Many of us are probably familiar with the publication The Holy Word for Morning Revival, but we may not know why there is such a publication among us. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Brother Lee spoke on numerous occasions concerning The Holy Word for Morning Revival, often in the context of his burden that the saints would be revived every morning and live a prophesying life. In this article we would like to consider what our brother shared concerning the purpose and usefulness of this publication.
“By praying over the verses, we will be supplied with spiritual air, water, and bread. This is a good way to begin our morning.”
“We should be revived every morning and overcome every day; this is the genuine revival.”
In his speaking concerning the new way, Brother Lee stressed our need to be revived every morning that we might live an overcoming life, a life in the new way. In a message given in 1988, Brother Lee said,
When we get up every morning, we should first think of the Lord and call on His name and then spend ten minutes to read two verses and pray over them. By praying over the verses, we will be supplied with spiritual air, water, and bread. This is a good way to begin our morning. We also need to walk according to the spirit during the day. This is the way to have an overcoming living. (CWWL, 1988, vol. 1, “The Proper Way for Believers to Meet and Serve,” p. 61)
In another message given in the same year, Brother Lee shared,
If we mean business with the Lord and do not wish to be sloppy in the Lord’s recovery, we must be clear concerning the matter of being revived every morning. We did not see this matter for many years. I have been in the Lord’s recovery for fifty-six years, but only recently have I spoken so emphatically concerning the fact that the Christian life has a new beginning, a new revival, every morning.
We should be revived every morning and overcome every day; this is the genuine revival. (CWWL, 1988, vol. 4, pp. 60, 61)
As these ministry portions indicate, our practice of daily morning revival is essential to our living an overcoming life.
Prior to the development of The Holy Word for Morning Revival, Brother Lee shared repeatedly concerning the need for material that could help the saints in their practice of morning revival. In some sharing in 1988, Brother Lee suggested the following:
Each hall can prepare materials for the saints to pray-read in the morning. For example, if all the brothers and sisters meeting in a district are reading John 5, they can divide the chapter into six sections for the week. From Monday to Saturday they can read one section each day. Every morning they should read six or seven verses and then select one or two verses to pray-read. On the Lord’s Day they can use the verses that they pray-read during the week and begin by reading them. Everyone can read and pray freely, but the pray-reading should not take too long. Then all can function to prophesy, give a testimony, or share what they have gained. The responsible brothers should prepare one chapter of the Bible for everyone at the beginning of the week, divide it into six days to read at home, and select some suitable verses for pray-reading. (CWWL, 1988, vol. 4, p. 145)
Several months later, in a message on desiring and learning to prophesy, Brother Lee shared,
In Taipei we gave the saints some practical fellowship concerning how to prepare to prophesy in the church meetings on the Lord’s Day. Every week they will cover a chapter of a certain book of the Bible and divide this chapter into six portions for six days. In each section for each day, they choose two or three verses for pray-reading, and they enjoy the Lord with these verses for their morning revival. We charged the saints to write down a short reminder of what the Lord inspired them with in their time with Him in the morning. At the end of the week they will have six notes of what they were inspired with during the week. On Saturday night they use these notes of their inspiration to compose a prophecy to speak for three minutes. Then they practice it in their homes. They are instructed not to be too long or too short. When they go to the church meeting on the Lord’s Day, they have something, thus fulfilling the Lord’s word in 1 Corinthians 14:26: “Each one has.” They do not trust merely in instant inspiration, but they come to the meeting prepared with the riches of Christ that they have enjoyed. (CWWL, 1988, vol. 4, “The Excelling Gift for the Building Up of the Church,” p. 464)
The Holy Word for Morning Revival was produced in direct response to sharing such as this from Brother Lee. Thank the Lord for such a response to our brother’s burden!
“...all can function to prophesy, give a testimony, or share what they have gained.”
“When they go to the church meeting on the Lord’s Day, they have something, thus fulfilling the Lord’s word in 1 Corinthians 14:26: ‘Each one has.’ They do not trust merely in instant inspiration, but they come to the meeting prepared with the riches of Christ that they have enjoyed.”
“...the first and basic purpose of The Holy Word for Morning Revival is to help the saints to be revived every morning, namely by spending time with the Lord in His holy Word.”
“Our being revived every morning enables us to live a prophesying life, which qualifies us to prophesy in the church meetings. Thus, a related purpose of The Holy Word for Morning Revival is to help us learn to prophesy—to speak for the Lord and speak forth the Lord—for the building up of the church.”
As its title indicates, the first and basic purpose of The Holy Word for Morning Revival is to help the saints to be revived every morning, namely by spending time with the Lord in His holy Word. In a word to the elders in 1989, Witness Lee shared that “our publication called The Holy Word for Morning Revival has been a help to the saints to be revived by the Lord every morning. The most effective way to live the Christian life is by having a vital, living, active morning watch with the Lord” (CWWL, 1989, vol. 4, “Elders’ Training, Book 10: The Eldership and the God-ordained Way (2),” pp. 456-457). By pray-reading a few verses each morning, we can be supplied and energized to live the Christian life.
