John Sung wrote a letter to Rev William Schubert on October 14, 1941:
We have been praying in the Spirit for 113 days now. It is clear that God is leading us step by step as we reap spiritual benefits along the way.
In the past, I viewed the work of the evangelistic bands as of paramount importance. Now, I think that praying is more important. The spiritual realm knows no bounds.
When I pray in the Spirit, I sense that workers in the Last Days must have the following:
1. Total mortification
One must be totally dead to the world, to the flesh and to oneself. It is the Lord and not oneself that lives. Only when the self dies can there be any true gain.
2. Direct revelation from the Lord Himself
It is not good enough just to preach the Word; one must prophesy as well. Not only must Jesus’ revelations be in his heart, they must be formed in him as well.
3. Understand the whole Bible
One must not read the Bible with human wisdom, or analyse it with theological knowledge. One should digest the Bible so that the Word becomes our flesh and bones.
The Truth should be understood with righteousness.
4. Listen to the still, small voice while praying
One must receive revelation from above. One must break through the forces of darkness, and have close and direct communion with God. One must enter into the holy of holies with the Lord to take part in intercessory prayers, to receive power in the presence of the Lord to destroy all the wiles of the devil.
Only when the self dies can there be any true gain.
5. Be truly and totally immersed in the Holy Spirit
One can run along the path of obedience if one’s feet are totally immersed. One can pray continuously if one’s knees are totally immersed. One can bear testimony with boldness if one’s waist is totally immersed.
Miracles follow those whose hands are immersed in the Holy Spirit.
One can bear witness that pierces through the heart of listeners if one’s lips are totally immersed. One can take the Lord’s heart as his own if one’s heart is totally immersed. One can heal with his shadow if one’s entire body is totally immersed.
6. Have a heart that loves souls
He is tortured within when he sees an unsaved soul. His love for souls is extreme, even willing to give up his life for the sheep. He is willing to lose the world to save the soul. Paul sees preaching the Gospel as repayment of a debt. He said: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel.” He even used his hands to make tents to supply the needs of his co-workers in order to repay the debts of the Gospel.
7. Hold high the Gospel of the Cross
Many people take the Gospel lightly and think that it is rather basic and inconsequential, and build their Tower of Babel instead with philosophy, the rudiments of the world, tradition and the law. The Gospel of the Cross is the great power of God, and only by lifting the Cross high can one draw the multitudes to the Lord.
8. Have a community for spiritual communion
There must be support from an organised community for spiritual communion. No power can be divorced from praying together as one body. Before the Ascension, the Lord instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem as a single body. There they received the outpouring of Living Water in the Upper Room.
The church was born through the apostles.
In an age when truths are neglected, be a pillar of the church, stand upright, do not waver.
No one advocated missionary work to faraway lands, and yet the church in Antioch established a missionary-sending agency. No one promoted pioneer evangelism or mission, and yet Philip went to the wilderness to win a soul.
No one paid much attention to speaking in tongues, and yet they spoke in tongues. No one taught the members how to live together, and yet they loved one another.
No one broadcasted God’s miracles, and yet spiritual gifts followed them everywhere. No one mentioned social welfare, and yet they took care of widows and orphans. What they received in the Spirit could not be divorced from their fervent prayers in the Upper Room.
9. Be willing to bear the Cross
We must arm ourselves for suffering when treading a lonely path. No one needs to be ashamed of the Gospel, but should emulate the death of the Lord. Stimulate the life of the Lord in others around you.
Be willing to go the extra mile to suffer with the Lord, setting aside fame and gain. Hide yourself in the Lord; break the earthen vessel so that His name may be glorified. Be prepared to be crushed like olive in the olive press, that the oil may be extracted for the glory of the church.
10. Recognise the schemes of the devil
Be able to identify the devil in the guise of an angel, and you will be able to identify false prophets, and to tell truth apart from falsehood. Stand guard at the watchtower and close up the breaches inside the church. What is bound on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and what is loosed on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.
Be prepared to be crushed like olive in the olive press.
In an age when truths are neglected, be a pillar of the church, stand upright, do not waver, and be unblemished in the Truth.
11. Cooperate in love with others in the Lord, and revive the Gospel as one body
Do not form factions and fight among yourselves, and take care to do good to others. Do not discriminate between people; be satisfied so long as the Gospel is being spread far and wide. Spread the Gospel because you believe in it, and work in unity no matter what the risks are.
12. Pray in vigilance and wait patiently for the coming of the Lord
Have faith, hope and joy when you face tribulations. Sing cheerfully at night, and be faithful even unto death! Pray to the Lord that He will raise up more workers.
This is what I have learnt over the last 100 days of fervent prayer: Be a worker of the Lord who is truly praiseworthy.
If the preachers also retreat to a quiet place for devotion, they will see what I have seen and receive what God has prepared for them.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon