PRACTICING FELLOWSHIP AND PRAYER AS THE FOUNDATION FOR THE BLENDING
- The members of a group must have fellowship with one another in order to have the most necessary requirement for being grouped, intimacy
- We need to have fellowship that makes us, and the things concerning us, known within the group
- The groups should then pray intercessory prayers based upon the enlightenment that is imparted through the fellowship
- Praying with revelation based upon the fellowship is the way that we are blended, and this blending gives us impact
- We need to see that the Lord used a blended group when he turned the age in the book of Acts, and that He is seeking blended groups for His move today
The Most Necessary Requirement for Grouped Being Intimacy
The most necessary requirement for grouping together is intimacy. After a number of weeks the seven or eight members of a group should become one person in a thorough intimacy. Then within this inner circle of intimacy the group should practice the fellowship and also the feeding. The matter of fellowshipping requires a great deal of study and practice because we either do not have fellowship, or we come together merely to gossip. Actually, gossip is not fellowship. It is full of leaven and corruption. We need to avoid any kind of gossip.
We also need to practice intercession, that is, to pray for one another. Intercession depends on and is based on fellowship. (Fellowship Concerning the Urgent Need of the Vital Groups, Chapter 6)
Practicing Fellowship to Lay a Foundation for Blending
If we would practice the blending, we should not forget the matter of fellowship. Fellowship is the basis for blending. Thus, we must practice the fellowship. By so doing we will lay the foundation for the blending. Without the foundation of intimate and thorough fellowship, there can be no blending.
We should not be afraid of being known by others. The more we are known in a proper way, the better. This will put down our pride, take away our boasting, annul our superiority complex, and even put aside our inferiority complex. However, most of us are not willing to expose ourselves. Instead, we prefer to cover ourselves by pretending to one another. Because of this, it is difficult for us to have an intimate and thorough fellowship that results in our being blended together.
Without the blending, the Lord has no way to go on with us. Blending is the Body, blending is the oneness, and blending is the one accord—it is all these things. We who have remained in the recovery all have the problems of our disposition and character that keep us separate from one another. Although by the Lord’s mercy we are still together, among us there has been very little grouping. Because of this, we do not have the impact. The impact is with the one accord, and the one accord actually is the blending.
If we do not have the one accord, God cannot answer our prayer, because we do not practice the Body. Our not being in one accord means that we do not practice the Body. According to the proper interpretation of the New Testament, the one accord is the one Body. We must practice the principle of the Body; then we will have the one accord. Although we may not fight with one another, we still may not have the one accord. Because we have remained together, we have seen the Lord’s blessing but only in a limited way. Therefore, we need to have the one accord to practice the Body.
We need to be blended until we have an intimate love for the members of our group. If we continue to hide ourselves and keep a distance from one another, we will not have the impact when we go out to visit people. The people whom we visit will sense that we are not one.
Our situation today is very different from that of Peter, James, and John. When they were together following the Lord as His believers, they were genuine, as seen in the fact that they fought with one another. In Matthew 20, while the Lord Jesus was unveiling His death and resurrection to them (vv. 17-19), it seems that they did not hear what He was speaking. After the Lord Jesus finished His speaking, they had a contention among themselves (vv. 20-24). This indicates that they were very genuine. (Fellowship Concerning the Urgent Need of the Vital Groups, Chapter 10)
Practicing Prayer that Issues in Blending
Some of you pray much in a habitual way in the prayer meetings, but in your prayer it is hard to realize any unveiling or revelation. Our prayer should be full of revelation. The Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6 is a simple prayer, but it is full of revelation and without explanation. His prayer in John 17 is also full of revelation. Probably no chapter of the entire Bible bears as much revelation as John 17 does. The apostle Paul’s prayers in Ephesians 1 and 3 are full of revelation. This shows us that we have to learn to pray.
We should not do anything naturally, nor should we be silent. We should tell the Lord that we do not want to be silent or natural. This forces us to learn what it means to exercise our spirit. To exercise our spirit, we need a lot of dealing. We must first deal with our natural way and our natural person, our natural being, which includes our natural prayer and our natural speaking.
Some of you, on the other hand, are naturally silent. You do not say anything in the meetings, and you do not pray. If all these habitual ways are not broken in us, we cannot be grouped together in a vital way. To be grouped together is to be blended together. According to our experiences, there is no other way to be blended except by thorough and much prayer. We should not think that if we talk together, we will be blended. This is wrong. Blending can be accomplished only by praying together. We must be persons of prayer.
The Lord Jesus was working on this earth in His ministry for three and a half years. In those three and a half years He worked day and night. Many thousands of people were helped by Him in His ministry, but eventually out of His work only one hundred twenty remained for the fulfilling of God’s economy. All the rest, including Nicodemus, were not there for the economical filling of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. All of the one hundred twenty were Galileans. Here we can see the principle of grouping. These one hundred twenty were not separate individuals, but they were all grouped together to be one group. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit came down on one group. The Lord Jesus was the One who grouped them together.
From the first day that the Lord Jesus began to call the disciples, He started the grouping. The Lord was like a big magnet, drawing the disciples to Himself to become a group. In the four Gospels we can see that the disciples were quarreling and competing with one another. At times they were in rivalry with one another (Matt. 20:20-28; Luke 22:24). The Lord Jesus dealt with each one of them. All those dealings were for one thing—to group them together. Eventually, those who remained in an absolute way for God’s purpose after the Lord’s earthly ministry were the one hundred twenty. The others were not grouped but scattered. The Lord gained only one group, and this group prayed in one accord for ten days (Acts 1:14-15). They stayed together, they lived together, they ate together, and they lodged together for ten days, doing nothing but praying. Then they experienced the outpoured Spirit on the day of Pentecost. On earth at that time, there was only one group whose prayer touched the heart of God and His throne in the heavens.
Prayer is really powerful, but in order to be powerful, our prayer must be a prayer that touches the throne of God and the heart of God, and it must be a prayer that can move the very God. We have to pray, but we should not pray lightly. We should not pray by composing a prayer. We do not want to go out to reach others until our grouping is consummated. Otherwise, we may go out but go out powerlessly as we did in the past. We need to pass through a period of time in which we can be blended with all the members of our group and allow the Lord to gain our group as one entity for the carrying out of His New Testament economy.
Being Blended by Much and Thorough Prayer
For us to pray merely in our vital group meetings is not adequate. For the blending, we need to pray day and night. First, we need to pray by ourselves privately. We can be blended by much and thorough prayer, as fine flour of the wheat, with all the members of our group, with the Spirit as the oil, through the death of Christ as the salt, and in the resurrection of Christ as the frankincense, into a dough for the Lord (1 Cor. 5:6-7a; Lev. 2:1-13). We need to pray, on our knees if possible, “Lord Jesus, blend me. Blend me, Lord. Grant me the proper prayer I need. I really don’t know what much and thorough prayer is, but grant me this experience to be blended. Lord, blend me as the fine flour of the wheat.” We should pray to get through on every point so that we can be blended. (Fellowship Concerning the Urgent Need of the Vital Groups, Chapter 6)
- Why are fellowship and prayer necessary in order to have blending?
- Are we able to fellowship with the members of our group in the ways mentioned in this reading? If not, consider with one another what hinders this kind of fellowship.
- What is the kind of prayer that is needed in order for us to be blended? Why does this type of prayer require that we deny our natural tendencies such as explaining things in our prayer, or being too silent when it’s time to pray?