Here are five prayers that may help you pray for church unity.
Prayer for Unity in the Community
You know that we are called into a community of believers who are to have one mind, and that is to glorify You and to make disciples of all nations, even if we’re only able to reach those in our own community. We realized that we cannot possibly have unity in our local community, the church, unless Your Spirit has His way with us. Until we are gathered together with one mind, we cannot be as effective as a church as we can be. Until You send Your Spirit, our carnal natures may try to dictate what we think we should do, but please Father, help us to focus on the mission that You have for each one of us, and as one body, we can do more when we are working together and not placing our own opinions above those of others, than when we work alone. Help us to see that Your desire is for us to work together as a body does in doing what You have set before us to do, and I pray for You to open doors for us to walk through, but also that we might also see what we are to do in walking through that door and recognize the work You have purposed for us to do. Truly, we know we must be striving to live a holy life and to make Jesus Christ the center of our lives, and only then can we hope to do anything for His glory, and not ours, and in the mighty name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.
Prayer for One Purpose
Great God in heaven,
please help our church that we have one purpose in life and that is to glorify You and Your Great Son, Jesus Christ. Nothing else matters because You have said in Your Word that we will not glorify You in our lives if we are not striving to live in obedience to You, and to love one another, which is what we need to do to show the world that our love for one another is how they will know that we are truly Jesus’ disciples (John 13:35). You have testified in Your Word that “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7), should be striving to bring You glory and to not rob You of glory for things that we do and ascribe these works to ourselves. We must realize that we have nothing that we did not receive from You Lord (1 Cor 4:4), so if we boast, let our church boast only in You for all the marvelous things You have done for us, and that is our prayer and it is in the name of and for the glory of Jesus Christ, in Whose name we pray, Amen.
Prayer for Oneness of Mind
Blessed Father God,
You are so good to us, even though none of us deserve Your goodness (Rom 3:10-12), and that You alone are good, and so let us join together in one mind for one express purpose and that is to proclaim Your goodness to those who do not yet know You. Oh, God, that they would know You so that You might extend Your grace to them (James 4:6) that they might be saved. Please help us take heed to Jesus’ Words in praying that we might be one, praying “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:11), and that should be our prayer too Father. Let us be of one mind and have one purpose and that is to glorify You and to tell others that there is only one way that they might be saved, and that is through the Person and work of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). Let us join hands and hearts in this single purpose for us to all have one mind and a mind that is focused on You for Your work that You have prepared beforehand for us to do (Eph 2:10), and it is for this that we pray in the precious name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Prayer for Mission
Holy God, most reverenced above all,
Please help us to focus on the mission You have given us all, and that mission is to reach the lost and to make disciples of all with whom we come into contact, and to teach them the same things that You taught Your disciples (Matt 28:19-20) and by their writings in Your Word, that we may be taught these very same things. Oh Lord, Your Word stands forever, so let us put feet on our faith in doing what You have commanded us to do, and that is to help the poor, the widows and orphans (James 1:27), but also to visit the sick and those in prison, and to welcome into the family those who are strangers among us (Matt 25:34-35), because we understand that what we do for the least of these, we are really doing it for You (Matt 25:40), but also what we don’t do for others, we are not doing for You Lord (Matt 25:45). I know You take these marching orders seriously, so let us invest our lives into doing what You have commanded us to do, but always doing it for Your glory and not ours, and in the precious name of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Prayer for the Body
God, my Father,
You have placed each one of us in the Body of Christ, the church, as it has pleased You and not us. Help us to recognize that it is You Who have organized Your church and have placed each one of us exactly where we need to be to do Your work and for Your glory. If we can respect those who some might consider to be in a less-than-honorable position, then we can understand that even those who seem to be less in the body are actually those who are more honorable in Your eyes, just as Paul said that the “parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty” (1st Cor 12:23). We know that You have no greater respect or regard for one person over another, so help us to not have a higher regard for some and not for others (Acts 10:34), and for what we ourselves have been called to do for You. This is all about You Lord and not about us, so help us to prioritize our calling within the body and to respect all members as the same, as You also do, and in the name above all names, Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.
Perhaps you could comment by giving us a much better prayer than the ones that I have written from the heart. There is such importance in our prayers and in particular, our corporate prayers as we send our requests to God through Jesus Christ. May we be of one mind, one purpose, having one mission, and for our community of believers to all be in agreement in beseeching Your help in doing what you’ve called us to do. That is to reach the lost, glorify You in our lives, and to show the world what the love of God truly looks like in the hopes that they might be drawn to You and place their trust in You so that they too might be saved.
