Jesus, Help Us To Live As One! (Journal 53)
Father, I thank You that You were in Christ reconciling the world to Yourself through the cross. You have made Your children ministers of reconciliation and entrusted us with the message of reconciliation. God, I pray that Your children will live out our new identity as a unified people in Jesus Christ together as we express our rich multifaceted diversity. May we do this in such a way that the world will see in our relationships with one another the reconciling power of the cross and that Jesus is the One sent from the Father.
God, I pray that we (Christians) would show forth the reality that Jesus is our peace, that He has torn down the wall of hostility, and we are one new humanity in Jesus Christ. 'Red and yellow, black and white we are precious in His sight.' For these things are true of us in Christ regardless of our color, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, political ideologies and parties, and gender: we have access to the same Father by the Holy Spirit; members of the same family; citizens of the same Kingdom; members of one body (Christ's); built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ being the cornerstone; living stones being built together into a spiritual house to take the manifest presence of God to people in this world. O God, help us to love one another as Jesus loved us so that the world would know that we are His followers.
God, I am asking You to form Christ more and more in my heart as You conform me more and more into His image. Do this to prepare me to exhort my brothers and sisters to live out our identity and unity in Christ. God, grant me the wisdom and grace to make Jesus and His gospel the central issue. Forgive me for the times I have allowed worldly issues to take precedence over Jesus Christ and the gospel. When Jesus is truly the issue then we will love one another and treat all people with the dignity and worth they possess as image bearers of God. God, use me to lead Your people across the bridge that Jesus built, through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, so that we enjoy the intimate fellowship that You intend for us to have with one another in Christ.
Jesus, grant me both wisdom and boldness to step into these treacherous waters. Do not let me shrink back in fear but move forward in faith and in obedience. Lead me through the open doors that You have set before me for effective ministry, where there will be opposition. The evil one, satan, will do all that he can to keep the Church of Jesus Christ from living out her unity. Grant Your people Your spiritual strength to stand against the schemes of the devil, knowing that the One (Jesus) in us is greater than the one (satan) who is in the world. Thank You, O God, that when the enemy comes in like a flood the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him.
Jesus, I thank You that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but mighty through God to demolish strongholds. In the strong name of Jesus, I ask You to demolish the strongholds of favoritism, partiality, prejudice, ethnocentrism, racism, and nationalism in the hearts and minds of Your children. God, as Your powerful word is preached, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, cause every imagination and high thing in the minds of Your people to be cast down and bring our every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ.
God, forgive us for saying how greatly we love You, who we can not see, when we do not love our brothers and sisters (who look different, think different, vote different, etc) who we do see. Forgive us for allowing the opinions of man to keep us from walking in love for one another. Forgive us for allowing our allegiance to politicians and political parties to be greater than our commitment to Christ and His Kingdom. Forgive us for allowing worldly ideologies to mean more to us than the Word of God. Forgive us for denying historical realities and deep divisions in humanity which diminishes, in our minds, the need for the gospel of Jesus Christ - the reconciling power of the cross. Produce a godly sorrow in the hearts of Your people over our sin that leads us to repent. As we repent, revive us again! Pour out Your Spirit in overflowing measure and use the Church of Jesus Christ to bring about a spiritual awakening and shaking to the United States of America and the nations. In Jesus' name, Amen!