A Prayer for Unity in the Church
July 5 Prayer Service
Given by: Jeff Crick
John 17 English Standard Version (ESV)
The High Priestly Prayer
17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,
Dear heavenly Father, if it were right for your Son to live to glorify you, may we, the Body of Christ, The Church, commit to do exactly the same. May we be unified for this purpose above all things. That you O’ Lord may be Glorified in us. Glorified by every word and deed, may you alone receive this glory, honor and praise.
2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Lord Jesus, as The Church, help us to focus our gratitude of eternal life on Knowing You AND making You Known. If We believe, as we have just sung, nothing should occupy our minds more than knowing you and making you known. Let what we say we believe and what we sing so boldly about from our lips be deeply rooted also in our hearts. As the lyrics of “We Believe” say, “Let the Church Live Love our God will see….and the gates of hell will not prevail, for the power of God has torn the vail, now we know your love will never fail, We Believe, We Believe”.
4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. 6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.
Lord Jesus, thank you for accomplishing the work necessary for us to know truth and to know you. May we “consider our life worth nothing and our only aim be to finish the race and complete the task you have given us – the task of testifying to the Good News of God’s Grace (Acts 20:24)”. Your plan was perfect Lord, but all of humanity has sinned against you. We now have this broken world, full of broken systems and broken lives who desperately need a you, in desperate need of a savior. And while we were yet sinners, You proved Your love for us by taking on this sin and the punishment we so deserved for our sake, so that we may live. In true repentance and faith you restored us back into unity with You, making us a new creation, giving us new & eternal life. Thank you Jesus!
9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.[a] 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them[b] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,[c] that they also may be sanctified[d] in truth.
Lord, YES, make us one. One Body UNITED around the truth of the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, led by the indwelling of your Holy Spirit with one Mission… to know you and make you known as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the ONE True God.
20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
Dear fellow servants, please hear the call for unity. Unity in the Church is about unifying to glorify the Father so that the world may know His love. “Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:2)”.
24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Church, it is with this love, a love that comes from knowing Jesus and knowing he is in you and that He will stand with you. Therefore, “be strong and courageous, don’t be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 24:13)”.
- John 17:15 Or from evil
- John 17:17 Greek Set them apart (for holy service to God)
- John 17:19 Or I sanctify myself; or I set myself apart (for holy service to God)
- John 17:19 Greek may be set apart (for holy service to God)