My favorite prayer in the Bible is John 17. There is a flow of logic and priorities in this prayer:
1. Oneness – intimacy with God
2. Holiness – separation from the world
3. Glory – manifest power of God in the saints
4. Unity – fullness of the Church (Ecclesia)
5. 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.
“May they all be one as You Father are in Me and I am in You, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one. I in them, and You in Me, so that they may be perfected in being one, in order that the world will know that You have sent Me and loved them as You loved Me.” (John 17:21-23)
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 basis 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 3 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 world changing (John 17:21).