Day 21: Unity as One

John 17:21-23
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.

No one understood the value of unity in the church better than the Lord Jesus, the High Priest of the Church. Jesus prayed one of the most passionate prayers of His recorded earthly ministry in this 17th chapter of John.
The answer to that prayer was, is, and will always be a concern to Jesus.

In verse 21, He prayed: “... that all of them may be one.”
This word “all” takes us back to verse 20 when Jesus prayed:  “not for them alone." The word “them" refers to the apostles, the 11 he has been praying for in the previous section. He continues, “but also for those who will believe” in Him through the apostolic witness; the great body of Christians around the world and through the centuries. These two groups, He now says, are all to be joined together, “that all of them may be one.”
Twice in these verses, our Lord tells us the purpose and benefits of unity within the Church:
Once in verse 21: “so that the world may believe that you have sent me,”
And again in verse 23: “to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."

As we wrap up the 21 Days of Prayer, it is only fitting that we finish on the topic of unity. Unity is not complete unless we allow the Lord to bring it into our own lives through yielding ourselves to His Spirit and thereby producing His fruit - fruit that will last! We also do this by renouncing and repenting of the ways we have sown into division or have partnered with a spirit that causes divisiveness. All of us have partnered with division at one point or another - and this is wrong. When the church begins to demonstrate the unity of faith, the unity of shared truth, shared power, and shared life, the world is hit by an inescapable impression that Jesus is Lord, that He indeed holds the key to history and to reality, that he is indeed the revelation of the invisible God.

Prayer Prompts:
  1. Prayerfully ask the Lord what displays of unity (or lack thereof) are evident in your life. Then ask Him to show you if these attributes cause the unchurched person (within your circles of influence) to question why you look so different in comparison to what is considered “normal” in today’s culture.
  2. Reflect - are you carrying resentment towards a person or group of people which would be in conflict with Jesus' prayer for unity?
  3. Sit for the next five minutes and record your thoughts. Would you ask God to show you attitudes, thought processes, or repetitive actions that are more on the side of divisiveness than unity?
  4. Write down what God has brought to your mind as an action point. What is your first step toward change? Are you willing to take that step now?
  5. Renounce and repent for the ways you have partnered with division and ask for the Lord’s forgiveness. Ask and receive the Lord’s forgiveness.
  6. Pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit in your life and ask that He would direct you in all unity. 
  7. Prayerfully read and meditate on the Fruit of the Spirit, listed in Gal 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
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