Praying Together as One
ALVARADO, TEX. – The prayer in John 17 is considered a high-priestly prayer divided into three parts. In John 17:1-5, we find Jesus praying for Himself. “… glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” John 17:1.
The passages turn in John 17:6-19 to see Jesus praying for His disciples. “I pray for them,” John 17:9.
Before the chapter closes, we read in John 17:6-19 about Jesus praying for all believers. “… I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You.” John 17:20-21. Notice Jesus’ emphasis on oneness.
Following the ascension of Christ, the first activity His followers engaged in was corporate prayer. Luke informs us that the disciples returned to Jerusalem and went immediately to an upper room where they had been staying. Present there were the eleven apostles plus other close friends and relatives of Jesus. Acts 1:14 shares, “They all joined together constantly in prayer.”
Strictly speaking, the church had not yet come into existence but practically speaking those comprising the nucleus of the church in Jerusalem were already practicing one of its most important functions, corporate prayer.
With corporate prayer being indispensable to the early church as recorded in Acts, there are also specific aspects of prayer that were seen. The most often learned attribute of corporate prayer is the idea of being “devoted” to the practice.
Embracing this concept, the Texas Conference Prayer Ministries committee chose “J17:21 Together as One [Todos Unidos]” as the theme for this area of ministry. The team, comprised of Elton DeMoraes, Kenn Dixon, Salomon Espinoza, Kisha Norris, Travis Patterson, Paulo Tenorio and I, envision a conference mobilized and motivated to pray together for specific spiritual and strategic objectives consistent with the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
J17:21 refers to John 17:21 which says, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”
We want others to have no doubt when they see us that we spend devoted time with our Heavenly Father and take time to pray together. “For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20. Powerful things can happen when we pray together.
The new Texas Conference Prayer Ministries website, TexasAdventist.org/Prayer, provides resources and opportunities to pray for both local and conference-wide objectives.
We want to organize intercessory prayer teams to continuously pray for our pastors, teachers, families, children and conference staff. If you would like to join the team, please email Prayer@txsda.org.
Lastly, we would like to have a prayer-focused event each year preferably in-person, but it can be virtual like we had this past November. The sessions in English and Spanish can be viewed on the Texas Conference web page listed above.
J17:21 Together as One [Todos Unidos] foresees the Texas Conference as united and ignited by the Holy Spirit, praying passionately, powerfully and perpetually.
We believe that as we fulfill the prayer request of Jesus in John 17:21, the Latter Rain will be experienced in our homes, schools and churches throughout the ten areas of the Texas Conference.
By Roderic Bishop, Prayer Ministries Volunteer Coordinator; Pastor