Praying for Unity
Jesus said, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even 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 sent Me”. John 17:20-21
These words were prayed by Jesus the last night of his life. He had just gathered his disciples at the Last Supper, washed their feet, told them of the events that were about to unfold, commanded them to love one another and then he prayed for them. Notice, that he is praying not only for “them” his disciples, but also for those who would believe in him through their word.
This hope filled message reaches beyond those who walked the earth with his disciples. This message of hope is for all of us trying to make sense out of the events occurring in our world today. Jesus was asking for our unity, that we might all be one in him. That was no easy task for the followers in the early church and it is still a daunting task for US today. Our interconnected world today is full of people of vast diversity, people from different cultures, different backgrounds, different ideas of what God is calling them to do.
Was Jesus asking us to put down what makes each of us so unique or to agree on every issue? No! His Priestly Prayer for unity is a call for us to work to find ways to build bridges, to come together, to love one another in spite of our differences. Perhaps we should begin this enormous task by reaching out and loving those around us. Often that task must begin with repentance, with peace, with forgiveness, and with loving kindness in our hearts that grows out from us in ever-expanding circles. I can’t help but think that is what God wants for us and what Jesus was praying would happen today. Friends, change must always begin within! Jesus prayed for our unity and died to make it possible. Let us pray for God to make us ALL agents of change!
Grace and peace always,