“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” (John 17:20-21).
Unity was important to Paul—and to God. Why? What does unity among believers do?
While Jesus was talking to all believers, the universal Church, I think we can bring it down to the local church level as well. Something happens in the heavenly realm when the church is unified. Jesus said that people will recognize who He is and will believe.
When a church is in unity, evangelism will happen easily! No wonder Satan does everything he can to keep us from having unity! He knew that Jesus Christ would receive glory if unity occurred among the Roman believers. People would be drawn to Him when they saw the unity of the Roman believers. They will be drawn to Him through your church as well—if there is unity.
Lord Jesus, You said that when You were lifted up, You would draw all men to Yourself. You also prayed for unity so that people would know who You are and be drawn to You. Lord, do a mighty work in our church to bring unity. God who gives endurance and encouragement, would You give me the perseverance and strength I need to work through the differences I have with other believers in my church and community, to show grace to others who have different opinions, tastes, and ideas than I do?
Help me to see that I don’t have to have the same opinions as everyone else in order to be in unity. We can be different and still be unified in You! Make me a champion for unity in my church, so You would be glorified. Amen.
–Taken from Praying like Paul (Learning to Pray the Kingdom for Those You Love) by Jonathan Graf
From your heart give praise to God as the Father of all peoples, the one from whom every family on earth derives its name (Eph. 3:14-15). Thank him for having created such a wide variety of peoples and cultures, including your own. Confess those times when you have looked down on people simply because their culture or way of life is different from yours. Commit yourself to learning more about the people who live and work around you. Ask God to help you become genuinely interested in other people’s perspectives as you pray for opportunities to share the good news with them.
Ask God to restore any breaches between the generations that you are aware of— frictions between grandparents and parents or grandchildren, and so on.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend