Jump to Prayer FocusBible Passage for Meditation: John 17:14-26
Key Verse: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17:21
A little while back, some of my ministry colleagues and I were attending our yearly board retreat, where we had a lot of important decisions to make. However, there was a brewing disagreement among us over several issues, and we weren’t making much headway in our meeting. Finally one of our advisors wisely recommended that we take a day out to fast and pray, study our Bibles, and seek God together. So rather than discussing the issues of disagreement, we put away our differences and sought God. The results were amazing. Not only did the issues resolve themselves naturally and easily, but a greater peace and unity came to our group. As the Holy Spirit’s blessing was poured out on our team, we ended up getting two days of agenda items accomplished in one day.
This is only a small example of what God longs to do in a much greater degree for our whole church. The devil would like to use divisions to divide us, but if we use these situations as an opportunity to seek God more urgently, they can actually be turned around to unite us.
In the book Adventist Home we are told, “The cause of division and discord in families and in the church is separation from Christ. To come near to Christ is to come near to one another. The secret of true unity in the church and in the family is not diplomacy, not management, not a superhuman effort to overcome difficulties—though there will be much of this to do—but union with Christ. Picture a large circle, from the edge of which are many lines all running to the center. The nearer these lines approach the center, the nearer they are to one another. Thus it is in the Christian life. The closer we come to Christ, the nearer we shall be to one another. God is glorified as His people unite in harmonious action” (p. 179).
When Jesus lived on the Earth, He prayed a powerful prayer for His disciples and for all those who would in the future believe in Him (that’s us today). You can find this famous prayer in John 17. While He prayed many things in this prayer, one plea He repeated over and over; in fact, He repeated it five times. What was it? That we would be one, even as He and His Father are one. Evidently, this was pretty important to Jesus.
Of course, He wasn’t just praying that His disciples would be united in action for a particular cause. Rather, He prayed that they would be one in the truth—God’s truth (John 17:17). This is still our great need today.
For the next ten days we will focus on unity in Christ. As we do so, I want you to imagine what could be possible if we were truly one in Christ. Actually, we don’t have to imagine, for we’ve already been told what could happen: “If Christians were to act in concert, moving forward as one, under the direction of one Power, for the accomplishment of one purpose, they would move the world” (Christian Service, p. 75).
Let this be our aim!
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for how You’ve been growing and changing all of us during this 100 Days of Prayer. We also want to praise You for how You are going to work and bless our church during the upcoming General Conference Session. We want to be one, just as You and Your Son are one. We don’t know how to accomplish this, but You do. So we humbly ask for Your guidance. Thank You for hearing this prayer, and thank You for working on our behalf. We love You! Amen.
Coordinator, 100 Days of Prayer
General Conference Ministerial Association
[For some practical tips on how to bring your church into greater unity, click here for downloadable file.]