How do you interpret the following
three passages as they relate to the role of the Body of Christ in “governing” God’s will?1
Isaiah 45:11 (NASB) 11 Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: “Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons, And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.
Ezekiel 36:37-38 (NASB) 37 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “This also I will let the house of Israel ask Me to do for them: I will increase their men like a flock. 38 “Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so will the waste cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they will know that I am the LORD.””‘
Exodus 17:11-13 (NASB) 11 So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. 13 So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
I hope to hear from several of you. I hope to post an article on this topic in a few weeks and if I had your comments prior to doing so, that would be very helpful.
- Watchman Nee, The Prayer Ministry of the Church, p. 9f [↩]
What I have discovered over many years to my amazement is that the average Christian I would fellowship with, well, so many of them simply did not know how to pray. But mind you, I’m speaking about those I have met here in Scandinavia where I live.
Before I left America, I saw something quite the opposite happening, with Christians there being busy, busy, busy spending so much time reading the latest book on the best technique on effective prayer and searching out some new formula, but losing the one essential thing about all prayer: Communion with God.
Can you go to your friend to ask of favor from him, if you never bother to spend any time with him?
No, you can’t. We all know the friend we spend the most time with and our relationship with him is the strongest, is the one we can ask that special favor from, cause we know he will jump to help us anyway he can.
And what I learned as a child watching some of the old folks praying to God, was that they actually never ceased to pray: all day and all night, they kept their prayerwheel turning. So I learned that they were always continually communing with God, no matter what else was happening in their lives.
of course, I do have those set times when I pray, and when I join with other believers in fellowship to pray as a group, but my soul is constantly leaning upon the Lord and in communion with Him.
So, if something should come up, and I need right away to ask for the Lord’s help, Well, He’s always close at hand.
Philip – thanks so very much for your comment. You are so very right about Americans and our prayer habits. We are so busy, busy, that we have become prayerless. The impact on the kingdom of God is significant because “asking” and “receiving” are connected; God has chosen to make it so (Matt 7:7). The passage from Exodus w Moses’ arms being lifted while Israel prevailed is so clear of the importance of being “connected” w God. Isaiah 45 passage seems to put God’s desired will in the hands of His children so that if we do not pray, we do not “committ” the Lord to do what He desires to do.
Prayer is first of all a relationship, and what you described about your parents and their prayer lives is indicative of a vibrant, communing relationship w God. No wonder God puts such an emphasis on prayer — because when we pray, we know God.
Ok. when it comes to praying in the will of God, in this there is some form or technique involved.
When I teach believers how to pray in the will of God, in my own experience although this process can be fairly exhausting, I found I could only teach one person at a time, since we must be in fully immersed prayer and while the Holy Spirit is moving upon us, if they are to see how the Spirit moves…them.
For instance, one young brother who was very keen on prayer, would instantly launch into fevered praying, in deep solemnity for example, but I would stop him and ask what he sensed as the Holy Spirit’s tone?
Then stopping to consider, he would report: “I feel He’s bringing joy.
“Then you follow the Spirit’s leading and pray in the joy of what God is about to do!”
We both knew at the time, that God had a work for us to do, we knew it wasn’t going to be any easy task, so we needed as much strengthening for this work as possible, and this could only come through the joy of the Lord in prayer.
Its often the case when we go down on our knees, that we ourselves don’t know what we should pray, or how to begin to pray in the will of God, unless we stop and listen and feel our way along as the Holy Spirit starts, actually, to pray for us.