Elder Prayer (5/30/21)

Behold how good and pleasant it is when God’s people dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)

Father in Heaven,

We gather together this day, sanctified and set apart for a holy purpose, in Christ Jesus, along with believers of every different tribe and tongue around the world who call Jesus Lord as we do.

It’s all about Your grace Father, in Jesus.

Yet, we often allow it to be about so much more that divides us. Forgive us.

You have been so faithful to us, and You’ve called us into the fellowship of Your Son, Jesus our Lord.

Baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit.

In this fellowship, there is no division.

You, the Son and the Spirit have enjoyed a divine dance of love for all eternity, showering each other with joy, praise, love and glory, endlessly. A divine dance that You call us to join.

In this divine dance we find true happiness, true joy, a true satisfaction not based on our circumstances. Our true identity and true relationship.

Father, we face a tough and determined enemy. An enemy that seeks to devour and destroy through discouragement and division.

Yet Lord Jesus, on the night You were betrayed by those closest to You, You prayed to the Father that we would not only be protected from the enemy, but that we would be One, just as You and the Father are One. That we would be in You.

No division.

United, though different. Dependent on each other and on each other’s differences.

We are different Father. We are fans of different teams. We come from different places. We like different foods. We ascribe to different political beliefs. We see problems in different ways. We look different, act differently, talk differently and think differently.

Yet in You, we are One.

United not in policies, programs, plans or purposes. But united in a Person, The Person of Jesus Christ.

So that the world might know that He, Jesus, was sent in the love of the Father, to save the lost.

Our unity, our oneness in Christ, is a testimony. Probably the strongest testimony we have against the onslaught of discord, division and destruction we see playing out all around us, here, near and far.

In this season where differences are elevated to existential threats, help us, Your Bride Lord Jesus, look different than the world around us, and be united.

Although unity does not mean conformity, differences don’t have to mean division.

Help us, Your Body Lord Jesus, to be visibly united to a world hurtling out of control into a Christ-less eternity. Help us make every effort to maintain this unity in You through Your Spirit, binding ourselves together in peace.

Help us be united in our care for those hurting in our midst, those recovering from significant health issues, or facing challenging financial issues, or losing hope in the face of endless disappointment. Help us be united as we navigate through a season of change, with staff departures, new additions, and new ways of doing things. Help us be united as we pursue healthy, open, transparent, other-centered discussion on a variety of topics. Help us be united as we honestly face and address the downward trend of giving, and its implications. Help us be united as we serve the needs of the neediest in our region. Help us be united as we partner, and unite, with our brothers and sisters in Lebanon. Help us be united as we show and tell the world who You are Jesus.

As Your Church, Your Bride, Your Body.

One Body, bound by One Spirit, all called to the same One Hope in Christ.

Christ in us, the Hope of Glory.

Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, providing us peace with God through His shed blood on that cross, and reconciling us and all things, all different things, to Himself. So that we can be One.

It’s in His name we pray, together as one. Amen.

(David Kneller, Elder)