Corporately Praying the Word (continued)
Beloved, as we can see, there is tremendous value in corporately reading the Word of God; and whether we are in a local group, or whether we be one who has been privileged to make a stand alone (and even this can take place in the midst of a group that has not yet "seen"), let us know that in the Spirit we are comprehending with all saints the Divine Counsels of God. The following excerpt taken from the book "Gold Cord" by Amy Carmichael (page 76) illustrates this for us:
"A friend, writing of Bishop Wescott, says this beautiful thing about him: "In the presence of the unseen he met all life, and you could not surprise him out of it. In this atmosphere he worked and breathed. Not only God Himself, but the cloud of witnesses, the communion of the unseen body of Christ, were more real to him than the things seen."
And the same friend tells a story of how the Bishop's chaplain, finding him struggling late and minutely one night over the draft of a service for a humble country church, reminded him that the congregation would not be critical. "They are accustomed to anything," he said. With a gentle, surprised smile, such as Elisha's might have been in Dothan, the Bishop looked up from his desk and said, "You forget: who are "the congregation"? We are only an infinitesimal part of it."
[May we explain that this is in no way referring to mysticism or mediums or spiritualists in any form, but this excerpt is referring to the "cloud of witnesses" who have found that to die is to "gain Christ"; it is referring to those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and as a result are in Christ the same as we are, even though they have already passed into the next age.]
And may we add one more thought to this, could not this also explain, in part, that untraceable scripture in Ephesians 3:10 and 11:
"To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the Eternal Purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord"
(continued with # 29)