Daily Words of God: Entry Into Life | Excerpt 375
What is the first thing people should do each time they encounter an issue? They should pray; prayer comes first. Prayer demonstrates that you are pious, that you have begun to have a God-fearing heart, that you know to seek God, that you have given Him a place in your heart, that you are a pious Christian. Many older believers kneel down to pray at the same time each day, sometimes for so long they cannot get back up again. Let us not speak of whether this is ritual, or whether or not they can gain anything from it; let us only say that these aged brothers and sisters are especially pious, much better and more diligent than you youngsters. The first thing to do upon encountering an issue is pray. Prayer is not just insincerely jawing on; that would not solve any problems. You might pray eight or ten times and gain nothing, but do not be discouraged—you must still pray. When something happens to you, first pray, first tell God, let God take over, let God help you, let God lead you, and show you the way. This proves that you have put God first, that He is in your heart. If, when you encounter an issue, the first thing you do is to feel resistant, get angry, and fly into a rage—if, before anything else, you become negative—then this is a manifestation of God not being in your heart. In real life, you must pray whenever anything happens to you. At the very first instance, you must kneel and pray—this is crucial. Prayer demonstrates your attitude toward God in His presence. You would not do it if God were not in your heart. Some people say, “I pray but still God does not enlighten me!” You must not say that. First look at whether your motivations for prayer are right; if you truly seek the truth and often pray to God, then He may well enlighten you in some matter so that you may understand—in a word, God will make you understand. Without the enlightenment of God, you could not understand on your own: You lack the acumen, you do not have the brain for it, and this is unattainable by human intellect. When you do understand, is that understanding born of your own mind? If you are not enlightened by the Holy Spirit, then no one you ask will know what the meaning is of the Spirit’s work or what God means; only when God Himself tells you the meaning will you know. And so, the first thing to do when something happens to you is to pray. Prayer requires probing with a seeking attitude, and expressing your thoughts, opinions, and attitudes—this is what it should involve. Simply going through the motions will have no effect, so do not blame the Holy Spirit for not enlightening you. I have found that in some people’s faith in God, they go on believing, but God is only on their lips. God is not in their hearts, they deny the work of the Spirit, and they deny prayer as well; they merely read the words of God, and nothing more. Can this be called faith in God? They keep on and on believing until God disappears altogether from their faith. In particular, there are those who often handle general affairs, and feel they are so busy and get nothing for all their efforts. This is a case of people not walking the right path in their faith in God. Is it not hard work to take the right way? They fail to take this way even after understanding much doctrine, and are prone to take the downhill path. So when something happens to you, you must spend more time praying and seeking—this is the very least you should do. Learning how to seek the will of God and the intentions of the Holy Spirit is the key. If people who believe in God are incapable of experiencing and practicing thus, then they will gain nothing, and their faith will count for nothing.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. In Believing in God, Gaining the Truth Is Most Crucial