The Hearing of Faith
The record of Daniel’s prayer for Israel in Daniel chapter nine contains a prayer secret that is very precious to God’s heart. In fact, after his prayer, Daniel was called preciousness itself (v. 23). So we need to pay attention to what the Spirit is showing us here. When we read Daniel chapter nine, we can see that the Scriptures were the basis of Daniel’s prayer (v. 2; Jer. 25:11-12; 29:10-14) and were also the content of his prayer (v. 4; Deut. 7:21, 9; and v. 15; Deut. 7:8, 9:26). Twice Daniel referred to what was written in the law of Moses (vv. 11, 13). Daniel’s desire to pray and the utterance of his prayer came from the Scriptures he held in his hand. Daniel was practicing then what we now refer to as pray-reading the Word.
While the term pray-reading may be new to some believers, it is not difficult to grasp, since both prayer and reading the Word of God are essential practices of every true believer. Yet to take the Scriptures before the Lord in prayer as seen in the example of Daniel may not be a common practice of many of the Lord’s children.
God’s Word is for us to receive as our life supply.
Second Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed.” This helps us understand what the substance and essence of God’s Word is. Since John 4:24 tells us that God is Spirit, it follows that whatever is breathed out of God must also be Spirit. Thus, the essence of God’s Word is Spirit. This fact is confirmed in John 6:63 where the Lord Jesus explained to His disciples, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”We must understand that the Spirit is the very substance of the Word of God, and if we realize this, we will see our need to touch the Spirit as we come to the Word. In Ephesians 6:17-18, Paul instructed us to “receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the Word of God, by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit.” According to Paul’s thought, the Word of God should be received by means of all prayer. If we take the printed words of the Bible as mere knowledge or doctrine, we will miss the main function of the Word, which is not just to give us knowledge about God but even more to impart God Himself into us as life.When the devil came to tempt the Lord Jesus, He answered him saying, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4) The Lord’s word confirms that God’s Word is for us to receive as our life supply.
In John 5:39-40, the Lord Jesus told the Jews who were seeking to kill Him, “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that testify concerning Me. Yet you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. ”May we be those who receive the Word by prayer and in so doing come to Christ Himself as the Spirit who gives life.
For further reading on this subject, please see Pray-Reading the Word; A Time with the Lord; and A Living of Mutual Abiding with the Lord in Spirit, chaps. 6-8, by Witness Lee, and ‘Lord...Thou Saidst,’ published by Living Stream Ministry.
From Issue No. 69, January 2004