‘May They Be One as We Are One’
The following is an excerpt from our daily devotional Fellowship With the Father, written by IFA contributing writer Remco Brommet.
Unity is highly prized by our Lord: Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! (Psalm 133:1 ESV).
In fact, this is so important that Jesus ends the final meal and teaching time He has with His disciples in the upper room with a high-priestly prayer for it: “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20–21 ESV).
He knew that the unity of the believers would reflect the unity between Himself and the Father and would thus be essential for the credibility of the gospel. And He knew that Satan would attack it with all his might, using the tendency toward discord that resides in our flesh (see Galatians 5:19–20).
At first, after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, all believers truly were one, as we read in Acts 2 and Acts 4. They had everything in common, no one had any need outstanding; their unity was love made visible and drew the favor and admiration of all around, drawing many to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But soon, the Enemy started sowing discord. And now, almost 2,000 years later, the Christian Church is marked more by divisions, disagreements, infighting, power struggles, and splits than by love and unity. Add to that, here in the U.S., competition for church size and individualism — an unhealthy preoccupation with our own campus at the expense of working together to spread the gospel.
Our country itself is even more mired in chaos. Racial tension, social divisions, economic divisions, political rifts are running deeper than ever. Don’t get me started there. We are supposed to be the United States, one nation under God, but appear to be anything but. I believe with all my heart that the discord in our nation is related to the discord in the Church. A divided, conflicted church cannot set an example or positively influence the unity of a nation. A church united to Christ and to each other can!
Today’s Prayer Assignment
Here are some topics for you to consider praying into today:
Repentance: Let us repent of any traces of prejudice, competition, condemnation, dissension, and discord — first of all in our own hearts, and then seek God’s forgiveness on behalf of His Church for divisions along racial, economic, political, doctrinal, and missional lines.
Reconciliation: Let us ask the Lord to give us a spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness to begin restoring our divisions and let go of grievances and hurts, remembering that we were all forgiven through Christ and are expected to pay that forward (see Matthew 6:14–15); let us pray for our pastors and congregations to let go of any individualism, mistrust, envy, or competitiveness that seeks individual ministry success above partnership in the gospel.
Restoration: Let us pray for healing of the wounds caused by division, strife, and competition in ministry. Wounds cause fear. But perfect love drives out fear (see 1 John 4:18). Let us pray for the perfect love of God to be poured out in our hearts so that we may love each other unconditionally and freely.
Reunification: Let us pray for us to rediscover doing life together: being one in mind and spirit, sharing our resources, and meeting one another’s needs — as a visible manifestation of God’s love poured out into our hearts. Let us pray that we would not return to our church campuses to “circle the wagons” again, but rather become innovative and outward-focused, to welcome all who are drawn by our unity and love.
Release: Let us pray for the release of our unity into the nation and the world through prayerful cooperation in mission, charity, and evangelism. Pray for the boldness and courage among believers to set transforming and impactful examples in conflict resolution, collaboration, sacrificial love, and charity, and to boldly and lovingly call for our society to unite for the greater return to being the United States — one nation under God.
These are just some pointers. Let the Holy Spirit lead you as you listen to the Lord, think deeply, grieve over discord, and thirst for the unity Jesus Himself prayed for.
And be emboldened and encouraged by the fact that you are echoing Jesus’ prayer in the upper room.
Jesus rejoices in these prayers. Satan trembles at these prayers.
So let us believe God together for a mighty revival of unity!
Share your own prayers and scriptures for unity below.
Remco Brommet is a pastor, spiritual-growth teacher, and prayer leader with over 40 years of experience in Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the U.S. He was born and raised in the Netherlands and pastored his first church in Amsterdam. He moved to the U.S. in 1986. He and his wife, Jennifer, live north of Atlanta. When not writing books, he blogs at www.deeperlifeblog.com and assists his wife as a content developer and prayer coordinator for True Identity Ministries. Jennifer and Remco are passionate about bringing people into a deeper relationship with Christ. Photo Credit: zbindere/Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro.
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