One of the Apostle Paul’s major themes for what has been achieved through the death and resurrection of Jesus is of reconciliation (where reconciliation means to renew a friendship or to restore to a right relationship). Not only have we been reconciled to God through Jesus having paid the price for our sin on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:18), but through Jesus we have all now been reconciled to one another, such that there is no longer a division between Jews and gentiles, slaves and free, men and women, brexiteers and remainers or anywhere else we might see division in society (Galatians 3:28) and that ultimately there will be a reconciliation of everything in heaven and on earth (Colossians 1:20).
It’s therefore not surprising that when we find Jesus praying for us as his followers he is praying that we would live in unity, demonstrating to the world by our lives that we have all entered into that reconciliation, not only with God but also with one another as sons and daughters of our one Father.
So I want us to start our week of prayer by joining with Jesus in praying for unity. Here are a few ideas for what to pray:
- Is there anyone you need to personally be reconciled with, or if reconciliation isn’t possible then who you need to forgive? If so and you’re not sure where to start why not ask God for wisdom and find someone you can pray this through with.
- Pray for unity within Kerith: between men and women, different ages, different ethnic groups, between rich and not so rich, educated and less educated, those who are single and those who are married, unity amongst our elders, trustees and leaders, within sites and between sites. You get the picture!
- Unity amongst the churches in each of the communities we represent. In the eyes of God there is only one church in Bracknell, Blackwater Valley, Windsor and on the Isle of Wight, even if there are different expressions off that church in each place. Pray those churches would speak well of one another, relationships would grow between the churches and a kingdom mentality where the success of one church is seen as the success and of all, and the pain of one church is seen as the pain of all.
- Unity amongst all the different expression of church in our nation and the nations. Between all the different streams and denominations, not that we are looking to all be the same or agree on everything, but unity amongst all those who recognise Jesus as Lord.
- That we would each take on our responsibility to be bringers of unity everywhere we go. In the words of Paul to be ministers of reconciliation. Helping people who don’t yet know Jesus to find reconciliation with God through Him. Helping Christians who have fallen out to be reconciled. To be genuine peace makers (not just peace keepers) in every area of society we are privileged to have influence and a voice. Through our creation care that we would speak now of that final reconciliation of all things to God.
That’s probably enough for today. Please be serious about finding time to pray, be booking into the prayer room (virtually if not in person) and prioritise coming to the Kingdom Come prayer night (7.30pm in the Kerith Centre).
Thank you so much. Know that your praying changes things (not least you) in ways you can’t begin to imagine.