Unity: “the state of being united or joined as a whole.”
With so many denominations and church expressions there can be a tendency to stick to “our tribe and brand”, to “us four and more”. But what is the heart of Jesus for His church? It is unity – that we would be one. John 17, known as Christ’s High Priestly prayer, is the longest recorded in the gospels. In it, Jesus prays to His Father right before His betrayal, arrest and crucifixion. Through John 17 we are given insight into the very heart of God for His worldwide church:
I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. John 17:9-11
Our great Intercessor Jesus prays for us! What a comfort, that we may be one! What a covering! We often desire God to answer our prayers, indeed, He loves to answer prayer according to His will. But I wonder have you ever thought that you could play a part in being an answer to a prayer Jesus prayed? The good news is, we can! In fact His church coming together to pray for the nations, worship and fellowship is a sign to the world that the Father sent Jesus:
…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. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. John 17:21-23
So much mystery and wonder are packed into these incredible verses, but let’s each do our bit to become perfectly one as His church so that the world may know that Jesus has been sent by the Father.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness to us and for every prayer to date that You have answered, are answering and will answer. Jesus, help us play our part as believers in Your body to be an answer to Your prayer of John 17, that we may become perfectly one, as You are One, that the world may know and believe You have been sent from heaven for the salvation of all mankind. May we be one in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.