By Wang Ya In the past, I saw the Bible recorded, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway […]
Praying, No Longer Afraid – Spiritual Growth
By Yuanzhi, Brazil
Thank the almighty and one true God! I have followedfor 11 months since July, 2016. In the past 11 months, I have experienced much of , which made me grow under His care and protection. In the period I have also experienced trials, refinements, chastisements, and judgments. Bit by bit, I truly perceive that God’s disposition is not only merciful and loving, but also majestic and wrathful. However, no matter what God does, it is all to transform and perfect me ultimately. Thank Almighty God for His salvation!
If I merely knew God’s mercy and love without experiencing His majesty and wrath, I would be a baby that would never grow in its mother’s arms. It is Almighty God who brings me up from a baby, and so I can fulfill the duty of a creature.
Every time when I hear the hymn of life experience “If I Were Not Saved by God,” I think of what happened before I accepted Almighty God’s work in the last days. Because of the disturbance of negative propaganda on the Internet, I, without any discernment and without seeking or investigating, began to condemn Almighty God’s work, avoided brothers and sisters, and even blacklisted them and no longer contacted them. I was so disobedient, rebellious, foolish, and ignorant, unworthy to follow God. However, God was still showing mercy to me, and saving me in different ways. It is God’s love that today I can keep up with His footprints and follow Him. I have truly realized that Almighty God is the returned Lord . He has been incarnated to express words and do the work of judgment and purification, and in His words, I have growth in life and come to know that there is corrupt satanic disposition in me. Everything that God does is to make me go back to the beautiful life in the Garden of Eden.
After I accepted Almighty God’s work, I began to live the church life on the Internet. The Bright Church is the first church I entered. At that time when I just joined the church, everything was unfamiliar to me, and I felt a little nervous, not knowing how to fellowship with brothers and sisters, and not having any entry in. But they, I clearly remember, did not discriminate against me because I was a new believer, but cared for me and helped me understand the truth quickly and solve the difficulties I encountered in my daily life, which gave me a feeling of warmth.
After I communicated with the brothers and sisters a lot in the meetings, I gradually had some deep understanding of them and took to gathering together with them. However, at the beginning of every meeting, we shouldand sing hymns, both of which were my disadvantages. Fearing that I couldn’t pray well and brothers and sisters would laugh at me, I sought ways to escape praying and singing hymns. In every meeting, I had excuses for being online late, and I was online after all the brothers and sisters finished praying and singing. At the end of the meeting, I would again find excuses to be offline first. I came to feel that it was not bad for me to do that.
Not long afterward, I caught a bad cold suddenly. It was the first time I had a cold in summer, which made me puzzled. For several days, because I felt unwell, I rested at home, without working or attending the meetings. After four days of agony, I was getting a little better, and gathered with brothers and sisters online. After I was online, all of them cared for me very much, asking me, “Why were you offline in these days? Are you all right?” “How have you been lately?” “Do you have any troubles?” … Their care moved me. We had never met and had just known each other for a short time. We gathered together just because we all believe in Almighty God. But they knew how many days I had been offline, and they could also be aware of my weakness and suffering. Thank God! It is God’s love that unites us. I told them all the matters of those days to seek their help, and also told them that I had found excuses not to pray in each gathering because I feared praying. Having heard these, they found many passages of God’s words and fellowshiped with me. From Almighty God’s words, I understood why to pray and how to practice prayer.
Almighty God says: “What is the significance of prayer?
“Prayer is one of the ways in which man cooperates with God, it is a means by which man calls upon God, and it is the process by which man is touched by God’s Spirit. It can be said that those who are without prayer are dead ones without spirit, proof that they lack the faculties to be touched by God. Without prayer, they are unable to attain a normal spiritual life, much less are they able to follow the work of the; without prayer, they sever their relationship with God, and are incapable of receiving God’s approval. Being someone who believes in God, the more you pray, the more you are touched by God. Such people have greater resolution and are more able to receive the latest enlightenment from God; as a result, only people like this can be made perfect as soon as possible by the Holy Spirit.
