Jesus prayed for the unity of His church together in John 17:18-23. Ever since, for the most part, we have ignored His prayer for us together and instead prayed for personal awakening and revival. It might be that awakening and revival would come if we prayed earnestly and cultivated intentionally for unity among the followers of Jesus in our communities.
Here’s one very simple way to do that:
PRAY FOR THE MINISTRIES AND LEADERS OF OTHER LOCAL CHURCH EXPRESSIONS IN YOUR COMMUNITY DURING SUNDAY WORSHIP GATHERINGS.
Do it every week. Highlight the leaders and a few things those ministries are up to. Even encourage the families who make up the church family of which you are a part to engage in those activities, to serve those ministries and leaders. And make sure every time you do this in worship gathering that you mention why you are doing it. And why might that be?
…for the sake of cultivating for unity among the followers of Jesus in the city where we live so that the work of God might come about (or even awakening or revival) in the city where we live.
Maybe even go one step further. Call or email or have coffee with the leaders of the local church expression for whom you prayed and ask them how you can serve them. Putting the interests of other local churches above your own might actually make the local church family of which you are a part stronger. It might actually make you all stronger. It might actually be what Jesus intended.
May we cultivate daily for unity.
PS _ this Saturday night, “unite” with me to cheer for the New Orleans Saints. Here’s their playoff preview video :)