REPENTING AND CONFESSING PRAYER THAT WE MAY BE BLENDABLE AND REVIVED
- We need to practice personal prayer with thorough confession and repentance concerning the things that prevent us from being blended with others and have an equal love for one another
- We need continuous repenting prayers so that our prayer life can continue to flow and our fellowship with one another can be unhindered
- Only by persevering in this kind of prayer can we be blended together and revived
Having Thorough, Confessing Prayers that We May Be Blended
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.
We need to confess the sin of individualism and individuality. Individualism is a kind of logic, and individuality is a kind of living. We do have a kind of logic by which we live, and that logic is individualism. This “ism” has become a kind of living, and that living is individuality. We have to pray, maybe for more than ten days, to get through on this point. We need to confess our outward sins and inward evils to the Lord, asking for His forgiveness. If we are under the Lord’s enlightening, we will realize that our thinking, our intention, and our desire are all evil. Our good intentions are not pure. Our motive is not pure.
Eventually, we would realize and tell the Lord that we cannot enumerate all our inward evils. Under His light we would realize that we are just evil. If we have not been dealt with to such an extent in our contact with the Lord, we can never be blended with others. We need to be dealt with to such an extent that we lose our confidence in ourselves. We will then realize that in ourselves we cannot be pure. When we pray, we pray with an impure intention. [Even] when we speak for the Lord in the church meetings, we have a desire to get more “Amens.” That intention is impure.
Then we need to confess our dispositional problems. Quite often we take an excuse by saying, “I was born that way.” This is the excuse of our dispositional problem. We need to condemn our natural disposition, not excuse it. We do not realize how bad we are naturally and dispositionally. We also have the peculiarity in our character. We have to deal with this by thorough and much prayer. We cannot have such a thorough dealing within a short time. We also need to deny our self, our habit, and our old way of doing things (Matt. 16:24). There are so many troubles related to us which need to be dealt with. As fallen beings, we are a composition of troubles.
Do we believe that today we have no more confidence in ourselves and no more trust in our natural ability? If this trust were taken away from us, we could not live. We live because we have confidence in ourselves and trust in our ability. But if we trust in our ability, we cannot be blended with others. If we have even a little bit of self-confidence, self-trust, we cannot be blended with others.
We have to get through all of these points by prayer. I have been doing this for years. What I am sharing here is altogether from my experience…In these coming weeks, we have to go to the Lord in prayer every day to deal with all the above items. We need to pray thoroughly. The more we pray, the more we will be dealt with in these items and the more we will be blended. Then no one will be able to offend us. Today we are very sensitive because we have not allowed the Lord to deal with us.
Our concept is that thorough prayer is to explain. Paul, however, said that we do not know what to pray but the Spirit helps us in our weakness, interceding for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Rom. 8:26). We do not know how we should pray; hence, we groan (v. 23). In our groaning the Spirit groans also, interceding for us. In our dealing with the Lord, we may groan, “O Lord, my character. My character, Lord! What shall I do, Lord?” This is thorough prayer. We need to cry out to the Lord. Many of us are too nice. When the Spirit is on us, however, we will forget about being nice. The less words we speak the better. But the more we groan and cry out to the Lord, the better. If we could kneel for thirty minutes, groaning and crying out to the Lord, this is the best prayer.
We need the Lord’s breaking through His cross. Otherwise, it will be hard for us to exercise the spirit because we are too much in the mind. The many items we have in our prayer are evidence that we are in our mind. Paul’s word in Romans 8 concerning coming to the Lord to groan is very meaningful. We might pray, “O Lord, I don’t know what to pray, but I know my natural man is condemned and my character has a lot of problems. Have mercy upon me.” If we try to explain things in our prayer, we may be able to do this for only ten minutes. Then our speaking will be exhausted. But we can never graduate from groaning. We have to learn to shout, to cry out, and to groan.
When we come together in these days, we need to pray mainly for the blending. The blending implies all these dealings. If the fine flour is to be blended into dough, we cannot have any hard pieces remaining in the flour. There are many “hard pieces” still remaining in our being. Since this is the case, how can we be blended with others? There is no other way for us to be blended except by prayer. If we are dealt with to the extent which we have talked about, we will not be able to be offended. Someone may tell us that we are not so nice. We may respond, “You are right. I am even worse than what you know.” We [also] need to love all the members of our group with an equal love in the love of God (Phil. 2:2). It is difficult to find anyone who loves others with an equal love. We always love according to our preference and our taste.
QUESTION: Is it wrong not to be able to pray in a group if you feel like someone has done something against you?
ANSWER: As long as we can be offended, we are a failure. We have to pray, “Lord, save me from the feeling that I have been wronged. Lord, I am still so natural. I am still so much in myself.” This is a good prayer, a genuine prayer. Such prayer always conveys a certain amount of enlightenment and revelation. When we pray in our natural way, our prayer is darkening; it does not enlighten. (Fellowship concerning the Urgent Need of the Vital Groups, Chapter 11)
Maintaining Continuous Repenting Prayers
Repenting prayer is a particular kind of prayer which we must keep continuously. Medical doctors tell us that we should always wash our hands before eating. In the same way, we should not pray without repenting. Praying without repenting is like eating without washing our hands. Even if we do not lose our temper or speak evil words, we are still sinful. So when we come to pray, to take the spiritual food, we have to wash our hands, and to wash our hands is to repent. We should say, “Lord, I still need Your forgiveness, and I still need Your cleansing with Your precious blood.” Then we can pray. After our hands are washed, we can eat. We all need some particular time to repent so that we can pray. The degree to which we can pray depends upon the degree to which we have repented. (The Training and the Practice of the Vital Groups, Chapter 4)
A Personal Testimony of Becoming Revived through Prayer
One day in August 1931 the Lord spoke within me. He asked me, “Are you living or dead? What kind of Christian are you?” This was a real crisis for me. The very next day I went up to a little mountain close to my home to pray. I went there early in the morning and knelt down and cried out to the Lord, saying, “Lord, be merciful to me! There must be something wrong with me. Week after week I attend Christian meetings, study the Word, and pray, but I am still so dead and weak, and for many years I have not brought one soul to You.” When I cried out in this way, the Holy Spirit flooded through me like a mighty tide. I realized that I was sinful, dirty, and rebellious. I cannot describe how I felt at that time. I simply prostrated myself on the ground and told the Lord, “Lord, I am sinful. I am the most sinful person in the whole world.” As I confessed to the Lord in this way, tears came down my face. Later, as I was on my way down the mountain, I was filled with happiness, joy, peace, and a heavenly feeling. At that time I did not know where I was. I could not tell if I was in the heavens or on the earth. From that day on, for more than seven months I rose up early every morning and went up to that mountain. Day by day I went up to the mountain to pray to the Lord in a living way. During this time it was easy for me to meet the Lord. I would read the Word, pray, and call upon the Lord in a living way…After seven months of praying to the Lord every morning on the mountain in this way, I learned the difference between being religious and being spiritual, between reading the Scriptures with the mind and reading the living Word of God with the spirit; [and] something else very wonderful happened—the Lord began His ministry through me. (Contacting the Lord, Being Filled in Spirit, and Having Proper Christian Meetings for the Accomplishment of God’s Eternal Purpose, Chapter 3)
- What does it mean to pray thorough prayers? How does this differ from our concept of having thorough prayer?
- How do repenting and confessing prayers deliver us from self confidence, dispositional problems, and preferential love?
- Why must we be delivered from such things in order to be blended and to have an equal love for all of the members of our group?
- How may a lack of such prayer cause us to remain “hard pieces” which are not yet blended? How do offenses prevent us from being blended? How may we break through?