Our being revived every morning enables us to live a prophesying life, which qualifies us to prophesy in the church meetings (see The Excelling Gift for the Building Up of the Church, ch. 2). Thus, a related purpose of The Holy Word for Morning Revival is to help us learn to prophesy—to speak for the Lord and speak forth the Lord—for the building up of the church. In a message given in 1990, Brother Lee shared the following:
We should shepherd the saints to prophesy by helping them to pray-read a few verses in the Bible each day, Monday through Saturday (Eph. 6:17-18). The saints should also be perfected to make notes concerning their spiritual inspiration from each day and review their daily notes on Saturday evening to compose a short prophecy. We have published The Holy Word for Morning Revival as an aid to the believers in developing a daily time of morning revival with the Lord in His word and in preparing a prophecy. Many saints in the churches can testify that they have benefited from this publication. In order to prophesy on the Lord’s Day in an adequate way, the saints need to labor, struggle, strive, fight, and wrestle. (CWWL, 1990, vol. 1, p. 115)
As this ministry portion indicates, prophesying on the Lord’s Day requires preparation throughout the week—preparation that entails laboring, struggling, striving, fighting, and wrestling. That is, prophesying requires learning. This should not come as a surprise, for it is no small matter to speak Christ into others for the building up of the church. Concerning the learning involved in prophesying and the usefulness of The Holy Word for Morning Revival in this regard, Brother Lee says,
To prophesy according to 1 Corinthians 14:31 is not something that comes down upon a person suddenly in a meeting. That kind of experience does not require any learning. Prophesying requires learning. In order to help the saints to learn how to prophesy, we published the books entitled The Holy Word for Morning Revival. In these books only a few verses are given for each day, and we encourage the saints to digest these verses through reading and pray-reading them again and again. We have provided some space within these books for writing down the inspiration one receives each morning. After six mornings, one may have six inspirations. Then these six inspirations can be used to compose a prophecy to speak in the church meeting on the Lord’s Day. This is a very good way to learn to prophesy. (CWWL, 1991-1992, vol. 1, “Elders' Training, Book 11: The Eldership and the God-ordained Way (3),” p. 221)
As we practice writing down the revelation and inspiration we receive each morning, there will surely be an accumulation that we can draw upon to compose a prophecy. We can then attend the church meetings with the assurance that we have something substantial and definite to minister to the saints.
By coming to the meetings prepared to prophesy, we can enter more fully into the way of meeting revealed in 1 Corinthians 14:26, which says, “What then, brothers? Whenever you come together, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.” Concerning this verse Brother Lee says,
In the meetings we should have a psalm, a teaching that instructs the brothers and sisters with spiritual words, and a revelation that shines light. Paul says, “Each one has.” The word has in Greek mainly means “to hold, to possess.” This is not a matter of receiving spiritual inspiration during the meeting but of being well prepared before the meeting. When the Israelites in the Old Testament went to Jerusalem three times a year in order to hold a feast before Jehovah, no one would go with empty hands. They all brought some produce from their land. The Israelites needed to labor to sow seed, plow, water, and then harvest the top portion. At the time of the feast they would bring this portion to offer to Jehovah and enjoy the feast together with all the people. Similarly, we need to labor in our daily life for our meetings. (CWWL, 1988, vol. 4, p. 144)
If we use The Holy Word for Morning Revival diligently and properly, it can surely help us as we exercise to labor on Christ in our daily life that we might offer Him to God in the meetings of the church. Rather than coming to the meetings with empty hands, we can come with our hands full of the Christ whom we have experienced.
“Rather than coming to the meetings with empty hands, we can come with our hands full of the Christ whom we have experienced.”
“May the Lord bring us, more and more, into a life of being revived every morning and of prophesying for the building up of the church!”
In The Practice of the Church Life according to the God-ordained Way, composed of messages given in 1992, Witness Lee shares an encouraging word concerning the positive impact of The Holy Word for Morning Revival:
In recent years we have found a way to use a portion of the Word for morning revival. The practice of pray-reading and reading portions from The Holy Word for Morning Revival has been a great help to many of the saints. Many have testified that in the past, when they came to the meeting, they did not want to prophesy; they did not want to speak for the Lord, because they had no inspiration and no subject on which to speak. But since they began to use The Holy Word for Morning Revival, their spirits have been stirred up, their thoughts have been inspired, and they now have a subject on which to speak, with some material to eat, to digest, to paraphrase, and to pray-read. (CWWL, 1991-1992, vol. 2, pp. 603-604)
We should not accept the lie that prophesying is too difficult, for, as 1 Corinthians 14 reveals, every believer has the capacity and obligation to prophesy (see vv. 24, 31). Through our diligent practice, aided by The Holy Word for Morning Revival, we all can learn to prophesy for the building up of the church.
We hope that the ministry excerpts included in this article will heighten our appreciation for The Holy Word for Morning Revival and encourage us to use this publication according to its intended purpose. May the Lord bring us, more and more, into a life of being revived every morning and of prophesying for the building up of the church!