January 15, 2021

Adventist Youth Prayer Network Holds Its First Convention

Petronio Genebago, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review

Young Adventists across the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) gathered on Zoom and on Facebook Live to hold the first Prayer Network Convention during a week in December 2020.

More than 1,083 young people registered for the “I Will Pray” event, more than 350 connected to the Zoom link each night, and the seven-day prayer initiative recorded 24,000 views online.

According to organizers, Adventist young adults feasted on the Word of God and the inspired words of Adventist Church co-founder Ellen White through several guest speakers. General Conference prayer coordinator Melody Mason opened the session with a message on intercessory prayer. Mason emphasized that young people need to be willing to be inconvenienced to pray for others, put away sin, and obey God. She suggested they should all stay humble and hold on, and not let go.

On the following nights, other leaders addressed the virtual crowd,  including General Conference (GC) Sabbath School curriculum manager Nina Atcheson, Adventist Church youth director Gary Blanchard, and GC ministerial secretary Jerry Page.

During vespers, SSD family ministries director Orathai Chureson focused her talk on “Prayer in the Home Circle: Reflecting on God’s Faithfulness.” Chureson invited everyone to “lead all members of our family to recognize God’s faithfulness” and to render their prayers “with a full sense of respect, reverence, praise, adoration, and gratitude.”

SSD president Saw Samuel encouraged young people to pray with passion, persistence, and thankfulness. He reminded his audience that “I Will Pray” is not an event but a process. “It is not information but a transformation. It is not a subject but a commitment, a determination, a decision. It is a lifestyle, a prayer-driven life,” he said.

Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive.

“The Lord has been so gracious since the time He called me to be part of the SSD Prayer Network as coordinator,” event coordinator Gen Camato said. “The Prayer Convention taught me to be more dependent on our heavenly Father.”

Yan Michael Sitanggang, from Indonesia, said that through the prayer convention, he was blessed and also reminded that prayer is the number-one thing that he shouldn’t forget. “The theme is so wonderful and relatable with my life today, and I believe that it helps to reaffirm and strengthen my connection with Him,” Sitanggang said. “This changed my understanding of prayer and helped me depend and focus on God more than on myself. It has been a blessing for the attendees.”

Ellen Supit, Prayer Network coordinator in the West Indonesia Union Mission, said that by attending the event, she learned that prayer is a two-way communication system, and it is the key to knowing God’s heart. “[We must] not only lift our petitions but also be still and hear His answer…. We are to seek His heart before we seek His blessings,” she said.

Saw Htee Khy Wah, Prayer Network coordinator from Myanmar, concurred. “Praying to God is more than speaking with Him; it’s having a relationship with Him,” Wah said.

A second prayer convention is scheduled for December 5-11, 2021.

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site.