During the COVID-19 stay safe at home orders and the conversations of how we come out of this and reopen there has been a lot of talk about unity. We can't move forward until we realize that we will never return to any semblance of what we consider normal until we stop thinking only about ourselves. We must do as Jesus taught and think of others too.
Mark 12:30-31 NIV Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Then comes the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. This tragic event triggered the pent up anger of the African American community who has seen this too ma y times in the past. They have been joined by people of all races, ages, nationalities, and social status to call for justice for not only African Americans but for all people.
These things along with other recent events have have generated lots of talk about unity.
But what is unity? Unfortunately, many think that unity means “sameness.” This is not true. Unity is not uniformity. Instead, unity can be defined as any group of people who are characterized by a shared purpose, vision or direction. It’s not about being the exact same, but about advancing toward the same goal.
Ephesians 3:6 NIV This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 4:13 NIV until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 2:14-16 NIV For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
The definition of epitome is a typical or ideal example. Basically, it means the perfect example, representation or manifestation of something. What do you think about when you hear the following question: “What is the epitome of unity?” What jumps into your mind?
We can think of many examples of unity, but are they really perfect? Are they ideal? I’m pretty sure most will have flaws and shortcomings. However, we see the perfect example of unity within the Trinity. The Trinity refers to God eternally existing in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All three persons are equally God. However, each person has a distinct role or function within the Godhead, and the three exist in perfect fellowship and community. Yet, there are not three separate gods, but only One. That is, the Godhead is perfectly unified.
You see, unity establishes oneness that will not negate individuality. Remember, each member of the Trinity has a separate role. God, in His infinite wisdom, replicated this reality in His creation. God’s design was to always have differences among people, seen by different races, colors, shapes and styles. Every race is unique and possesses an unique individuality. And yet, God’s desire is for His people to embrace their uniqueness while also maintaining Christian unity. He wants us to follow His perfect example.
John 17:21-23 NIV 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. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
4 Prayers For Unity
by Debbie McDaniel
The enemy fights the hardest when he knows we’re making a difference. Don’t let him win. He gains momentum when forget that he’s the cause. For when we’re able to look beyond our disagreements and set aside our differences, we can look to the greater purpose in this life. To honor Christ as King. We’ll never agree on everything. And that’s never been the real goal anyway.
A Prayer for Unity when Life Feels Uncertain
Dear God, We know that you are with us and you fight for your people. We believe that it’s not by might, nor by power, but by your Spirit, that you make a difference in our world.
We are needy for you. Some days feel so broken and uncertain. We’re hurting, we’re struggling, and we’re aware, more than ever, of our own weaknesses, and of the dark forces that constantly surround us, fighting to gain ground in our lives and families. We choose to stand our ground today and say, “no more.”
Pray for Wisdom to Set aside Differences
Dear God, we ask that you fill us with your Spirit of love and unity among believers all across this nation.
We ask for your help to set aside our differences and look to the greater cause, the cause of Christ. We ask that you would help us to truly live a life of love. We know that this is only possible through the power of your Spirit, so we pray for your Spirit to move across our land in fresh ways. Turn your people back to you. Draw others to come to know you. Thank you that you are always with us to give us great purpose and hope.
We pray for our families, for every relationship most dear to us, that you would guard our time, and our lives together. We ask for your ability to quickly forgive hurts, for a renewed heart of compassion, for love and faithfulness to be evident in every decision and action.
Pray for the Love We Need to Work Together in Unity
Dear God, we pray for our churches, our workplaces, our schools, and our communities.
We ask for your help in being a light in every place you’ve given us to walk. Give us care and wisdom as we live and work with one another. Help us to look to another’s needs before our own, and to always be ready to serve those around us by the power of your love within us. Even in every dark and broken place, for the times we feel like we’re barely making it through, give us your joy Lord, your grace, and the powerful presence of your peace.
We pray for all those in authority, for every leader of our nation, that you would give them your wisdom and discernment as they lead. We pray that their hearts would be directed first to you, that they would recognize where their true help and strength come from. We ask that you guard their coming and going, that you would be their refuge and their peace. We pray that you would surround every leader with wise counsel, that they would be humble and kind, patient and loving through their actions and words. We pray that their faith in you would be unwavering, strong, resolute, and firm.
Pray for Unity in the Nation
Dear God, We pray for your protection as one nation under God.
We ask that you surround this country and cover us with your mighty hand. We pray for unity in our land, that in spite of our differences, we would be willing to stand strong together and live out our days with compassion and grace. We ask that no weapon formed against us will prosper, and that you would thwart the attacks of the enemy hurled our way.
Thank you that you are rich in mercy and full of grace. Thank you that you are forgiving and merciful. Thank you that you are strong and mighty. Thank you that you are for us and that you fight for us still today.
Wake us up Lord! Remind us to live aware, to redeem the time, listen to your words, and be willing to make a difference in this land. Give us courage to speak out. Help us not to stay silent but to do all things through your wisdom and love.
We pray for your great healing on our land. Shine your face on us dear Lord. Give us courage to go into all the world and take the message of the Gospel of peace. We need you just as much now as we ever have before. Our times are in your hands.
Bring honor to your Name today, for You alone are worthy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
John 17:23 “I in them and you in me–so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Colossians 3:14-15 “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
Romans 12:16 “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:3-6 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
Psalm 133:1“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”
1 Peter 3:8 “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit…”
Matthew 18:19-20 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”
Galatians 3:26-28 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”