Pray that the saints would be perfected in their personal fellowship with the Lord, learning to inquire of Him, listen to His speaking, and behold Him in order to be infused with Him and transformed into His image (Gen. 18:17, 20-25; 1 Kings 19:11-12 and note 121; Psa. 27:4; 2 Cor. 3:18; Hymns, #784, ss. 2, 5, 6, and chorus).

Gen. 18:17, 20-25—And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do…And Jehovah said, The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah, how great it is; and their sin, how very heavy it is! I shall go down and see whether they have done altogether according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before Jehovah. And Abraham came near and said, Will You indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed destroy and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing, to put to death the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked. Far be it from You! Shall the Judge of all the earth not do justly?

1 Kings 19:11-12—And He said, Go out, and stand upon the mountain before Jehovah. And suddenly Jehovah passed by, and a great, strong wind rent the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before Jehovah—Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake—Jehovah was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, a fire—Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a gentle, quiet voice.

1 Kings 19:121, a gentle, quiet voice—The fact that God spoke to Elijah in a gentle, quiet voice indicates that God was ushering Elijah into the New Testament age, in which God speaks to His people not by thundering but gently and quietly (cf. 1 John 2:27).

Psa. 27:4—One thing I have asked from Jehovah; / That do I seek: / To dwell in the house of Jehovah / All the days of my life, / To behold the beauty of Jehovah, / And to inquire in His temple.

2 Cor. 3:18—But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.

Hymns, #784, ss. 2, 5, 6, and chorus

Pray to fellowship with Jesus,
   Fully opened from within,
With thy face unveiled, beholding,
   Single, pure, and genuine.

   Chorus:
   Pray to fellowship with Jesus;
      In the spirit seek His face.
   Ask and listen in His presence,
      Waiting in the secret place.

Pray to fellowship with Jesus,
   List’ning earnestly to Him;
Be impressed with His intentions,
   Yielding to Him from within.

Pray to fellowship with Jesus,
   Bathing in His countenance;
Saturated with His beauty,
   Radiate His excellence.

MINISTRY PORTION:

In a normal prayer God speaks to us. Prayer should not be to take care of the problems that are on our heart but to contact God. To pray is to go to God, meet Him, draw near to Him, behold Him, commune with Him, and absorb Him. For example, an elder who is bearing a problem of the church on his heart should touch and absorb God. Instead of mentioning the problem of the church, he should let God speak. God may ask the elder concerning his flesh. The elder has the problem of the church on his heart, but God asks concerning his flesh. Then the elder will immediately sense that he is a fleshly person. God may say, “The church has a problem because of your flesh.” Then he can confess, “Yes, Lord. The problem is not with the church but with me. Lord, have mercy on me; save me.” Such a prayer is real. When we touch God and let Him speak, our prayer expresses God…

Our problem is that we often go to God in prayer, but we do not let Him speak to us. We must understand that the best prayer is not one in which we speak to God but one in which God speaks to us. The more we touch God in our prayer, the more He will speak to us. What matters is not how much we speak to God, but how much God speaks to us. What matters is how much we let God appear to us, speak to us, touch us, and point out our inner condition. We should drop all our burdens, forget our requests, and pay attention only to what God is touching in us. Then we should pray only according to that point. Whatever God asks for is what we say. Then our prayer will be His speaking, His expression. The most genuine and valuable prayer is one in which God expresses His prayer through man. (CWWL, 1956, vol. 3, “The Meaning and Purpose of Prayer,” ch. 2, pp. 238-239)

We should learn to behold the beauty of the Lord in silence ([Psa. 27:]4)…Beholding the beauty of the Lord is to look at the Lord in our spirit and to gaze at Him. When we come before God in prayer, we must learn to stop our speaking, to cut off our words, and to simply turn to our spirit to appear before Him, touch Him, behold Him in silence, and gaze upon Him. We need to look at Him again and again, beholding, appreciating, and even treasuring Him. This is very sweet and necessary. We should never consider prayer to be merely asking God to do something for us. No, the object and subject of prayer are not things. Both the object and subject of prayer are God Himself. First we should touch Him. Then we should be silent before Him. After this we should behold Him by looking and gazing at Him. This is to absorb God and enjoy Him. (CWWL, 1958, vol. 1, “How to Enjoy God and How to Practice the Enjoyment of God,” ch. 5, p. 412)

© Living Stream Ministry. Used by permission.