Prayer #77: For Oneness in the Body of Christ During the Coronavirus and the Unrest in Our Country
One good thing that the Coronavirus crisis has done is to remind us how precious it is for us to gather together as Christians for worship and prayer. Having been unable to meet for months, we quickly have come to see how important our gathering together has always been, and how much we now miss it. (some churches, though not all, are just beginning to meet in limited ways, with outside services or small indoor services with adequate social distancing). Not being able to gather together has underscored for so many of us how much we need one another, and it puts into perspective how unimportant all the differences are that we let pull us apart and cause discord in our local churches.
And of course, with what is happening right now in our nation, we are deeply conscious of our need as the whole Body of Christ to pursue Christ-centered oneness, across the denominations, and most especially, across the races in the Church. There's still so much more that we must do in the Church toward this end than we have yet begun to do. We are one in Christ, through his death on the cross (Eph. 2:13-14), but we as yet have not truly walked out this oneness together the way that Christ would have us (John 17:20-23). This cannot be done casually or in a one-time way. Relationships, especially one-to-one relationships, must be built and zealously maintained, through which we can share our hearts together honestly, worship together, pray together, love one another, forgive one another, heal together, and minister together. There are still way too few of these cross-racial relationships in the Church today (most believers do not have a significant cross-racial Christian relationship at this level of depth).
If the Church does not do this, who will? It is we, the people of God who must model the oneness that is not only possible in Christ Jesus, it has already been established through the Cross. It's long past time for us to live out what is true in the Body of Christ.
Oh, how we pray for the prayer of God's Son in John 17 to be answered in its fullness in our midst in the Body of Christ in our region, that we would be "perfectly one" (John 17:23). Pray for thousands of cross-cultural relationships to be formed in the Church in our area, relationships that will endure and become the building blocks of the oneness we are praying for. Pray that through a Church united across all present barriers, especially race, the world would see Jesus and be drawn to Him.
John 17:20-23: "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that they may also be in us, so that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me. The glory which Thou has given me I have given to them, that they may be one, even as we are one, I in them and Thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that Thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as Thou hast loved me."