As those who are the increase and continuation of Christ on earth today, we need to clearly see from the book of Acts that the God-ordained way to carry out God’s move to fulfill His New Testament economy is entirely by three main substances – prayer, the Spirit, and the word.
In the church life in the Lord’s recovery we need to take the way of prayer, the Spirit, and the Word.
In Acts we see that a group of one hundred and twenty disciples came together and prayed in one accord for ten days, and then the Lord poured out the Spirit economically upon them; they were one in mind, soul, opinion, spirit, and every part of their being, and because they were in such a one accord, the Lord had to pour out the Holy Spirit for the increase of Christ.
Today we as the increase of Christ need to be in the accord that invites God’s blessing by being under the ministry that always builds up and never divides: God’s economy. We need to pay attention to and focus only on God’s economy, and we need to pursue Christ to gain Him and experience Him subjectively.
Furthermore, once we are in one accord and the Lord blesses us with the increase of Christ, we have only three main substances that result in the increase of Christ: we have no gimmicks, outward things, eloquence, gifts, or anything else, but we rely on prayer, the Spirit, and the word of God.
There’s no agenda and no method: we only have these three substances which result in a transmission for the increase of Christ. We should be those who labor in prayer, be diligent in dealing with the Spirit, and toil in the word. Prayer, the Spirit, and the Word are the three substances of the power in the Lord’s recovery, according to the book of Acts (see Acts 1:8, 14; 4:31; 6:4, 7; 12:24; 19:20).
When we pray in one accord, we are filled with the Spirit to speak the word; we give ourselves to the ministry of the word, and the word grows and multiplies – it multiplies greatly and it is prevailing for the increase of Christ for the increase and spread of the church.
Taking the way of Prayer, the Spirit, and the Word to carry out God’s Move Today
It is by prayer that we can have the Spirit economically for the spreading of the word, and this prayer is precious, because the way the word grows and prevails is because we first pray in every place and at every time, taking the word by means of all prayer, and persevering in prayer watching, we pray unceasingly.
Through this increasing and enlarging prayer, the word is able to prevail through the Spirit as the power. We must get ourselves soaked, saturated, and constituted with the word of God; if we are burdened to preach the gospel, we must get into the Word and be persons who know the word.
We need to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16); we need to let the word make home in us so that we may accumulate a rich deposit for the increase of Christ.
For this, we need to come to the word of God, search the Scriptures by coming to Christ (John 5:39-40), and as we come to Him to touch Him in the word with our exercised spirit, He speaks to us – He gives us the Spirit without measure (John 4:34).
We need to ask the Lord to bring our entire being into the light and be dealt with Him to become persons of power, persons who are full of the Spirit without and without (Eph. 5:18; Acts 2:38; 5:32b; 4:8, 31; 13:9, 52).
When we come to the Lord in the light, He exposes us, deals with us, shines on us, and gives us the Spirit – He fills us with the Spirit both essentially and economically so that we may speak the word for the increase of Christ.
We should take no other way but prayer, the Spirit, and the word; we need to toil in the word to be saturated with the Word, labor in prayer to be men of prayer, and be diligent in dealing with the Holy Spirit to be filled with the Spirit.
The early disciples could not have maintained the one accord if they had different ways, means, agents, or substances for them to carry out the Lord’s move on the earth; in order to maintain the unique one accord, we all have to learn to do the same thing by the same way (Acts 1:14; 4:31).
We need to have the one accord in prayer, and this will enable us to be filled with the Spirit and speak forth the word of God. We must not think of taking any other way besides the prayer, the Spirit, and the word; any other way will cause dissension and division.
Lord Jesus, we want to take the way of prayer, the Spirit, and the Word to carry out God’s move to fulfill His New Testament economy. Save us from taking any other way besides prayer, the Spirit, and the Word. Lord, we pray that You would fill us with the Spirit as the power to spread the Word. We want to be saturated and soaked with the Word. Bring our entire being into the light to be dealt by You and become persons of power who are full of the Spirit to speak the word of God for the increase of Christ.
Never Initiating Anything without Prayer but Stopping and Giving God a way to Fill us by Prayer
In the book of Acts we have many examples of how the apostles never initiated any word without prayer; whenever they wanted to do something, they first stopped themselves by their prayer, giving God a way to come into them, to fill them up, and to saturate their entire being so that all their activities would be the activities of the acting God (see Acts 1:14; 2:1-4, 16-17a; 4:24-31; 10:9-16; 12:4-14; 13:1-4; 16:23-26; 22:17-21).
