Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Prayer for Unity

This week is the week of prayer for Christian Unity, so here is my prayer:

Dear Father, Son and Holy Spirit in heaven, I believe in your oneness. I pray that the world will see you through your children.  May your reign and rule exist here on earth in the same way as it exists in heaven.  May your will be done.  I understand that your will is that others will know you when they see you in us.

I pray against the lies of the spirit of division.  If two of your children, who have incomplete knowledge, disagree about something, they are still brothers.  It is not up to the children to decide who belongs to your family.  You do not required perfect understanding when you adopted us into your family. I pray we can accept others with the same grace you extend to us.

I've never heard of a family where the unity is based on accepting a common creed or belief system.  I pray your family would recognize that our unity is based on your loving relationship with us.  Thank you for loving us unconditionally.

You only have one church, and it meets in many different places. Many of your children have believed the lie that there are divisions in your church.  That somehow your church is a kingdom divided against itself. From Mark 3:22-30 we see that suggesting your kingdom is divided against itself is the context of the unforgivable blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.  I trust and pray that it will be that lie that falls, and not your kingdom.

I pray that your church would recognize that it exists whenever believers gather together.  I pray that the walls and divisions that have grown over the years would not influence how we define your church.  When believers meet to build each other up to become more like you, that is your church. Your church meets at work. Your church meets in homes. Your church meets in public or private buildings, and outdoors.  Your church meets every day of the week in many different locations.  I pray that your church could open it's eyes to see itself whenever and wherever it is.

I pray that your followers would recognize that unity is essential.  Scripture seems pretty clear that your followers are to love one another and not judge one another. I pray that your followers will not ignore your desire for unity.

I pray these things for the sake of others, that the world would see your characteristics of grace, love, mercy and forgiveness through your children.  May it be in line with your will. Amen.

Some verses to consider:

Jesus' Prayer for us in John 17:20 - 26 (NIV)
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
John 13:33-35 NIV
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." 

Colossians 3:13-15 (NIV)
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Ephesians 4:2-6 (NIV)
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Romans 15:5-7 (NIV)
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
1 Cor 12:12-13 (NIV)
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
1 Cor 1:10-13 (NIV)
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ."Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?
 Luke 6:37-38 NIV
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
 1 Cor 4:4-5 NIV
“It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.”
Matt 7:1-5 NIV
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. "
1 John 4:19-21
"We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." 

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

Nice work, Jon.

There is certainly unity in the invisible Church.

There are believers and unbelievers in the pews of all churches where Christ is proclaimed (in some fashion) for the forgiveness of sins.

We ought never judge someone's salvation. But protecting the pure gospel is a responsibility. So criticizing those who add-on to Christ (with Popes or good works as requirements) is the task of all those who love Jesus and His gospel.
Otherwise St. Paul would have kept his mouth shut and not written the Galatian letter…and he would never have confronted Peter when Peter and his bunch were requiring people to become Jews first, before they could Christians.

There certainly is a lot at stake.

Thanks, friend.