;
4. When you encounter trials or when the responsibility to serve God befalls you, you should prostrate yourself before God, pray and worship God—this is the responsibility and the power of a created being.
Relevant Words of God:
The significance of prayer is very deep! If you pray often and if you know how to pray, frequently praying submissively and reasonably, then frequently your state will be particularly normal inside. If you frequently pray with a few slogans and don’t have a burden, or ponder how you are speaking reasonably or unreasonably in your prayer, and what kind of way of speaking is not true worship, and if you are never serious about these matters, then your prayers won’t be successful and the condition inside you will always be abnormal; you will never deeply enter into lessons of what normal reason is, what true submission is, what true worship is, and where to stand. These are all subtle matters. Because most people have little contact with Me, they can only come into the presence of the Spirit and pray. When you pray, it involves whether your words are reasonable, whether your words are about true worship, whether God praises you for the things you ask for, whether your words are about transactions, whether there are human impurities in your words, whether your words, actions and determinations are in accordance with truth; whether you have great reverence, respect and submission toward God, and whether you truly treat God like God. You must be serious and earnest with the words you pray when not in the presence of Christ. Only in this way can you be normal in the presence of Christ. If you are not serious in the presence of the Spirit, when you come into the presence of man (Christ), you will always be in conflict, or you will not have reason in your words, or you will not be honest in your words, or you will always interrupt with your words and actions. After the matter is over, you will always reproach yourself. Why are you always reproaching yourself? Because you ordinarily have no understanding of the truth in your worship of God and in how you treat God. Therefore, when matters come upon you, you get confused and don’t know how to practice, and you will always do things wrong.
from “The Significance and Practice of Prayer” in Records of Christ’s Talks
If you lie in bed and pray, believing that God can hear you, you are not showing piety! … Many people in the Bible prayed and didn’t jump to conclusions after discussing something. Everything was ultimately determined by the Holy Spirit through prayer. Jericho was attacked through prayer; the people of Nineveh repented and asked God to pardon them also through prayer. Prayer is not a ceremony, there is a lot of significance in it. We can see from people’s prayers that they are directly serving God. If you look at this as a ceremony, then you will certainly not serve God well. It can be said that if your prayers are not earnest or sincere, then God will not count you, He will ignore you. If you are ignored, will you have the Holy Spirit working in you? Therefore, you lose energy in doing your work. From now on, without prayer, you can’t work. It is prayer that brings work and prayer that brings service. …
… Prayer is not about how good your words are while you pray, you only need to speak the words of your heart and speak honestly according to your difficulties. Speak from the perspective of being a part of the creation and from the perspective of submission: “Oh God, You know that my heart is too hard. Oh God, lead me in this matter; You know I have weaknesses, I am too lacking and am unsuitable for You to use. I am rebellious and interrupt Your work when I do things; my actions do not conform with Your will. I ask You to do Your own work and we will only obey and cooperate….” If you cannot say these words, then you are finished. Some people think: “When I pray I must discern whether the prayer is reasonable or not; it is impossible to pray.” This is not a problem. Practice for a time and you will get it. Pray and you will know if there are words that are not appropriate. When people pray, their relationship with God is the most direct relationship. The relationship between people and God becomes the most intimate during prayer. Can you usually kneel and pray right away when you are doing something? You can’t. People’s relationship with God is the closest when they kneel and pray.
from “The Significance and Practice of Prayer” in Records of Christ’s Talks
You pray when you have matters and difficulties, but do you pray when your conditions are good, or when you feel that you had a successful meeting? So most of you don’t pray! If you held a successful meeting, you should offer a prayer; you should offer a prayer of praise. If someone praises you, you become prideful, feeling like you have the truth, you fall into the wrong condition, and your heart is happy. You do not have a prayer of praise, much less a prayer of thanksgiving. The result of you falling into this condition is that your next meeting will be dull, you won’t have the words to say, and the Holy Spirit will not work. People cannot grasp their own conditions, they do a little work and then enjoy the fruits of their work. In a negative condition, it’s hard to tell how many days they will need to recover. This kind of condition is the most dangerous. You all pray when you have a matter or when you don’t see things clearly; you pray when you have doubts and hesitations about something or your corrupt disposition has been exposed. You only pray when you are in need of something. You must also pray when you have some success in your work. … As soon as you pray, the Holy Spirit will work on you; He will give you a type of feeling and make you come out of the incorrect condition. Prayer is not all about seeking. It is not that you pray when you need God and don’t pray when you don’t need God.