By prayer we are linked to God, and it is no longer us who does things but He does things in us; He is our virtue, power, energy, strength, and direction. Our prayer gives God a way to have the increase of Christ and make us the continuation of the book of Acts.
When we want to preach the gospel, we have to stop a while to pray. To pray means to stop ourselves from doing anything….If we look into the New Testament, we can see that the Lord Jesus always prayed first. His prayer was to stop Himself from doing anything apart from the Father. His prayer afforded Him the opportunity to be fully one with the Father. Then the work done by God the Father was through Jesus, the man. It was the same with the early apostles. The book of Acts shows us that whenever there was some activity, the apostles firstly prayed. They never initiated work without prayer. Whenever they wanted to do something, they stopped themselves by their prayer. Their prayer gave God a way to come into them, to fill them up, and to saturate their very being. Then the apostles began to work. That work was not something done by the apostles independent from God. Instead, the work done by the apostles was only done in full dependence on God. (Witness Lee, The Practical and Organic Building Up of the Church, pp. 92-93)
When we pray, we get filled with the Spirit. We need to have the prayer that is able to change and shape our environment as we contact people (Acts 4:24). Our prayer changes the situation, the environment, and the atmosphere.
We need the continuous prayer to meet the need for the increase of the word. In order for us to be continually involved in the God-ordained way to meet and to serve, we need to be men of prayer.
We need the prayer that brings us into a trance; when we touch God in prayer, we get out of our environment and into a trance, where we are besides ourselves, we are in one accord, we are in God’s economy, and we are for the increase of Christ (Acts 10:10; 22:17).
When we pray, we are rescued from ourselves, our situation changes, and we are on one accord for the increase of the church.
We need to have the prayer that ministers to the Lord, waits upon Him, brings us into His commission, sends us out, and gives us the words to speak (Acts 13:1-4).
In order for us to be one with the Lord in His word, we need to pray ourselves into God and pray God into us so that we are mingled with God (Matt. 6:6).
The problem is that we don’t have much of God in us, and we don’t spend much time in God; we are easily distracted, we tend to be outside of God, and God isn’t experientially in us that much – so we need to pray ourselves into God to be brought into God and He may increase in us for the sake of the church.
Through our prayer we realize that we are nothing and we can do nothing without God, God can do nothing without us – without our prayer, and we need to be mingled more with God for the increase of Christ.
To pray means to stop ourselves from doing anything apart from the Lord so that He can do His work through us (Acts 14:22-23). We may not have much time to kneel down to pray, but all day long we need to have a praying spirit, touching the Lord as the economy of God for the one accord.
To pray means that we realize that we are nothing and we can do nothing; prayer is the real denial of the self (see Gal. 6:3; cf. Mark 9:28-29). We may say that we don’t have “demons”, but don’t we have a problem with our temper, our hyper-sensitivity, our stubbornness? How can we deal with all these? It is by prayer.
Prayer is the real denial of the self; when through our prayer the Lord comes in, He displaces and banishes everything and anything of the self.
To pray by calling on the name of the Lord is to deny ourselves and to declare, No Longer I But Christ (Gal. 2:20)! Even through such a short prayer by silently calling on the name of the Lord, we can deny ourselves and let Christ live and work in us for the increase of Christ.
Lord Jesus, make us those who stop from doing anything apart from the Lord so that He can do His work in us. Lord, we can do nothing and we are nothing, but we want to call on Your name, let You come in and work and speak in us for the increase of Christ. Oh Lord, we want to be one with You in Your work by praying ourselves into God and by praying God into us so that we may be mingled with God! Save us from initiating any work without prayer; may we stop ourselves by our prayer, giving God a way to come into us, fill us up, and saturate our entire being so that all our activities would be the activities of the acting God!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother R.S. for this week, and portions from The Practical and Organic Building Up of the Church, ch. 9 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Increase of Christ for the Building up of the Church (2016 Memorial day Weekend Conference), week 4 / msg. 4, The Increase of Christ for the Increase and Spread of the Church through the One Accord with Prayer, the Spirit, the Word, and the Homes.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Exercise the spirit, / Pray in every way! / I have prayed too little, / Keen my spirit, nay. / … When we serve together, / We thru prayer would move, / Fellowship in spirit, / Not in word to prove. (Hymns #781)
# Thru Thy Word and by my prayer / In the spirit touching Thee, / Lifted high my spirit is, / Strengthened shall my spirit be. (Hymns #782)
# Pray with one accord in spirit, / Pray and watch persistently; / For God’s kingdom and His glory, / Pray and watch in harmony. (Hymns #779)
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