Week One: United in Prayers that Give Glory to Jesus|
|Feb 4||Feb 5||Feb 6||Feb 7||Feb 8||Feb 9|
Week Two: United in Prayers for the Saving of Souls|
|Feb 10||Feb 11||Feb 12||Feb 13||Feb 14||Feb 15||Feb 16|
Week Three: United in Prayers that We May Be One in Christ|
|Feb 17||Feb 18||Feb 19||Feb 20||Feb 21||Feb 22||Feb 23|
Week Four: United in Prayer to Increase our Joy|
|Feb 24||Feb 25||Feb 26||Feb 27||Feb 28||Feb 29||Mar 1|
Week Five: United in Prayers that Stand for Truth and Justice|
|Mar 2||Mar 3||Mar 4||Mar 5||Mar 6||Mar 7||Mar 8|
Week Six: United in Prayers that The Whole Christian Church May Be One|
|Mar 9||Mar 10||Mar 11||Mar 12||Mar 13||Mar 14||Mar 15|
Week Seven: United in Prayers of Complete Love for One Another|
|Mar 16||Mar 17||Mar 18||Mar 19||Mar 20||Mar 21||Mar 22|
March 9, 2008
"...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 17:21
The church is already one. Unity is the gift of God, not something we create, manufacture, or wish into being. St. Paul writes of "one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all." God did His work of unity on the cross, where Jesus had already predicted: "I, when I am lifted up, will draw all men unto myself." The problem is not that the unity isn't there; the problem is that we fail – or refuse – to see it.
Let us pray that the Lord would expand our perception to recognize the unity of believers all over the world. I am personally moved to that attitude when I sing one of the great hymns of the church – "The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended," by John Ellerton – which includes these lines:
As o'er each continent and island the dawn leads on another day,
the voice of prayer is never silent, nor dies the strain of praise away.
When we pray we are never alone. Rather, we step into a long line of people who, like us, know and love Jesus and are flinging their prayers at the throne of God in heaven. Our prayer is one leg of a cosmic relay of prayers that are flung at the throne of God in the name of Jesus.
The sun that bids us rest is waking the brethren 'neath the western sky,
and hour by hour fresh lips are making thy wondrous doings heard on high.
It would be arrogant to think that the unity of the church depends upon our prayer or our work. It is God's work, and we honor Him and our fellow Christians whenever we take our place in line as part of the redeemed team that already exists because of the redemptive, team-forming death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. We are one with Him and with each other, just as He is one with the Father. Let us receive God's blessing of unity with thanksgiving and embrace our brothers and sisters in Christ with energy and enthusiastic love, celebrating the resurrection reality that we are part of a world-wide fellowship of those call Jesus Lord and continually offer Him their adoration and praise.
So be it, Lord; thy throne shall never, like earth's proud empires, pass away;
thy kingdom stands, and grows for ever, till all thy creatures own thy sway.
The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended, the darkness falls at thy behest;
to thee our morning hymns ascended, thy praise shall sanctify our rest.
We thank thee that thy Church, unsleeping while earth rolls onward into light,
through all the world her watch is keeping and rests not now by day nor night.