from “The Significance and Practice of Prayer” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Sometimes, when you are enjoying the words of God, your spirit is touched, and you feel that you can’t help but love God, that there is great strength within you, and that there is nothing that you can’t put aside. If you feel like this, then you have been touched by the Spirit of God, and your heart has wholly turned to God, and you will pray to God and say: “O God! We truly have been predestined and chosen by You. Your glory gives me pride, and it feels glorious for me to be one of Your people. I will expend anything and give anything to carry out Your will, and will devote all my years, and an entire lifetime of efforts, to You.” When you pray like this, there will be unending love and true obedience toward God in your heart. Have you ever had such an experience as this? If people are often touched by the Spirit of God, then they are especially willing to devote themselves to God in their prayers: “O God! I wish to behold Your day of glory, and I wish to live for You—nothing is more worthy or meaningful than to live for You, and I have not the slightest desire to live for Satan and the flesh. You raise me up by enabling me to live for You today.” When you have prayed in this way, you will feel that you can’t help but give your heart to God, that you must gain God, and that you would hate to die without having gained God while you are alive. Having spoken such a prayer, there will be an inexhaustible strength within you, and you will not know from where it comes; inside you there will be limitless power, and you will have a great sense that God is lovely, and that He is worth loving. This is when you will have been touched by God. All those who have had such an experience have been touched by God. For those who are often touched by God, changes occur in their lives, they are able to make their resolution and are willing to completely gain God, the love for God in their hearts is stronger, their hearts have completely turned to God, they hold no regard for family, the world, entanglements, or their future, and they are willing to devote a lifetime of efforts to God. All those who have been touched by the Spirit of God are people who seek after the truth, and who have hope of being made perfect by God.
from “Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Every once in a while a day comes where you feel that God is so lovable and you cannot help but pray to God: “Oh God! Your love is so beautiful and Your image is so great. I wish to love You more deeply. I wish to devote all that I am to expend my entire life. As long as it is for Your sake, I wish to devote everything to You, just so that I can love You….” This is a feeling of pleasure given you by the Holy Spirit. It is not enlightenment, nor is it illumination; it is a stirring. This kind of experience will happen now and then, such as on your way to work. You will pray and feel close to God, so much so that tears will wet your face, so moved that you cannot control yourself and you will be anxious to find suitable surroundings where you can express all the fervor inside your heart…. At times you will be at a public occasion and will feel that the love you enjoy is too much, that your lot is anything but ordinary, and will more so feel that you are worth more than any other. You will know deeply that God is raising you up, that this is God’s great love for you. In the deepest recesses of your heart you will feel that there is a kind of love about God that is inexpressible and unreadable; it’s like you know it but have no way to express it, always giving you pause for thought but leaving you unable to express it completely. At times like this, you will even forget where you are, to the point where you will speak out: “Oh God! You are so hard to understand, yet You are so beloved!”
from “Practice (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If one day people truly understood God’s will, they would say: “My corruption was this deep all along and I am finally recognizing it. Fortunately, God saves me, and now I can see a brilliant life and can walk on the correct path of life. I don’t know how I can thank God.” It is like waking up from a dream and seeing the light. Is this not receiving great salvation? Should they not praise God?
from “Understanding Commonalities and Differences in Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
So many times did I put him under trial, which of course left him half dead, but even in the midst of these hundreds of trials, he never once lost faith in Me or became disillusioned with Me. Even when I said I had already thrown him aside, he did not grow faint of heart or fall into despair, but continued as before to carry out his principles so as to realize his love for Me. When I told him that, even though he loved Me, I did not commend him but would cast him into Satan’s hands in the end. In the midst of these trials, which did not reach unto his flesh but were trials by means of words, he still prayed to Me: Oh, God! Among the heavens and earth and the myriad things, is there any man, any creature, or any thing that is not in the hands of You, the Almighty? When You wish to show me mercy, my heart rejoices greatly on account of Your mercy; when You wish to execute judgment on me, unworthy though I may be, I feel all the more the profound mystery of Your deeds, because You are filled with authority and wisdom. Though my flesh may suffer, I am comforted in my spirit. How could I not extol Your wisdom and Your deeds? Even if I die after coming to know You, I would be ever ready and willing. Oh, Almighty One! Surely it is not that You truly do not wish to let me see You? Surely it is not that I am truly unworthy of receiving Your judgment? Can it possibly be that there is something in me that You do not wish to see? In the midst of these kinds of trials, even though Peter was not able to grasp My intentions accurately, it is evident that he considered it a matter of pride and personal glory to be used by Me (be it only to receive My judgment so that humanity might see My majesty and wrath), and was anything but dejected on account of being put under trial. … This should serve you as a code of conduct.
