Every one of us who has faith in the Lord has known and experienced thatis very important, but we seldom think about whether our prayers are in accord with the Lord’s will. Some time ago, I read some spiritual books on the Internet and came to know that if we wish to obtain truth and life, we must meet three aspects of prayers every day. When I consciously followed the way given in the book, I actually got some unexpected reward. Here I shall share my gain with you.
The first aspect: pondering God’s words and seeking the truth when praying.
When practicing spiritual devotions every day, if we can read God’s words with a prayerful heart, ponder God’s words in our heart, and commune with God about spiritual matters in life, it will be easy for us to obtain the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and light and understand the truth in God’s words. For example, when we read God’s word saying, “You must be honest people,” we shall ponder, “God requires us to be honest. Then what’s the meaning of being honest?” We shall seek with a prayerful heart: “God! You require us to be honest, but I don’t know what the significance of this is and how to be honest. May You enlighten me.” Just pray and ponder God’s words in our heart in this way. Whenever we have free time, we shall be quiet before God and pray: “God! Today after reading Your words ‘You must be honest people,’ I am still not very clear about what this means. What is the reality of the truth in this statement? And what should I do to be an honest man?” When pondering God’s words with a prayerful heart in this way, we will be able to find light, and then we will know: To be honest is to not lie, but to innocently and openly speak the words within our hearts; it is to refrain from impurity in our actions, to not cheat, and to not be perfunctory; additionally, it is to have no cunning in our heart and no personal aims and intentions in our actions. After receiving this light through pondering, we shall pray: “God! Thank You for Your enlightenment and light. May You continue guiding me so that I can understand Your words more deeply and have a deeper experience.” Then, during the following period of time, whenever we aren’t busy, we should still ponder: How to be an honest man to be in accordance with the principles of the truth and what is the standard of being an honest man? Now that I’m still not clear about this, I shall continue to pray and seek.
Besides, we can also fellowship with brothers and sisters who have experience and ask about their knowledge of being an honest man. If they speak of some new knowledge, then we can obtain more. If we pray and ponder God’s words in the way mentioned above, we will gain some understanding today, some new seeing tomorrow, and then at last, we will have deeper understanding on the principles of the truth of being an honest man and have the specific way of practice.
Usually, regardless of which passage of God’s words we read, we shall pray like this: “God! After reading these words, I am still not very clear about the meaning within it. May You enlighten me.” When we pray to God from within our hearts to seek the work of the Holy Spirit, God will gradually enlighten us, making us understand His words. But if after praying we don’t hold in our hearts what we prayed for but pay our attention to other things, then our prayer is to be in vain. So after we finish praying, we still need to ponder God’s words and pray silently, and then the Holy Spirit will unconsciously enlighten us to understand it. As long as we focus on one aspect of the truth to pray, ponder, seek and fellowship, we will gain a lot.
The second aspect: reflecting on ourselves in God’s words when praying.
Although we, many things we do cannot be in accord with and many of our actions and minds and thoughts are hostile to God. So, when reading God’s words, we shall reflect on ourselves. For example, we read God’s words, “Honesty means to give your heart to God; never to play Him false in anything; to be open with Him in all things, never hiding the truth; never to do that which deceives those above and deludes those below; and never to do that which merely ingratiates yourself with God. In short, to be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man.” When we finish reading God’s words and see these main manifestations of an honest man, then we shall pray: “God! You say that an honest man can give his heart to You, is pure in his words and actions, and does not cheat, pretend, or quibble. Then, am I this kind of man? I am not clear about this.” After praying and reflecting on ourselves, we will realize that not only are we not honest, but we are very cunning. For instance, when encountering the things beneficial to ourselves, we will thank and praise God. But when encountering something disadvantageous to us, we will be filled with suspicion of and guardedness toward God and people. We see righteous and holy God as the same as corrupt mankind and we suspect that others are as bad as us. As we often lie and cheat others, we think God’s word is also unbelievable. So, in spite of seeing God saying that He is saving man, we cannot completely believe that. As we have intention and motives in speaking and doing things, we think that God utilizes and fools man in His speaking and working. We always prepare alternatives and plan for ourselves and are not willing to give our heart to God at all. In interacting with others, we cannot open our heart to others or treat others honestly, but are always on guard with others, for fear of being deceived by them and thus losing out. … When we reflect on ourselves like this, we can see that we are quite a long way away from the standard of being an honest man, so we still need to strive to seek and press onward to satisfy God’s will.
The third aspect: When we encounter all manner of people, matters and things and do not understand God’s intentions, we must seek and submit in our prayers. In our daily life, we often do many things that disobey God’s will according to our own will and naturalness. Especially when encountering something that we cannot fathom, we always fear that we will displease God if we deal with it according to our own thoughts; we want to act according to God’s intentions, but we just don’t know how to go about it in the right way. At this point, the only way is pray to God and seek more.
Before praying, we must be clear in our heart that whatever happens to us, it is always permitted by God, and there is God’s good purpose behind it, so we shall seek God’s will with a submissive heart. If we cannot see through it, we must not carelessly comment, judge, or complain, but should be quiet our hearts before God to pray and seek. Only when we find the way of practice will we know how to do to stand witness.
In this aspect, Job is an example for us to follow. When he learnt that his flocks and herds all over the hills were carried off by the robbers and his children were crushed to death by the collapsing house, he understood all of this was permitted by God, and was God’s trials to him. So, he did not say a word but first came before God, fell down on the ground and worshiped, and prayed, expressing his submission. Later, he said, “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah.” Job feared God and shunned evil, so he was a perfect man in the eyes of God. We cannot be compared with Job, but when encountering something that we cannot see through or understand, no matter how much pain we suffer, we shall pray to God with our hearts and sing more hymns praising God. In that way, we will gain more faith in God and our pain will be relieved so we will not complain. Especially, when suffering great pain, even if we may understand some truth, we will complain against God easily because of the weakness and pain in our heart. So, at this time, we ought to pray more and rely on God more, sing hymns of praising God, and ask the Holy Spirit to work in us and to give us faith and strength. In this way, unconsciously we will be able to overcome it and stand witness to satisfy God.
The three aspects of prayers above are what we should keep and practice. If we do so, not only will our life experience be richer and richer, but we will also live a fuller life, grow closer and closer to God, and have more knowledge of God. Do you do these three aspects of prayers every day?