We have seen that the significance of prayer is to contact God in our spirit and to inhale Him, and the principle of prayer is that God’s people need to pray for God’s will to be done before God can rise up to do anything.
I am still amazed to see that God, who is Almighty and can do everything, chooses to be limited in His work in humanity to the cooperation of His people, the church.
This really shows that God is great (He doesn’t force man or do things without man’s willing cooperation) and that the church has a great responsibility.
The responsibility of the church and the ministry of the church is to pray! Our ministry today in the church is to pray to release God’s will on the earth. God tells the church what He wants to do, and the church prays back to God His will so that God would come in to do His will!
The prayer ministry of the church is asking God to accomplish what He wants to do (Matt. 18:18-20).
The will of God in the heaven needs to be brought to the earth, and the prayer in the nature of the ministry of prayer of the church is one in which we stand on God’s side, wanting what God wants and praying out God’s will.
We need to see how important it is for us today as the church to rise up and pray so that we would bring in the will in heaven to earth, so that God’s name be sanctified and His will be done on earth (Matt. 6:9-10).
Lord, cause us to see the prayer ministry of the church. May we be those who pray in one accord for Your move, for Your will to be done. Keep all the churches in Your recovery open to You that they may see Your will and pray Your will back to You that You may gain the ground, the cooperation, the tracks to move and do what You want to do!
Praying in One Accord
The prayer in the Body is the prayer in harmony, the prayer of the saints in one accord (Acts 1:14). The way for us to bind what God intends to bind and to loose what God intends to loose is to ask in harmony.
When we stand in the Body and ask in harmony concerning God’s will, God will carry out His will! He even asks His people in Isaiah, Command Me! Concerning the work of His hands, we need to command God by praying in one accord so that God’s will may be done!
God is waiting for our inquiry, our asking, and we can determine the extent to which God can work and operate! God is “subjecting Himself to our command” – what more does He need to say to get us on our knees to pray in one accord?
This is a holy privilege the church has, and we need to exercise it before God so that His will may be done!
The highest point of our working together with God is to ask in one accord for God to accomplish what He intends to accomplish. (The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 8, p. 9)
The Prayer Ministry of the Church
Brother Watchman Nee in the book, The Prayer Ministry of the Church, helps us to see that this is what God desires the church to do today – the church needs to pray!
The ministry of the church, the work of the church today, is not primarily to preach the gospel and do many other things, but to pray. God can do so much more when we pray than when we do our best to work for God yet without much prayer.
The prayer ministry of the church is God telling the church what He wants to do, and then the church praying on earth what God wants to do.
When we as the church see God’s will, God’s need, God’s desire, we drop everything we think we need and desire and join ourselves to God to pray what’s on His heart. This is our responsibility as the church today, to declare on the earth that we want what God wants.
The reason God cannot fulfill His will on the earth is because the church fails in this matter of prayer. The greatest use of the church in God’s hand and for God’s interest is its standing for God’s will to be done on earth.
Like a mighty tide of water God wants to flow out and reach to the uttermost parts of the earth to fill all men, but the church controls the faucet through it’s prayer.
The more we pray, the more we release God’s flow on earth. The earth controls heaven. The church controls heaven through prayer.
May we see this and rise up to pray big prayers, serious prayers, and even strong prayers, the prayers that manifest our God and open the way for Him to move (John 14:23; 15:16; 16:23-24; Acts 4:24-31)!
Standing on God’s Side for His Will to be Done
As this age comes to a close, the hearts of men are getting farther away from God, and our beloved Lord Jesus is rather evil spoken of and used in swear words than appreciated among men.
God needs some who stand on the earth for Him, some who are His crazy lovers and fervent intercessors to pray for His will to be done and for God’s name to be sanctified.
In a sense it seems that God is not only hidden, but He doesn’t do much that people can outwardly see…. – but we, the church, can cooperate with God by much prayer and serious prayer so that His will may be done on earth as in heaven.
The highest and the greatest work of the church is to be an outlet for God’s will – we echo God’s will in prayer so that He may do what He desires on the earth.
Our prayers are not big enough. We still pray for our petty needs. We start our prayer not with “Your name be sanctified” but with “Give us today our daily bread”. The church as a whole has forsaken its duty and responsibility.
We need to rise up and pray prayers that pioneer the way for God. We need to get some companions to pray together in groups for God’s will to be done, for the church to be built up, and for the gospel of the kingdom to be preached.
We need to be in the prayer meetings of the church to pray as the church in one accord for God’s will to be done. In the prayer meetings of the church we carry out the prayer ministry of the church (Acts 1:14; 4:23-31; 13:1-4; 16:25).
May millions of believers and tens of thousands of churches everywhere on earth rise up to give God their cooperation through prayer!
Lord, save us from being stupefied and drunk with the trends in this age and with the dissoluteness in the world. Cause us to be sober and serious with You. Lord, stir up all Your saints everywhere on earth to rise up to pray. May many pray individually and regularly. May many pray in little groups of twos and threes. May the prayer meetings of the church be filled with saints who pray in harmony for Your will to be done. Lord, recover the prayer ministry of the church that You may gain the highest cooperation from us!
References and Further Reading
- Sharing inspired from brother Minoru Chen’s sharing in this message and portions in, The Practical and Organic Building Up of the Church (Witness Lee, ch. 9), Lessons for New Believers (Watchman Nee, lesson 7), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on Prayer and the Lord’s Move, week 1 (entitled, The Significance of Prayer, the Principle of Prayer, and the Prayer Ministry of the Church).
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Further reading: The Prayer Ministry of the Church (by Watchman Nee, pages 13-17, read online).
- Hymns on this topic:
# Make my spirit strong I pray / Others’ spirits to revive; / Lift my spirit high and free, / Others’ spirits then may thrive.
# Pray with one accord in spirit / Seeking God in unity; / In the Spirit of the Body / Ever pray in harmony.
# Pray to labor with the Lord, / Pray to pave the way for Him; / Pray to move Him and be moved / From the center to the rim.
- Pictures credit: Prayer Ministry (here) and Matt. 6:9-10 (via a friend on facebook).