by Ps Sean Stanton, National Secretary, Australian Christian Churches
Praying for the spirit of unity among God’s people.
“My prayer is not for them alone. 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. 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.”—John 17:20-23
A prayer from Jesus’ heart | The prayer that Jesus prayed for us before He was arrested and crucified is one that we cannot ignore. It is His heartfelt desire that there will be unity among believers, and that this unity should influence marriages, friendships, godly partnerships, and all followers of Christ in church life, Kingdom purposes and partnerships.
Unity was conceived, created and displayed in the heart of God who loves and who is Love. The Godhead—Father, Son and Spirit—reflect and experience love so perfectly that the natural consequence is perfect unity in relationship and purpose. This unity flows from the Godhead and is established by mutual love, respect, trust, and common purpose.
A prayer from our heart | The heart for unity should also be the prayer of our hearts. The Apostle Paul echoed this desire for unity in his letter to the Romans: “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:5-6).
Paul prayed that God will give (impart to us) what the NIV calls a “spirit of unity”. More literally, it is ‘to mind the same thing’, The NIV gives the sense and the spirit of it. He is writing to people who don’t agree on a number of things, yet he prays that they will have harmony.
The German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, compared the human race to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter’s night. He said, “The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth; but the closer we get to one another, the more we hurt one another with our sharp quills.”
The constant reference in the New Testament writings to “live in harmony or unity with one another” (Romans 12:16) can often be seen throughout Paul’s writings. To the Corinthian church, he wrote, “listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11).
As we approach the federal election, let us put aside the arguments, opinions and divisions that polarise people, and focus on the spirit of unity.
Lord, today we pray that there will be unity among every believer who has committed to fast and pray for the upcoming elections; that our hearts are towards righteousness and peace in our nation. We pray that as followers of Jesus, we will exemplify Your love for humanity in our nation, and that through our unity, our nation will be drawn to your love. We pray as one for this election that “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Election Prayer Points
- Pray that God would rule over this election – that righteous leaders would be elected to govern this nation in truth and justice because, “When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice”. Proverbs 29:2
- Pray God’s blessing upon all our current parliamentarians and leaders, including their families and all the candidates of all the parties standing for this federal election. 1 Timothy 2:1-3
- Pray for a multiplication of prayer and unity across the Body of Christ in Australia that people will wake up to the dangers facing our nation and respond in prayer. Ephesians 5:14
- Pray for a Spiritual Awakening for Australia, Revival and Transformation for our nation and the proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. John 3:16
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