Praying for Oneness

Nathan Prairie

Read: John 17:20-26

I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one. (vv. 20-21 NIV)

Unity is hard to find. Some people claim to have unity, but how they work and live reveals deep divisions. As a country, presidential elections remind us that the “United” States isn’t all that united. On a more personal level, broken families tragically exemplify disunity. But even worse, we all know that the church—where relationships are supposed to be edifying and unifying—often suffers from some of the worst friction and division.

In John 17, Jesus prays for those who will believe in him, “that they may all be one” (v. 21). Does Jesus suggest that believers must all have the same personality, skin color, language, or denomination? Certainly not! To “be one” means to be a body of believers made up of “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). More than our common humanity (Gen. 1:27), this is a unity created by the Holy Spirit that enables the most disparate individuals to share a common mind and purpose in the gospel. This unity enables love (John 13:34-35).

Christian unity recognizes that we were dead as sinners until God made us alive in Jesus Christ, forgiving our sin, canceling our debt, and nailing it to the cross so we can have eternal life! If we can find our unity in this fact and not our feelings, nothing can divide us. —Nathan Prairie

Prayer: Father, may the world know we are Christians by our love, and by our unity may they believe that you sent Jesus. Amen.