Partnership and Prayer
by Liz Adleta
God calls us to join hands with Him and with one another in His work. The invitation to His Kingdom is an invitation into the community of saints. Jesus told His followers that the greatest commandments were to love God and to love one another; in other words, live in upward and outward relationship. Communication is the glue of relationship. Prayer is our ongoing communication with God and as we join in corporate prayer, we exercise that privilege together, deepening the bonds between us as well as with God Himself.
1 Cor. 3:9 says, “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
Jesus modeled community, selecting twelve to be with Him, then sending His messengers out in teams of two. He promised to be with them—the third member of each team. Communicating the good news to those who were not as yet in the community is our joint venture with Father and with one another. That relational glue of communication and prayer is required for His purposes to be fulfilled.
Luke 10:1 “1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.”
Partnership must be founded on humility. We recognize that God is honored when we are like-minded and consider one another’s interests above our own. Most importantly, we seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness together.
As Phil. 2:1-11 says,“1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Partnership convinces the unbelieving world that our message is genuine. The world takes notice of our genuine love for one another and the venue where that is displayed is as we work together and as we pray together.
John 13:34-35, Jesus tells His disciples: 34“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 17:20-23 also says,
20“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that 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. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Partnership confirms that we ‘walk worthy of the call’ with which we have been called. Over 150 “one another” commands are given in the Bible. In order to obey, we must be working and living alongside each other. As we do, iron sharpens iron, and we have opportunity to grow in our ability to love unconditionally as God loves us.
Ephesians 4:1-6 tells us “1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called– 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
And in Ephesians 4:17-24, the Bible reads,
17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Partnership concentrates our focus on the ‘main thing’—that is, the message of the cross, the preaching of the Gospel, and loving each other.
Here in 1 Cor. 1:10-17, the Bible tells us, “10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas “; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”
We have great power in this divine partnership. The Bible mentions that partnership yields a good return for their work, offers us help in times of need, companionship and encouragement, and protection in numbers. The power of agreement in prayer increases its potency and effectiveness.
Ecc. 4:9-12 “9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
There is multiplied power in partnership. The scriptures indicate that five can put 100 to flight and 100 can put 10,000 to flight as we are told in Lev. 26:7-8, when we serve and obey Him:
Lev. 26:7-8 “ 7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.”
As we pray and work in partnership, breakthroughs result. The more closely we coordinate our prayer and our field efforts among the least-reached people groups, the more frequently we will see significant breakthroughs among those remaining with little access to the gospel. Barriers that remain are significant yet God has given us a way through this cooperative, focused prayer to see these barriers torn down.
Partnership is the place of commanded blessing from God. When sisters and brothers live and work together in unity, God’s pleasure and His blessing are assured. The fragrance of Christ radiates from their lives throughout their communities. Not only does the atmosphere begin to change among people groups far from the Lord, but communities begin to experience Kingdom living that expresses His righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 133 reads,“1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.”
Ethnê’s Harvest-Linked Prayer Strategy Initiative offers an annual cycle whereby believers can join hearts and prayers with frontline field workers to P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens) among the remaining least-reached people groups for much-needed breathroughs. Would you join in praying along?