Devotional for Day 7 – September 7, 2013
Ian Shelton, Coordinator of One Heart for the Nation, Australia
The unity of the church is the Lord’s means for reaching the world and saving souls, and as such this should be the priority of every Christian and especially every leader.
“(Father) I pray that (Christians) will all be ONE just as You and I are…so that the world will believe You sent Me.” (John 17:21 NLT)
“…that (Christians) may become ONE and PERFECTLY UNITED, that the world may know…” (John 17:23 AMP)
According to the Bible, unity is a necessity for soul-winning. The division and brokenness of the Church in most communities diminishes God’s glory, and at best, is seen negatively by most non-Christians. Christians should be able to love one another.
Imagine if pastors and congregations in each community began to seek the welfare of other pastors and congregations above their own. Imagine if pastors and congregations worked together to bring healing to the brokenness of their community.
The average community is unravelling, which manifests in the breakdown of marriages, youth delinquency, drugs, suicide and much more. Our modern communities are full of relational pain. However, only too often many Christians themselves are victims of society’s brokenness—including pastors and leaders. Humble pastors and leaders need to begin the journey, through prayer, to bring healing to one another and to the Church of the community.
Only a healed, unified Church is able to heal a broken, divided community. There is something very impacting in seeing dozens of pastors who love one another testifying how they and their families have been strengthened by the love they have received from one another.
As this relational unity grows to touch, heal and impact the congregation members, the love of Christ cannot help overflowing to needy souls all around them.
Christ’s prayer is for unity of the Church in order to reach the world. Soul-winners will always be the greatest advocate for the unity of the Church. The greatest prayer of the Bible is the high-priestly prayer of Jesus in John 17, and as such should be our priority prayer because it is our obedience to love one another that provides the answer to the prayer.
Pray this Prayer:
Father, teach us to pray in unison with Your Son that we, the Church, may be completed and perfected in unity in each community in our nation. Forgive us for our disunity and division, for our neglect of each other’s needs, for the critical words and attitudes against each other. Cleanse us from this proud spirit that elevates “myself, my ministry and my congregation” above the needs of other Christians in other congregations. Father, fill us afresh with the loving heart of sacrificial service that unites and heals the Church and overflows to needy communities. Amen.