Father, when people look at Your church, what do they see? Love and selfless sacrifice? Or competition and selfishness?
I think I know.
Forgive us, Lord. Forgive us for our self-righteousness, our pride, our know-it-all attitudes. Forgive us for caring more for our own needs than the needs of others. Forgive us for focusing on growing our own churches, rather than joining with others to meet the needs of our communities.
Convict us. Convict us until we truly understand how our behavior grieves You. Convict us until our behavior grieves us.
Remind us again how much You love us, despite our rebelliousness and unloveliness. Let that remembrance cause us to fall to our knees in serious repentance. Renew in us a desire to draw so close to You, to love You so completely, and to experience Your love for us so absolutely, that we are compelled to love one another. May we never want to return to our old ways.
And when we see our brothers and sisters struggling, rather than judge them, help us compassionately lift them up and pray for them to be restored. Let our love for each other become a testimony of the way You love us.
Father, show us how to recognize the enemy and his tactics so that we no longer fall for his lies. Help us remember that our enemy is not each other, but the devil. He would gladly use us to crush one another. Equip us to effectively resist his plan.
I pray that we make every effort to continually stretch, reaching to a new, deeper and more mature way of loving one another, so that . . .
. . . when people see Your church, Father, they see You.
(Every year, on the first Thursday in May, we celebrate the National Day of Prayer. This year’s theme is unity, based on Ephesians 4:3 (NIV) “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”)
What about you?
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- This is my prayer for church unity. What is yours?
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