6. The Principles of Communing With God
(1) Pray to God in His words, seek the truth and attempt to grasp His will, and be able to obtain the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. This is true communion with God;
(2) In practicing and experiencing God’s words, one must learn to pray-read them, seeking the truth. By praying in this way, the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit are easily obtained;
(3) All the words of God are the truth. Only by praying often to God in His words can one achieve an understanding of His will and a path of practice;
(4) By praying to God and grasping His will amidst trials and refinement, and achieving genuine communion with Him, one can easily know and submit to God when engaging with Him.
Relevant Words of God:
How can people maintain a relationship with God? And what should they rely on to do this? They should rely on supplicating God, praying to God, and communicating with God in their hearts. With a relationship such as this, people live always before God, and such people are very peaceful. Some people spend their whole time in external actions, busying themselves with external tasks. After one or two days without the spiritual life, they feel nothing; after three or five days, or one or two months, they still feel nothing; they have not prayed, made supplication, or held spiritual communion. Supplication is when something happens to you, and you ask God to help you, guide you, provide for you, enlighten you, and allow you to understand His will and know what to do in line with the truth. The scope of prayer is wider: Sometimes you speak the words in your heart, talking to God of your difficulties or negativity and weakness; so, too, do you pray to God when you are rebellious, or else you speak to Him of the things that happen to you each day, whether they are clear to you or not. This is praying. The scope of prayer is basically talking and opening up to God. Sometimes it is done at regular times, sometimes not; you can pray whenever and wherever you wish. Spiritual communion is not overly formal. Sometimes it is because you have a problem, sometimes not. Sometimes it involves words, sometimes not. When you have a problem, you talk of it with God and pray; when you do not have a problem, you think of how God loves people, how He is concerned about people, how He rebukes people. You may commune with God at any time or place. This is what spiritual communion is. Sometimes, when you are out and about and you think of something that upsets you, you do not have to get down on your knees or close your eyes. You just have to say to God in your heart: “O God, please guide me in this. I am weak, I cannot overcome it.” Your heart is moved; you speak but a few simple words, and God knows. Sometimes you miss home and say, “O God! I really miss home….” You do not say who specifically you miss. You just feel down, and speak of this to God. Problems can only be solved when you pray to God and say what is in your heart. Can talking to other people solve problems? It is okay if you encounter someone who understands the truth, but if they do not—if you encounter someone negative and weak—you could have an effect on them. If you speak to God, God will comfort you, and move you. If you are able to read God’s words quietly before God, then you will be able to understand the truth and solve the problem. God’s words will allow you to find a way through, to get past this little hurdle. The hurdle will not trip you up, it will not restrain you, nor will it affect your performance of your duty. There are times when you suddenly feel a little down or uneasy inside. At such times, do not hesitate to pray to God. It may be that you make no supplication to God, there may be nothing you wish God to do or enlighten you with—you just speak to God and open up to Him at any time, wherever you are. What must you feel at all times? It is, “God is always with me, He has never left me, I can feel it. No matter where I am or what I’m doing—I could be taking a rest, or be in a gathering, or be performing my duty—in my heart, I know that my hand is led by God, that He has never left me.” Sometimes, recalling how you have passed each day over the past few years, you feel that your stature has grown, that you have been guided by God, that God’s love has protected you throughout. Thinking these things, you pray in your heart, offering thanks to God: “O God, I thank You! I am so weak and frail, so profoundly corrupt. Without You to guide me like this, I would not have made it to today relying on myself.” Is this not spiritual communion? If people can often commune in this way, will they not have much to say to God? They would not go many days without anything to say to God. When you have nothing to say to God, God is absent from your heart. If God is in your heart, and you have faith in God, then you will be able to speak of everything in your heart to Him, including those things you would speak of to your confidants. In fact, God is your closest confidant. If you treat God as your closest confidant, as your family whom you depend on most, rely on most, trust most, confide in most, whom you are closest to, then it will be impossible for you to have nothing to say to God. If you always have something to say to God, will you not always live before God? If you can always live before God, then at every moment, you will sense how God guides you, how He cares for and protects you, how He brings you peace and joy, how He blesses you, how He enlightens you, and how He rebukes you, disciplines you, chastens you, and judges and chastises you; all this will be clear and evident to you in your heart. You will not just muddle through each day, knowing nothing, only saying you believe in God, performing your duty and attending gatherings only for appearance’s sake, reading God’s words and praying on a daily basis, simply going through the motions—yours will not simply be this kind of external religious ceremony. Instead, in your heart, you will look to God and pray to God at every moment, you will commune with God at all times, and you will be able to submit to God, and live before God.
