June 11, 2007

A Prayer for Unity

John 17:20-26

"I pray ... that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you." John 17:20-21


One of the most beautiful things Jesus does for his people is pray for them.

Jesus intercedes with God the Father on behalf of his followers. Jesus prays for unity in his church. Christ wants his followers to be one--to experience the same unity with each other that he and his Father experience in their relationship.

Such unity strengthens the body of Christ and makes it more beautiful. But Christ prays for more than just the unity of human fellowship. Jesus wants us to be drawn into close union with himself and the Father. It's beyond our human comprehension to imagine being in union with Christ. Yet Jesus' power and grace forge such a union between God and his people.

This union benefits all who are in relationship, and it is a testimony to the world. Jesus prays that the church will have complete unity so that people who are not yet disciples will know that God loves them and that Christ came to redeem them.

Sadly, even the casual observer can see that the Christian church is often splintered and broken. Followers of Christ are often unable or unwilling to live in union with each other and with Jesus.

May those of us who follow Jesus do all in our power to bring unity to a church splintered by sin.

Jesus, we pray that in your power and grace we may experience complete union with you and your church, so that all may know you are the Savior of the world. Amen.

About the author — Jerry Dykstra

Pastor Jerry Dykstra was recently appointed as the executive director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. After a 15-year career in business, he trained for pastoral ministry and served as the pastor of Cascade Fellowship CRC, Cascade, Michigan, and Faith Christian Fellowship CRC, Walnut Creek, California. He and his wife, Linda, live in Byron Center, Michigan, and have three children and seven grandchildren.

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