September 20, 2016

United in Prayer

I began to see God at work in the group texts first, then in my own heart.

Jill Morikone

My cell phone whistled with a text message. Oh, it’s from our friend! I swiped the screen and read, “A group of us are going to fast and pray for the next two days for a specific issue. Would you and Greg like to join us?”

Would we! My husband, Greg, and I have fasted several times during our married life. However, this was my first time for fasting with others outside of my family. A small group of our friends set aside time to pray. Texts flew back and forth—Scripture verses, encouragement, and the desire to have nothing between Jesus and each one of us. This time I decided on a raw food fast, nibbling on cherries or lettuce when I began to feel faint. This was not going to be easy!

The first day we didn’t meet but prayed individually at a set time. Instead of our usual breakfast, Greg and I knelt by our couch and prayed. Was something hidden in my life that could keep God from hearing and answering? Was I holding on to sin? Hadn’t I just seen jealousy crop up in my heart last week? Wasn’t there a root of bitterness still buried inside? Was I at peace with my brothers and sisters?

Tears fell as we took turns praying. We pleaded for forgiveness, for cleansing, for victory. We asked God to search us and show us our hearts. As we prayed I somehow felt the strength of my brothers and sisters who were praying at the same time. Even though in different locations, we were all seeking God together. United in prayer.

We asked for His will to be done in this situation, that God would reveal Himself. I began to see God at work in the group texts first, then in my own heart. Even though we were friends before, a unity and common purpose began to emerge. All centered in Jesus.

The next day my stomach grumbled as I got up. Later our group knelt together in a little room, as each one poured out their hearts to God. One prayed, then another, all with transparency and deep conviction. Each prayed under the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit, and the effect was amazing. I knew then that God was doing a work in that room. Not really in the room, but in each one of our hearts. Of course, the issue we were praying about still mattered, but something else began to emerge. I have never experienced unity of mind, of heart, of purpose, in such a powerful way before. God was working, not just individually, but as a group.

Oh, Lord Jesus, use me to help finish Your work. But don’t use me alone; use me in concert with my brothers and sisters. Surrendered, submitted, and sent forth!

Jill Morikone is administrative assistant to the president of 3ABN, a supporting Adventist television network. She and her husband, Greg, live in southern Illinois and enjoy ministering together for Jesus.