Excerpted from “If You Cannot Always Live Before God, You Are a Nonbeliever” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
People may be able to carry out the practice of prayer and to understand the significance of prayer, but for prayer to be effective is no simple matter. Prayer is not a case of just going through the motions, following procedure, or reciting the words of God. That is to say, praying is not parroting certain words and it is not imitating others. In prayer, one must reach the state where one’s heart can be given to God, laying open one’s heart so that it may be moved by God. If prayer is to be effective, then it must be based on the reading of God’s words. Only by praying from within God’s words can one receive greater enlightenment and illumination. The manifestations of a true prayer are: Having a heart that yearns for all that God asks, and moreover desires to accomplish what He demands; detesting that which God detests and then, building on this foundation, gaining some understanding of it, and having some knowledge and clarity regarding the truths God expounds. Where there is resolution, faith, knowledge, and a path of practice following prayer, only then can it be called true prayer, and only this type of prayer can be effective. Yet prayer must be built upon the enjoyment of God’s words, it must be established on the foundation of communing with God in His words, and the heart must be able to seek God and become quiet before Him. Prayer of this kind has already entered the stage of true communion with God.
Excerpted from “Concerning the Practice of Prayer” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You must fellowship more, be able to eat and drink independently during your own spiritual devotions, and be able to grasp the key truths and put them into practice immediately. You must get a feel for the reality of My word: Grasp its very core and its principles, and do not slacken your grip. Always ponder, and always fellowship with Me, and gradually things will be revealed. You cannot come close to God for a little while and, then, without waiting for your heart to grow quiet before Him, be disturbed when something else happens to you. You are always confused and unclear about things, and unable to see My face; as such, you cannot gain a clear understanding of My heart—and even if you can understand it a bit, you are uncertain and still doubt. Only when I possess your heart in full, and your mind is no longer disturbed by any worldly things and you can wait with a clear and quiet mind, shall I make revelations to you, one by one, in accordance with My intentions. You must understand this path of closeness to Me. Whoever strikes or curses you, or however nice the things people offer you might be, it is unacceptable if they keep you from being close to God. Let your heart be in My grasp, and never leave My side. With this kind of closeness and fellowship, your parents, husband, children, other familial contact, and worldly entanglements will all float away. You will enjoy an almost indescribable sweetness in your heart, and you will experience a fragrant and delicious taste; moreover, you will truly be inseparable from Me. If you continue in this manner, you will understand what is in My heart. You will never lose your way as you continue to progress, for I am your way, and everything exists because of Me. How mature your life is, when you will be able to break away from worldliness, when you will be able to cast off your emotions, when you will be able to leave behind your husband and children, when your life will mature … all these things will happen in accordance with My time. There is no need to be anxious.
You must attain entry from the side of positivity. If you wait passively, then you are still being negative. You must be proactive in cooperating with Me; be diligent, and never be lazy. Always fellowship with Me and attain an even deeper intimacy with Me. If you do not understand, do not be impatient for quick results. It is not that I will not tell you; it is that I want to see whether you rely on Me when you are in My presence, and whether you are confident in your dependence on Me. You must always remain close to Me, and place all matters in My hands. Do not go back in vain. After you have been unconsciously close to Me for a period of time, My intentions shall be revealed to you. If you grasp them, then you will truly come face to face with Me, and you will truly have found My face. You will have much clarity and steadfastness within, and you will have something to rely on. You will then also possess power, as well as confidence, and you will have a path forward. Everything will come easily to you.
Excerpted from “Chapter 9” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When you look to God, it is possible that He does not give you any feeling or any clear ideas, much less any clear directions, but He allows you some understanding. Or maybe this time you have not understood anything, yet it is right that you look to God. People practicing in this way is not done to follow rules, but rather it is the need of their hearts and is how man should practice. It is not that you can obtain enlightenment and guidance every time you look to God and call on God; this spiritual state in man’s life is normal and natural, and looking to God is the normal interaction with God in people’s hearts.
