My favorite prayer in the Bible is John 17. There is a flow of logic and priorities in this prayer:
- Oneness, intimacy with God
- Holiness, separation from the world
- Glory, manifest power of God in the saints
- Unity, fullness of the Church (ecclesia)
- Witness, world evangelism
The first and foremost is intimacy. Yeshua prayed that we would be one with Him as He is one with the Father. He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. We are in Yeshua and He is in us. Oneness is perfection of intimacy.
John 17:21-23 says, “… that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
Intimacy with God is an experience, on the inside, of knowing the presence and nearness of God. This experience is available 24/7 but is heightened in times of prayer, worship, Scripture meditation and simple communion, such as a walk in nature or resting quietly, directing our thoughts toward God.
Yeshua had perfect intimacy with the Father. His prayer in John 17 was to share that intimacy with us. Intimacy seeks another person, since it is an experience of a shared personal relationship. It is the opposite of loneliness.
Yeshua desires to share His intimacy with us. All intimacy starts with God. When we know intimacy with God, we also desire to share it with others. That is why we pray according to John 17 along with Yeshua.
When looking for a wife years ago, I sought a woman who, on her own, experienced intimacy with God. When I met Betty, I watched to see if she was sincere or was just putting on a show to appear spiritual.
Since I saw that she did have an intimate relationship with God, we could then share that intimacy together. This is the base for a successful marriage. To this day, the center of our marriage is praying, worshiping and studying Scriptures together in an atmosphere of love and intimacy. The shared spiritual intimacy between us spreads into our romantic relations, family, financial decisions and congregational life.
There is a triangle of intimacy: First individually with God; then experiencing God together with others; then horizontal unity between us. In simpler words: First, you and God alone; then you and God with others; then you and others.
This principle holds true for building a ministry team. Yeshua did so with His disciples, and prayed for them to continue, until their shared intimacy touched the whole world. Intimacy is alive and grows.
We base our ministry team at Revive Israel on this model. We spend three hours on weekdays in prayer, praise, prophecy, Scriptures and sharing. This spirit of team intimacy creates an environment for healing, trust, revelation and anointing. People come from around Israel and around the world to experience the presence of God in this way with us.
It is life-changing; and ultimately (see John 17:21) world-changing.
For the original article, visit reviveisrael.org.