If it would be you, what would be the first thing you need to get into and emphasize, when it comes to "working for the Lord", "serving the Lord", "preaching the gospel", or even in doing your best to do something for the Lord? It may be some special skills or guide on how to speak to people, maybe some more Bible verses to memorize, some more Bible knowledge, some organizing of things, practical matters, organizing an event.... Well, we started today as Christians on the Campus - that's right, we are Christian Students at University :) - with getting into,
A Deeper Understanding of Prayer - Confessing our sins and Contacting God - One Meaningful Thing I Did Today
brother Nee said,
Before we do anything for God, we need to pray! Our work needs to issue out of a life of prayer with the Lord. Instead of working much, we should pray much... but what is prayer? First of all, the real significance of prayer is to contact God in our spirit and to absorb God Himself! To pray is to contact God with our human spirit - since God is Spirit - and to absorb God(John 4:24). The first thing we need to know about prayer is that it is a matter of the spirit - our mingled spirit! When we want to pray, we just need to turn to our spirit! And that's where everything happens - in our spirit!Why do we work so much and pray so little when we can accomplish much more by our prayer than by our work?
What we all notice is that whenever we turn to the Lord in our spirit, He shines on us and exposes us - we see how sinful we are, we see how much we live our life without the Lord, and we see how many things we do that displease Him. In the Lord's light in this way we can confess our sins - and the Lord is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from any unrighteousness(1 John 1:7-9). How can we pray to the Lord and absorb Him into us if we have guilt in our conscience - if our conscience accuses us of our sin? We need to break through - every morning we need to Confess Our Sins!
This is the first thing - we need to agree with the Lord's light when He shines on us! As human beings in rebellion against God and as sinners, we don't really like the Lord's light - we try to stay away from the light, from the Lord's shining, because it exposes us. But when we come to the Lord as we are, He shines on us and we can confess our sins! When we confess our sins, when we agree with what the Lord exposes, He forgives us, cleanses us, and He FORGETS about it! Praise the Lord, when it comes to "remembering our sins", God has "amnesia": He can't remember them anymore!
Confessing our sins is a matter we practice every day - so that we may have a clear conscience, a conscience void of offense. What we really want is to touch God and contact Him, to absorb Him and be infused with Him - and for this we deal with anything that's in the way! Once we touch God through prayer, through an intimate conversation with Him, we can receive His element into us! We then need to talk to Him - this is the real conversation with God! You can tell Him everything - He's your Friend, He's there to listen to you, to understand you thoroughly, and to comfort you.... And as we open to Him to "give Him our problems", He gives us more of Himself: He infuses us with His very element!
Praise the Lord - we can contact God in our spirit by simply confessing our sins and then conversing with Him! Sometimes in the morning or during the day we even need to tell the Lord, "Lord, make my heart happy in You! I'm NOT HAPPY, LORD!" - admit to it. We may put on a happy face, have a joke ready, something funny to say, but inside we're not happy. We need the Lord as JOY Himself to make this verse real to us "the joy of the Lord is my strength"(Neh. 8:10). The Lord will definitely listen to prayers like these,
Lord, make my heart happy in You, so that I may also make others' hearts happy in You! Lord, warm up my heart towards You that I may love You! I need You, Lord!We just need to be open and genuine with the Lord. He knows us anyways - and He knows whether we try to cover up things or sugar-coat our prayer. We can't really lie to the Lord - even if we pass the "human lie-detector", the Lord knows our inner being, and He knows our heart. That's why we need to be honest with the Lord will bring about the Lord's blessing and His presence. The more honest you are with the Lord, the more honest and genuine you become as a human being.
And you know what? When you're honest with the Lord - just as when you're honest with your spouse or your best friend - He opens up His heart to you and tells you what's on His heart. How about that! All we do is agree with the Lord's light and open to Him, confessing our sins, touching Him, talking to Him, being in His presence... and He imparts His heart's desire into us! O, the prayers that we will pray then! Not just BOLD PRAYERS and COMMANDING PRAYERS, but even prayers that will move God's hand to accomplish His will! When we become one with the Lord in this way there's no limit to what the Lord can pray in us...