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Being Of One Mind: The Strategic Importance of Spiritual Agreement

by John Edmiston

This article deals with the topic of spiritual agreement, what it is, what its benefits are and how to go about achieving it.

Spiritual agreement is powerful because it combines the prayer power of individuals into a new spiritual entity that is "greater than the sum of the parts". This is first encountered (in a negative way) at the building of the Tower of Babel: Genesis 11:6 MKJV And Jehovah said, Behold! The people is one and they all have one language. And this they begin to do. And now nothing which they have imagined to do will be restrained from them.

The "group mind" focuses the energy of the individuals onto a purpose, just like sunlight is focused by a magnifying glass and can burn paper or wood. These highly focused prayers and spiritual intents can bring about major spiritual transformations. Thus Jesus wants His Church to be united and powerful.

Unity Is A Sign Of Maturity And Leads To Great Spiritual Power

Ephesians 4:3-13 MKJV  endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  ….(11)  And truly He gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,  (12)  for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.  (13)  And this until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Unity is a sign of spiritual maturity, disunity is a sign of carnality (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). Unity strengthens the Church and brings about the “one mind” that produces miracles and great power. God wants a fellowship that is of one spiritual mind and purpose and which loves one another – while exercising varying gifts and ministries. As we build unity we see more and more of Christ revealed in the fellowship and in each other. Let us pray for unity and act in forbearance and love.

Unity Is The Desire Of Jesus For His Church

John 17:11 MKJV  And now I am in the world no longer, but these are in the world, and I come to You, Holy Father. Keep them in Your name, those whom You have given Me, so that they may be one as We are.

John 17:20-23 MKJV  And I do not pray for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on Me through their word,  (21)  that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.  (22)  And I have given them the glory which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one,  (23)  I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.

All prayer should be “according to His will”  (1 John 5:14,15) and it is clearly the will of Jesus that His Church should “be one as We are one” – that is in deep and profound spiritual agreement. Jesus does not want uniformity (His Church is from every tribe and people and tongue) as much as He wants believers to be of one heart and soul and mind. This is why heresy is such a problem – partly the teaching, but more so the division and the loss of unity and of spiritual power (the word heresy actually comes from the word for “parties, disunion”). Which is why the new commandment is that of the formation of a loving community “that you love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13:34, 15:12, 15:17). Jesus prayed for unity so that His Church would be mature, strong and spiritually competent. Unity helps evangelism “so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” (John 17:21,23)  Spiritual power will come to our prayer lives when we obey God’s will by dwelling in unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We cannot rebel against the expressed will and prayer of Jesus and expect our own prayers to be answered. (The exception to this being a very serious error e.g. ordaining homosexual clergy. See 1 Corinthians 11:19)

Holiness Is Essential

Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord;
Peace and unity are never to be at the price of holiness or of the essentials of the Christian faith. We are to pursue peace with “all” – Christians are peace-makers by calling, but not to the point of selling out the faith. We can love the sinner but still hate the sin.

Unity Enables Intercession

Matthew 18:19 MKJV  Again I say to you that if two of you shall agree on earth as regarding anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by My Father in Heaven.

Romans 15:5-6 MKJV  And may the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like minded toward one another according to Christ Jesus,  (6)  so that with one mind and one mouth you may glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 4:31-33 MKJV  And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.  (32)  And the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul. And not one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own. But they had all things common.  (33)  And the apostles gave witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power. And great grace was on them all.

From Babel to Pentecost unity has meant power. When Christians are of one mind then nothing is impossible to them, prayers get answered and mighty revivals and social changes occur. That is why Satan hinders unity. The "group mind" connected to God, and filled with the Holy Spirit, is a powerful spiritual force

Forming A United Prayer Group
Unity and spiritual agreement, which are critical in prayer, are best built between people of “like-mind” which is why Jesus’ disciples were nearly all His old friends and relatives from Galilee or while Paul’s companions were such “good mates”. While the Kingdom is multi-cultural, inclusive and diverse, individual prayer groups are often more effective if they are composed of people of “like-mind”, two or three or more people that you “click-with” spiritually. Pastors often pray best with other pastors, men with other men, women with other women, young people and students with their own, intercessors with other intercessors, missionaries with other missionaries – and so forth. Choose two or three people of like mind, and pray with them on at least a weekly basis.

