A Prayer for Unity in the Body of Christ – Your Daily Prayer – April 14


your daily prayer devotional art

apple podcast button spotify podcast button youtube button

A Prayer for Unity in the Body of Christ
By Jessica Van Roekel

“My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?” – 1 Corinthians 1:11-13, NIV

Have you ever noticed how families quarrel? Discussions can turn into disagreements and disagreements can turn into discussions whether one stays curious and humble. The Apostle Paul found himself in the middle of a church family disagreement, and we know how churches still disagree, sometimes to the point where a church splits. Paul wrote to the Corinthians to correct misguided thoughts and opinions and to protect the church’s unity. 

Corinth was the most prominent Greek city during the time of Paul. They were proud of their intellect and boasted of their great wealth. They were also morally corrupt and known for satisfying every kind of wicked desire. During Paul’s second missionary journey, he, along with Priscilla and Aquilla began the Corinthian church, which consisted of some Jews but mostly Gentiles from pagan backgrounds. 

After Paul left to continue his journeys, a variety of problems arose. Representatives from the church traveled to Ephesus, where he wrote 1 Corinthians, to instruct the Corinth church on a variety of issues, one of which was church unity. Paul gives clear and enduring spiritual principles that apply to churches today. He emphasized unity in the church based on a unified purpose to honor Jesus Christ and to spread his message—not to follow certain people or certain teachings.

The people in the Corinthian church who claimed to follow only Christ felt they had superior wisdom, revelation, and spirituality to other people and tried to win the Corinthian church over to their way of thinking. This group likely believed that God’s grace brought them freedom from the restraint of God’s law and from the demands of any moral code, which is in direct opposition to the message Paul taught about Jesus Christ. 

Churches and misguided individuals have the same pull toward a certain pastor, speaker, evangelist, author, or YouTube teacher as the Corinthians did. Some members of the Corinthian church grew attached to certain church leaders rather than to Christ’s message. This led to division and if not checked, to betraying Christian principles. Paul condemned this attitude and reminded the Corinthian church that only Christ gave himself and is the rightful head. 

We can see this same attitude creeping into our churches today, which leads to a prideful and independent spirit where we elevate humankind’s teachings over God’s Word. Paul gave clear instructions to center our love and loyalty on God and his Word—not his messengers or church leaders. So how do we guard against division caused by the pull to follow bible teachers and leaders or our own understanding? Many of Paul’s letters included instructions on living in unity with one another. Ephesians 4:1-5 gives us six steps to follow: to walk in a manner worthy of the calling, to practice humility and gentleness, to cultivate patience, to bear with one another in love, and have an eagerness to maintain the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” Ephesians 4:3.

By focusing on these six important actions and attitudes, we grow in our relationship with God, experiencing greater unity with him, which spills into our interactions with other followers of Christ. When our focus is fixed on the Lord and his word, divisions don’t have to invade our churches.

Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father,
Forgive us for focusing on following your messengers instead of you. Let your word be our guiding light instead of the words of others. Remind us to open the letter you gave us and read your words so we can know your heart. Your heart for us is to know one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and one Father who is over all, through all, and in all. Let us lay aside our own will and surrender to you. Lead us in your way—your everlasting way and help us become contenders for unity. Let us walk worthy of your calling. Give us the courage to lay down our pride and chose humility and gentleness over pushing for our own way. Fill us with patience to wait on you and help us bear with one another in our weaknesses and spiritual immaturity. Let us lead with love for you so we can love others keeping you head of our lives. You are so great and wonderful to love us enough to keep pursuing us and directing us into your ways. Thank you for what you will do in our churches as we pursue unity.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Delmaine Donson

Jessica Van Roekel author headshotJessica Van Roekel loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She longs for you to know that rejection doesn’t have to define or determine your future when placed in God’s healing hands. Find out more reframingrejectionbook.com You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

Banner ad for Teach Us to Pray Podcast

Now that you’ve prayed, are you in need of someone to pray for YOU? Click the button below!

Visit iBelieve.com for more inspiring prayer content.


Source link

Write a comment
Verified by MonsterInsights