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4. What is true prayer?

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4. What is true prayer?

What is true prayer?

Relevant Words of God:

What is true prayer? It is telling God what is in your heart, communing with God as you grasp His will, communicating with God through His words, feeling especially close to God, sensing He is there before you, and believing you have something to say to Him. Your heart feels filled with light and you feel how loveable God is. You feel especially inspired, and listening to you brings gratification to your brothers and sisters. They will feel that the words you speak are the words within their hearts, the words they wish to say, as though your words were a substitute for their own. This is what true prayer is. After you have engaged in true prayer, your heart will be at peace and will know gratification. The strength to love God can rise up, and you will feel that there is nothing of greater value or significance in life than loving God. All this proves that your prayers have been effective.

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

The minimum that God requires of man is that man be able to open his heart to Him. If man gives his true heart to God and speaks what is truly in his heart, then God is willing to work in him. What God desires is not the twisted heart of man, but a pure and honest heart. If man does not speak from his heart to God, then God will not move his heart or work in him. Therefore, the crux of prayer is to speak to God from your heart, telling Him your shortcomings or rebellious disposition, laying yourself completely open before Him; only then will God be interested in your prayers, or else He will hide His face from you.

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

Sometimes, looking to God doesn’t mean asking God to do something using specific words, or asking Him for specific guidance or protection. Rather, it is that when people encounter some issue, they are able to call on Him sincerely. So, what is God doing there when people call on Him? When someone’s heart stirs and they have this thought: “Oh God, I can’t do this myself, I don’t know how to do it, and I feel weak and negative,” does God know about it? When these thoughts arise in people, are their hearts sincere? When they call on God sincerely in this way, does God assent to help them? Despite the fact that they may not have spoken a word, they show sincerity, and so God assents to help them. When someone encounters an especially thorny difficulty, when they have no one to turn to and they feel particularly helpless, they put their only hope in God. What are their prayers like? What is their state of mind? Are they sincere? Is there any adulteration at that time? It is only when you trust God as though He were the last straw that you clutch onto to save your life, hoping that He will help you, that your heart is sincere. Though you may not have said much, your heart has already stirred. That is, you give your sincere heart to God, and God listens. When God sees your difficulties, He will enlighten you, guide you, and help you.

from “Believers First Need to See Through the Evil Trends of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Prayer is not a case of just going through the motions, following procedure, or reciting the words of God. That is to say, praying is not parroting certain words and it is not imitating others. In prayer, one must reach the state where one’s heart can be given to God, laying open one’s heart so that it may be moved by God. If prayer is to be effective, then it must be based on the reading of God’s words. Only by praying from within God’s words can one receive greater enlightenment and illumination. The manifestations of a true prayer are: Having a heart that yearns for all that God asks, and moreover desires to accomplish what He demands; detesting that which God detests and then, building on this foundation, gaining some understanding of it, and having some knowledge and clarity regarding the truths God expounds. Where there is resolution, faith, knowledge, and a path of practice following prayer, only then can it be called true prayer, and only this type of prayer can be effective. Yet prayer must be built upon the enjoyment of God’s words, it must be established on the foundation of communing with God in His words, and the heart must be able to seek God and become quiet before Him. Prayer of this kind has already entered the stage of true communion with God.

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

I hope that you brothers and sisters are able to engage in true prayer each and every day. This is not about following the rules, but about achieving a certain result. Are you willing to forgo a little sleep and enjoyment to rise early for morning prayers and enjoy the words of God? If you pray with a pure heart and eat and drink the words of God like this, you will be more acceptable to Him. If every morning you do this, if every day you practice giving your heart to God, communicating and engaging with Him, then your knowledge of God will certainly increase, and you will be better able to grasp God’s will. You say: “O God! I am willing to fulfill my duty. Only to You do I consecrate my whole being, so that You may be glorified in us, so that You may enjoy the testimony borne by this group of us. I beg You to work in us, so that I may become able to truly love You and satisfy You and pursue You as my goal.” As you take on this burden, God will surely make you perfect. You should not pray only for your own benefit, but you should pray also in order to follow God’s will and to love Him. This is the truest kind of prayer.

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

Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:

There are several results a true communion with God must produce: Firstly, when communing with God, we come to know the truth of our corruption and the essence of our nature, thus achieving the result of knowing ourselves. In the presence of God, we should often reflect on the things we have done to see whether or not they actually conform to God’s will and to see what it is we’ve relied on to live. If we have lived by the word of God, then that is testimony for entry into life. If we’ve lived by the philosophy of Satan, that is an expression of the nature of Satan, which is considered a transgression. Secondly, when communing with God, we not only achieve true knowledge of ourselves, but we also achieve true knowledge of God, which is the result of communing with God. After achieving true knowledge of God, there will arise in our hearts the desire to revere God, to obey God and to love God, which will ultimately bring forth in us the resolve to serve God. This is a result achieved by knowing God, and it is also a result achieved by communing with God. If we do not achieve these results in our communion with God, that is sufficient to prove that we have not entered onto the right track in our prayers, and that we have not actually communed with God. Some people say: “Well, I’ve prayed for many years, so does that mean that I’m in communion with God in prayers?” Then you have to measure this according to these results. Have you achieved the result of knowing yourself in your prayers? Have you achieved the result of seeking God’s will and the truth? Have you achieved the result of obeying God? Have you achieved the result of revering God? Have you achieved the result of loving God? If you have not achieved a single one of these results, then your prayers are hollow, they are meaningless, and you simply are not in true communion with God.

from “The Aim and Significance of Communion With God in Prayer” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life V

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