Building City-Wide Unity Through Prayer
Division in the body hinders the power of prayer. All Christians in a given geographical area should occasionally pray together and have a sense of being the body of Christ in that location. This does not mean they have to give up their individual beliefs, it does mean that they will have to love others of varying beliefs. For more on this see my ebook Beyond Denominations (http://www.aibi.ph/bd/).  Start building bridges to other churches and other Christians and start prayer meetings that build unity.

Spiritual Unity In The Home
Husbands, wives and children should be in spiritual agreement. It is a wise husband who waits for his wife to be in spiritual agreement before making a major move, and it is a godly wife who strives to be in spiritual agreement with her husband at all times. Unity brings blessings especially in the home.

1 Peter 3:7 ISV  In a similar way, you husbands must live with your wives in an understanding manner, as with a most delicate vessel. Honor them as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing may interfere with your prayers.

Psalms 133:1-3 MKJV  A Song of degrees; of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!  (2)  It is like the precious ointment on the head that ran down on the beard, Aaron's beard, that went down to the mouth of his garments;  (3)  like the dew of Hermon that came down on the mountains of Zion; for there Jehovah commanded the blessing, life forevermore.

A Comparison With Electricity

What is the difference between two identical copper bars - one that is neutral and one that is carrying 110 volts? The two will weigh the same, and thus have the same number of electrons, protons and neutrons. The difference is that in the copper bar the electrons are moving randomly and cancel each other out - while in the 110 volt bar a small percentage of them are moving in the same direction. That small percentage of electrons moving in the same direction is what creates the electric current and makes that wire power-full! Each bar has the same electrons, with the same charge per electron, they have just arranged themselves differently. In the bar with the voltage some electrons are in unity and are "moving forward". So a church can be just a random collection of individuals with no power (like the neutral bar) or it can be united in a forward direction and become ‘electric’ (like the bar carrying 110 volts).

Recognizing Unity
Amos 3:3 MKJV  Can two walk together unless they are agreed?

There may be a particular “bond of the Spirit” between certain people or even between certain organizations or churches. God leads us together into ministry teams such as Peter and John, Paul and Silas, Philip and Andrew etc. There is a “spiritual click” when such people meet. It is even recognizable over email. Here the metaphor is “walking together” – an agreed direction, an agreed destination (stopping point) and an agreed pace. Thus biblical teams were mainly of people with similar backgrounds, similar giftings, and the same vision. Teams of dissimilar temperaments (e.g. Paul and Barnabas) can end up fractured. Dynamic prayer partners make dynamic ministry partners.

Necessary Unity

Sometime we need to work at unity for the sake of the gospel e.g. visionaries and details people need to “walk together” but this may take a lot of adjustment by both parties. Similarly compassionate mercy ministers and analytical bible teachers tend to clash. Yet love covers a multitude of wrongs and such people can work together. As we stretch our love our prayers will be answered.

How To Build Spiritual Agreement

Spiritual agreement is in “heart and soul” (Acts 4:32) and involves being of “one mind” so that we are one, just as the Father and the Son are one. This is a lot more than agreeing on doctrine!  It even extended to sharing possessions! (see verses above).

1. Share your testimonies so you can truly know each other.

2.       Pray about each other’s life concerns.

3.       Meet regularly and for at least an hour each time.

4.       Break into groups of 6 or smaller so that everyone can be heard. Also have one-on-one prayer partners.

5.       Keep a prayer journal – requests, date, date answered.

6.       Worship together.

7.       Eat together.

8.       Make plans together, dream together, share vision,

9.       Hear from God together. Spend some time listening to God in silence.

10.   Explore Christian truth together, try bold “faith experiments” like walking on water.

11.   Appreciate one another’s gifts.

12.   Be vulnerable to one another’s strengths.

13.   Exercise patience and forbearance.

14.   Do not raise “new teachings” or strange and controversial matters.

15.   Stick to the Scriptures.

16.   Put away pride, envy and selfish ambition.

17.   Keep a lid on your anger.

18.   Speak the truth in love.

19.   Apologize quickly. Keep short accounts with God and with each other.

20.   Keep in touch by phone, email etc.

21.   It can help to have a common purpose to the prayer time: missions etc.

22.   Ask the tough questions about common purpose and pace. Forge agreement without imposing agreement. Lead people to common ground. (e.g. Acts 15)

23.   Decide that you will always work things out.

24.   Beware of being disappointed with one another. Do not grumble and complain.

25.   Develop a spiritual sensitivity to the presence of unity and spiritual agreement and maintain it.