Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, about three weeks ago on October 10, I appealed to you, the nearly 21 million Seventh-day Adventist members around the world, to pray earnestly for everyone attending the Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee that was held in Battle Creek, Michigan.
You may remember that I specifically asked you to pray that there would be a gracious, respectful, and loving spirit shown by all in attendance as we allowed the Holy Spirit to lead in our deliberations and discussion.
Today, I want to thank you for your prayers and to share the wonderful way in which the Lord responded and guided in our activities.
As you may know, during Annual Council, your church leaders from around the world listen to various reports and vote on different items of church business. This year, one item in particular was of special interest to many people—the document that had come from the church’s unity oversight committee, recommending steps to be taken in the event a church entity was found not to be in harmony with the world church in following voted actions.
I want to tell you that I am happy to share with you that on that Sunday afternoon, October 14, when this particular item was brought to the Annual Council and discussed and voted, there was a remarkable spirit of graciousness and respect shown by all. Even though there were differing viewpoints shared by people, people conveyed a sincere spirit of Christian love and respect for God’s precious church.
Thank you for the way in which you prayed and earnestly pleaded with the Holy Spirit to be present. For certain, in my opinion, the Holy Spirit was very much in control. I could tell as I was watching people, as they responded to the appeal at the beginning to have a gracious and respectful approach to each other.
I could tell that the Holy Spirit was present in that arena where our meeting was held. I could sense it myself as the Holy Spirit guided in our words and in how we carried out our deportment.
Regardless of the opinions that each of us hold on certain subjects, we must always do things with Christian love and respect for each other. And, at the end, when we vote, we are, as a group, to accept what is voted, and to realize that God has His own way of bringing us into a unified position.
And I just want to appeal to each of you, regardless of what position you may hold on different items, know that God wants each of us to be focused upon Him and upon the mission He has entrusted into our hands—the mission of proclaiming the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14, and that fourth angel of Revelation 18, that comes down from heaven with great power.
The Lord wants to use His people in a powerful way, and I plead with you that we pray for all of God’s church members around the world and that we be united in God’s spirit to accomplish His mission through Total Member Involvement and so many other ways of touching the lives of people.
I want to earnestly ask for you to pray for the latter rain of the Holy Spirit, and that our hearts will be receptive to the way in which God will lead all of us in His Church to focus upon the mission of reaching the lost in this world for Jesus through His power.
May God bless each one of you as we work together, focused upon Christ in a unified way, accomplishing His mission, and remember, “Prayer is the key that unlocks the door. . .” by God’s grace and blessings will come from heaven as a result.
Thank you for praying for your church. Thank you for looking up, for soon Jesus is coming!”
Let’s pray together just now.
“Father in heaven, we ask in a very special way that you will bless your people around this world in over 200 countries, speaking hundreds of languages, working in thousands of communities in the big cities, and in the rural areas, that each of us might be animated by the Holy Spirit in working for the salvation of thousands, yes millions of souls, all through the grace of Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. We submit ourselves completely to You. We humble ourselves before You. We ask for forgiveness for our selfishness and our self-centeredness. We ask that You will fill us with the power and the guidance from the throne room of heaven itself as we move forward in the great Advent movement led by Jesus Himself. Lord, bless Your people around the world and bring them into a unified spirit of mission, touching the lives of communities and of relatives and of neighbors all around us so that soon, Jesus can come. Lord, be with us until that day, and thank You for hearing us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”