Praying, No Longer Afraid - Spiritual Growth
Thank the almighty and one true God! I have been following Almighty God for 11 months since July, 2016. In the past 11 months, I have experienced much of God’s love, which has helped me grow under His care and protection. In this period, I have also experienced trials, refinements, chastisements, and judgments. Bit by bit, I have truly perceived that God’s disposition is not only merciful and loving, but also majestic and wrathful. However, no matter what God does, ultimately it is all to transform and perfect me. 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 in its mother’s arms that would never grow. It is Almighty God who is bringing me up from infancy so I can fulfill the duty of one of His creatures.
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 negative propaganda on the Internet, I, without any discernment and without seeking or investigating, began to condemn Almighty God’s work. I avoided the brothers and sisters, and even blacklisted them and no longer contacted them. I was so disobedient, rebellious, foolish, and ignorant; I was unworthy to follow God. However, God still showed mercy to me, and saved me in different ways. It is through God’s love that today I can keep up with His footsteps and follow Him. I have truly realized that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. He has incarnated to express teachings and do the work of judgment and purification, and through His words I have grown in life and come to know that there is corrupt, satanic disposition in me. Everything that God does is to return me 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 was the first church I joined. At the time when I just joined the church everything was unfamiliar to me, and I felt a little nervous due to not knowing how to fellowship with the brothers and sisters and not having any entry into God’s words. But they, I clearly remember, did not discriminate against me because I was a new believer. They 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 communicating with the brothers and sisters a lot in the meetings I gradually got a deep understanding of them and took to meeting in person with them. However, at the beginning of every meeting, we always prayed and sung hymns, both of which were my weaknesses. Fearing that I couldn’t pray well and that the brothers and sisters would laugh at me, I sought ways to escape praying and singing hymns. In every meeting, I had excuses for being late online, and I was only ever 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 ever caught a cold in summer, which made me puzzled. For several days, because I felt unwell, I rested at home and didn’t work or attend the meetings. After four days of some discomfort, I felt a little better, and gathered with the brothers and sisters online. After I was online, all of them showed much concern for me, and asked me, “Why were you offline recently? 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 were also aware of my weakness and suffering. Thank God! It is God’s love that unites us. I told them all my recent problems to seek their help, and also told them that I had found excuses not to pray in each meeting because I feared praying. After hearing this, 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 Holy Spirit; 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 enlightenment and illumination from God, and understand the truth; that through prayer we can obtain God’s guidance and live with His blessings. Without prayer our hearts would move away from God easily, and we would easily become 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: 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. In the meetings after that, I no longer retreated because of my fear of praying. God’s words made me know that only prayer is the closest contact with God and is also 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 from fear and free. I felt I truly had something to rely on, and gained strength. After my prayer, I felt less ill and distressed than before, and almost without knowing it, I recovered from my illness. Through this 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 the brothers and sisters will laugh at me. In fact, there was no need for me to worry about it. As long as we speak heartfelt and honest words, God will listen to our prayers and our 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 understood the corruption that I exposed—my efforts to save face. I tried to escape praying by using tricks. However, God sees deep into our hearts, and observed my thoughts and ideas and my every 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 merciful and loving, but is 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