A Prayer for Unity – John 17:20-26
The picture to the left is of two adorable people that I love—Paul & Tife. This little family is one of the blessings God has brought to my path. I went to visit them this past Saturday, and on my journey home, I thought about how grateful I am to have this family in my life. Those not featured, namely Paul’s wife and Tife’s mommy, Peju, as well as all of the wonderful family and friends with which they’ve helped me connect, have blessed my life as well. Maybe someday I’ll share with you the random way God connected us, but this feature has a specific focus: UNITY.
Yesterday I was reading parts of the SPIRITUALITY OF IMPERFECTION with a friend, and the section we on was focused on was the wholeness of God. The Creator is part of everything. If we feel separated from another group, the truth is God is in both camps. He (She) is in all tribes—all people and things—and the heart of God seeks to unify us.
The dividing lines we’ve created about race, gender, color, and creed, or even political party, are not of God. As the Spirit seeks to unify us, we continue to separate, and the divide, as of late, has gotten large and looming. People willing to sacrifice morality and honor to uphold the tribe with which they identify whilst vilifying the other camp.
As I write, I am reminded to two ways Jesus sought unity—and in the process, created unrest and division. The strife and division existed because those with a particular belief refused to drop the barriers and embrace the unity. One was all the times He looked to the religious elite and told them they were creating obstacles that should not exist. That they were not doing to the work of God because they’d created their own morally pious camp. The other was the story of the Good Samaritan. That the people you like the least, the other camp you believe you are better than, is really your neighbor. In Matthew 5:43-47, Jesus shines further light on how easy it is to care for those we love, but much harder for those we don’t. The blessing is in unity with and love for those of the other camp.
How does all of this relate to Paul, Peju, and Tife? When I look at them, I see love. What I must also strive for is seeing love in all faces, in all people, even those that are very difficult. Part of love is truth. Jesus could not love all people without seeking to eliminate the barriers. The tribal desire to be in a camp ultimately hurts all parties, even those seemingly with power.
Dearest Heavenly Father (Mother), may I help promote the unity you desire. We are all one people. We are all one world. Please help me to see others through your eyes so that I can help bring all people together, and thank you so much for the blessings of good people brought to my world through the unity of your love. In Your Mighty and Holy name…
John 17:20-26 (NIV)
Jesus Prays for Unity
“My prayer is not for them alone. I also pray 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—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will 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.”
Praying Over the City in South Saint Paul, Minnesota.