Sometimes, looking to God does not mean asking God to do something using specific words, or asking Him for specific guidance or protection. Rather, it is that when people encounter some issue, they are able to call on Him sincerely. So, what is God doing there when people call on Him? When someone’s heart stirs and they have this thought: “Oh God, I can’t do this myself, I don’t know how to do it, and I feel weak and negative…,” when these thoughts arise in them, does God not know about it? When these thoughts arise in people, are their hearts sincere? When they call on God sincerely in this way, does God assent to help them? Despite the fact that they may not have spoken a word, they show sincerity, and so God assents to help them. When someone encounters an especially thorny difficulty, when they have no one to turn to, and when they feel particularly helpless, they put their only hope in God. What are their prayers like? What is their state of mind? Are they sincere? Is there any adulteration at that time? It is only when you trust God as though He were the last straw that you clutch onto to save your life, hoping that He will help you, that your heart is sincere. Though you may not have said much, your heart has already stirred. That is, you give your sincere heart to God, and God listens. When God listens, He sees your difficulties, and He will enlighten you, guide you, and help you.
Excerpted from “Believers Must Begin by Seeing Through the World’s Evil Trends” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
As soon as people grow hasty in fulfilling their duties, they stop knowing how to experience. As soon as they become busy with matters, their spiritual states become troubled and they lose the ability to maintain a normal condition. How can this be so? If you are asked to do a little work, you become unbridled, unrestrained, unwilling to approach God, and distanced from God. This proves that people do not know how to experience. No matter what you do, you should first understand why you are doing it, what intention it is that directs you to do this thing, what the significance is in your doing it, what the nature of the matter is, and whether what you are doing is a positive thing or a negative thing. You must have a clear understanding of all these matters; this is quite necessary to be able to act with principle. If you are doing something to fulfill your duty, then you should ponder: How should I do this? How should I fulfill my duty well so that I am not just doing it perfunctorily? You should draw close to God in this matter. Drawing close to God means seeking the truth in this matter, seeking the way to practice, seeking the will of God, and seeking how to satisfy God. This is how to draw close to God in everything you do. It does not involve performing a religious ceremony or an outward action. It is done for the purpose of practicing in accordance with the truth after seeking God’s will. If you always say “Thank God” when you have not done anything, but then when you are doing something, you continue to do it the way you want, then this type of thanks is just an outward action. When fulfilling your duty or working on something, you should always think: How should I fulfill this duty? What is God’s will? It is for you to draw close to God through what you do, and, in doing so, to seek the principles and truth behind your actions as well as God’s will, and not stray from God in anything that you do. Only such a person truly believes in God. These days, whenever people come across things, regardless of what the actual situation is, they think they can do this and that, so they do not have God in their hearts, and they do it according to their own will. Regardless of whether their course of action is suitable or not, or whether it is in accordance with the truth or not, they just stubbornly press on, and act according to their personal intentions. It might usually seem that God is in their hearts, but when they do things, God is not in their hearts. Some people say, “I can’t draw close to God in the things I do. In the past, I was accustomed to performing religious ceremonies, and I tried to draw close to God, but it was to no effect. I could not draw near to Him.” Such people do not have God in their hearts; they only have themselves in their hearts, and they simply cannot put truth into practice in anything they do. Not acting in accordance with truth means doing things according to their own will, and doing things according to their own will means leaving God; that is, they do not have God in their hearts. Human ideas usually look good and right to people, and they appear as though they would not violate the truth very much. People feel that doing things in such a manner would be putting truth into practice; they feel that doing things that way would be submitting to God. Actually, they are not truly seeking God or praying to God about it, and they are not striving to do it well, in accordance with God’s requirements, in order to satisfy His will. They do not possess this true state, nor do they have such a desire. This is the greatest mistake people make in their practice. You believe in God, but you do not keep God in your heart. How is this not a sin? Are you not deceiving yourself? What sort of effects can you reap if you keep believing that way? Moreover, how can the significance of belief be manifested?
Excerpted from “Seeking God’s Will Is for the Sake of Practicing the Truth” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days