from “The Sixth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh
All that God does for everyone is good—so why not give praise at this time? If things got to a certain point, or the day came, would you, like Peter, be able to utter prayers from deep within yourself amid trials? Only if, like Peter, you are still able to praise God when in Satan’s hands will there be the true meaning of “being released from Satan’s bondage, overcoming the flesh, and overcoming Satan.” Is this not a more real testimony for God?
from “Interpretation of the Thirty-second Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When he was being chastised by God, Peter prayed, “O God! My flesh is disobedient, and You chastise me and judge me. I rejoice in Your chastisement and judgment, and even if You do not want me, in Your judgment I behold Your holy and righteous disposition. When You judge me, so that others may behold Your righteous disposition in Your judgment, I feel content. If it can show forth Your disposition, and allow Your righteous disposition to be seen by all creatures, and if it can make my love of You purer, so that I can attain the image of one who is righteous, then Your judgment is good, for such is Your gracious will. I know that there is still much in me that is rebellious, and that I am still not fit to come before You. I wish for You to judge me even more, whether through a hostile environment or great tribulations; no matter how You judge me, to me it is precious. Your love is so profound, and I am willing to lay myself at Your mercy without the slightest complaint.”
from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Someone who truly carries out God’s will can emit praise from deep in their heart in the midst of God’s judgment, chastisement, and trials, and is able to fully obey God and forsake themselves, thus loving God with a heart of sincerity, single-mindedness, and purity; such is a complete person, and it is also the work that God wants to do, and is what God wants to accomplish.
from “On the Steps of God’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Man’s Fellowship:
How exactly should God be worshiped? Sometimes you will be able to use words to express your worship, at other times words will fail you, but your heart will worship Him, for your heart will lie prostrate before God and you will feel utterly insignificant. While you lie prostrate before God, full of reverence for God in your heart, trembling with fear, though you speak no words, your heart is worshiping God. Sometimes people view God’s actions and some words will form in their hearts, and they will continuously praise God. At other times people may see God is majestic and wrathful and they will continuously praise Him. Other people may see God has indeed done salvation work on them, and they repeatedly express their gratitude, praising God over and over again, with nothing but praise on their lips. All of this counts as worshiping God and is indeed true worship. In brief, the most important thing about worshiping God is that the praise for God comes from deep in your heart, and that your heart can’t help but lie prostrate before God in reverence of Him. You feel insignificant and feel that God is great and holy. These are all expressions of worship. Worship happens when people see the glory of God, when they see God’s appearance, when they truly experience His almightiness, experience His greatness and His majesty and wrath, which tolerate no offense from mankind. When people worship under these circumstances, it is indeed true worship. Worshiping God means returning His deserved glory to Him. When we are enduring God’s refinement we pray to God, seek out His intentions, and finally we see His glory. This is spiritually seeing God’s glory, and feeling His greatness and almightiness, His majesty and wrath, His righteousness, and His love. When your praises come from deep inside your heart, this is also genuine worship because you are returning God’s deserved glory to Him. Anytime someone spiritually sees the glory of God deep inside and they can express this with a voice of praise, that is also genuinely worshiping God.
from “How to Achieve True Worship of God” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (IV)
The tenth behavior is being able to worship God upon seeing God’s love, discovering God’s good intentions, or understanding mysteries of the truth. There is more and more worshiping of God in their prayers. They worship God more and more often. Whenever they discover God’s love or good intentions, whenever they gain true knowledge of God, or understand profound mysteries of the truth, or enjoy the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, they will immediately worship God and give thanks and praise to God. Hence, they worship God often and their worship is pure and real. The more obedient one is, the more genuine their worship.
from “The Ten Behaviors That Must Be Possessed by People Who Truly Obey God” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (VI)