June 16, 2020 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division
Seventh-day Adventist leaders, staff and their families at the Inter-American Division headquarter office concluded a week of special emphasis on prayer on Sabbath, June 13, 2020. The more than 70 employees employed by the IAD in Miami, Florida, and their families spent time in prayer and fellowship all from the comfort of their homes.
This is the first time that the annual week of spiritual emphasis is held via Zoom, due to the current quarantine regulations, but one that proved to be filled with an extraordinary message for such a time as this, said Pastor Josney Rodríguez, ministerial association secretary for the church in Inter-American and main organizer of the annual event.
The week of prayer emphasis was held from June 8-13, 2020, and culminated with a Sabbath morning worship service focused on prayer and revival and the life changing prayer, praying with power and prayer that bears results.
“Although the circumstances around us are different from our past week of prayers, the same purpose remains and that is that we must seek God in our need,” said Rodríguez.
Dr. Pavel Goia, editor for Ministry Magazine and associate ministerial secretary for the Adventist world church, was the guest keynote speaker. Pastor Goia challenged the IAD leadership to be serious about prayer as they serve a fast growing church throughout Inter-America.
“It doesn’t matter how great your programs, events and initiatives are, if you do not live a life of prayer, they don’t mean anything,” said Goia. “Prayer has to become a way of life, not a routine… We need to be filled with God’s presence, day and night, continually connected to be ready for His Soon Coming.”
Pastor Goia told miraculous stories of answered prayers in his life, his family’s, biblical individuals and faithful believers today. He directed leaders to be serious about seeking to know God’s will through prayer and fasting, engaging in intercessory prayer for others, and to experience true revival in their lives.
“We usually pray for blessings but not so much for Jesus. We need to pray more for Jesus in our hearts,” said Pastor Goia. “We need to first look for the God of the blessings before looking for blessings from God.” Pastor Goia said that prayer needs to be the prayer of the soul, a conversation, a dialogue all the time that will lead us to recognize His voice and know the message He has for us.”
For Dulce Rice, a professional assistant at the IAD, this year’s week of prayer really tugged at her heart, not only because of the powerful experiences Pastor Goia related, but because she was reminded that God answers prayer and that intercessory prayer for your children is so important. “God starts working from the moment I ask, but it may take time before the answer comes,” she said. “I’ve realized that little prayers bring little power and little results so I need to pray even more,” Rice said.
Being reminded about the importance and power of prayer was just what Jainie Pita, human resources director for the IAD, needed to hear. “Because of the situation we are going through at this time, we need to make prayer and spending time with God, the most important time of our day,” said Pita. What she most took away from this year’s week of prayer was that “God hears the persistent, constant, sincere-from-the-heart prayer of a parent for his or her children who have wandered away from the right path.
For Pastor Balvin Braham, assistant to the IAD president for evangelism, the week’s focus on prayer motivated him and inspired him to deepen his own prayer life. The lessons he drew from worship meetings, included that “people who pray a lot know God and do not need evidence to believe; answer to prayer is a process but those who pray a lot have patience; and what you focus on a lot is what you have a passion for,” Braham said.
Church employees prayed for one another, for families, in groups, for families, the church across the IAD and specific requests, which is part of the 100 Days of Prayer initiative throughout the world church.
The Inter-American Division oversees the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 24 major church regions in Mexico, Central America, The Caribbean, The French Antilles, Colombia and Venezuela.
To learn more, visit us at interamerica.org