“What is the effect to be achieved by prayer?
“People are able to carry out the practice of prayer and understand the significance of prayer, but the effect to be achieved by prayer is no simple matter. Prayer is not a case of going through the formalities, or following procedure, or reciting the words of God, which is to say, prayer does not mean parroting words and copying others. In prayer, you must give your heart to God, sharing the words in your heart with God so that you may be touched by God. If your prayers are to be effective, then they must be based on your reading of God’s words. Only by praying amid God’s words will you be able to receive more enlightenment and illumination. A true prayer is shown by having a heart that yearns for the requirements made by God, and being willing to fulfill these requirements; you will be able to hate all that God hates, upon the basis of which you will have knowledge, and will know and be clear about the truths explained by God. Having the resolution, and faith, and knowledge, and a path by which to practice after praying—only this is truly praying, and only prayer such as this can be effective. Yet prayer must be built upon the foundation of enjoying God’s words and communing with God in His words, your heart being able to seek God and being at peace before God. Such prayer has already reached the point of true communion with God.
“Basic knowledge about praying:
“1. Do not blindly say whatever comes to mind. There must be a burden within your heart, which is to say, you must have an objective when you pray.
“2. Your prayers must contain the words of God; they must be based upon the words of God.
“3. When praying, you cannot go over old ground; you must not bring up things that are outdated. You should specially train yourself to speak the current words of the Holy Spirit; only then will you be able to make a connection with God.
“4. Group prayer must be centered around a core, which must be the work of the Holy Spirit today.
“5. All people must learn how to pray for others. They must find the part in God’s words that they wish to pray for, based upon which they must have a burden, and for which they must often pray. This is one manifestation of care for God’s will” (“Concerning the Practice of Prayer”).
After I read these words of God, I understood that through prayer we can receive the enlightenment and illumination from God, and understand the truth; that through prayer we can obtain God’s guidance and live in His blessings. Without prayer our hearts would move away from God easily, and we would be easy to be passive and weak and live in darkness when we encounter something disagreeable to us. Without prayer, it means that we sever our relationship with God, and are no different from the unbelievers. I realized that prayer is so important to me. From God’s words I also understood how to pray to God. I should speak the words within my heart to Him, and tell Him my difficulties to seek the truth to solve my problems, so that I can understand His will and put the truth into practice, etc. In the following gatherings I no longer retreated because of prayer. God’s words made me know that only prayer is the closest contact with God and the best communication with God. Thank God!
Because of feeling ill from the cold, I prayed to God. When I spoke the words within my heart to God, I felt especially released and free, and I truly had a reliance and gained strength. After my prayer, I felt less ill and distressed than before, and unconsciously, I recovered from my illness. In the experience, I truly appreciated that prayer is not something difficult, and even less something horrible. It is not that if I don’t pray well, God will not listen to me and brothers and sisters will laugh at me. Actually there is no need to worry about it. As long as we speak heartfelt and honest words, God will listen to our prayers and brothers and sisters will approve. Prayer is the best opportunity for us to share the words in our hearts with God, the path by which our spirits are set free, and the best means by which we receive God’s guidance and enlightenment so that we can have a path to walk. Thank the almighty and practical God! Because of the experiences in this period of time, I have truly known the corruption that I exposed—my efforts to save face. I tried to escape praying using my tricks. However, God sees deep into man’s heart, and observes my thoughts and ideas and my every act and move. He used the serious cold to make me reflect on myself, recognize my corruption, and seek the truth to solve it. From this I have realized that God’s love is not only mercy and lovingkindness, but also chastisement and refinement for the corruption we expose, so that we will be cleansed of corrupt dispositions. I think this is the true meaning of God’s work of judgment. Thank the almighty and practical God!
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You may be interested in this article: Concerning the Practice of Prayer