Read more about prayer here: Different Types of Prayer in the Bible
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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A Prayer for Unity in Our Church Family
Psalm 133, I Corinthians 13
Reflections of the Heart:
“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.”
I Corinthians 1:10
Our Father, we thank You for our Church Family. Thank You for calling each of us to serve Your Kingdom through this wonderful church. Thank You for using our individual gifts and talents to manifest Your Kingdom here on earth as it already is in heaven. Lord, we are thankful for the freedom to worship You, our God. Thank You for Your bountiful blessings. Thank You for increasing Your presence, power, anointing, and abundance in our Church Family. You are great and greatly to be praised. You are to be feared above all gods. The earth is Yours and everything in it; the world and all its people belong to You. You laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths. Lord, no pagan god is like You! None can do what You do.
Loving Father, we declare that we will love You with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength. As a Church Family, we confess that we will love one another, as ourselves. As Your children, we proclaim that we have all put on Christ, like putting on new clothes and we will walk in unity and love with one another. It is because of this love that we exhibit for each other that people will know that we are Your disciples. Your Word tells us that if we love You, we must also love our Christian brothers and sisters, too. Therefore, we declare that we will not look out only for our own interests, but we take an interest in each other’s needs. We declare that we will live in harmony with each other and resist division. We will be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. We declare that as a Church Family we will turn away from evil, and do good; we will search for peace and work to maintain it. We confess that we will encourage and build each other up. Above all things, we decree that we will put on love which is the bond of perfection.
Holy Spirit, show me how I can promote unity within our Church Family today by:
Holy Spirit, we ask You to fill us with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Help us to walk worthy and fully pleasing before You. As a Church Family, help us to be fruitful in every good work and to increase in Your knowledge. Teach us how to live together in unity. Walk us through the steps of rebuilding loving fellowship between us. Help us to continue to obey Your command to “love our neighbor as ourselves” so that we will not self-destruct by backbiting and devouring one another. Give us a willing heart to allow You to guide our lives so that not do what our sinful nature craves. Show our leaders how to mend the broken relationships and restore balance to our Church Family. Please strengthen us and help us to represent Your Kingdom in the earth. Holy Spirit, synchronize the heart of every church member and unify our spirits to receive and submit to the vision for our church. Please empower us to give of our talents, gifts and resources to manifest Kingdom change in our city.
Merciful Father, forgive our many sins. We admit that at times we have sinned against you and against one another. Forgive us for holding onto grudges and for seeking vengeance upon our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Forgive us for leaning toward our own understanding and failing to acknowledge You in all our ways. Forgive those amongst us who are being false witnesses, pouring out lies and sowing discord in our Church family. Forgive those of us who have stood by passively allowing sin and deception to go unaddressed. Forgive us for not heeding the warnings of the Holy Spirit and being hesitant to obey Your commands. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that You have committed). Holy Spirit, remind our Church Family of those they need to forgive and help them to be quick to forgive. Help us to release past and present offenses and to be willing to forgive one another just as God has forgiven us. As for me, Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance those I need to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to show You names or faces of people that You may need to forgive. As He shows You, say aloud, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in Your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Noble Father, as a Church Family, help us not to yield to temptation; but deliver us from the evil one.
Sovereign King, You are the visible image of the invisible God. You existed before anything was created and You are supreme over all creation. Through You, everything was created in the heavenly realms and on earth. You made the visible as well as invisible things. Thrones, kingdoms, rulers and authorities in the unseen world were all created through You and for You. You existed before anything else and You hold all creation together! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture References for the Written Text: Matthew 6:10, Psalm 96:4, Psalm 24:1-2, Psalm 86:8, Mark 12:30-31, Galatians 3:27, John 13:35, I John 4:21, Philippians 2:4, I Corinthians 1:10, Psalm 34:14, I Thessalonians 5:11, Colossians 3:14, Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 6:19, Matthew 6:13, I Timothy 6:15-16
Today I will trust God to:
Have you ever been reading your Bible and noticed how Paul prays such rich, kingdom-saturated prayers for churches?
- For the church in Thessalonica: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thess. 1:11; see also 1 Thess. 1:9–13).
- For the church in Colossae: “We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9–10).
- For the church in Ephesus: “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:16–17; see also 3:14–21).
- For the church in Rome (Rom. 15:14–33) and the church in Philippi (Phil. 1:9–11).
Of course, there’s far more where this came from. See Don Carson’s excellent book on the topic, Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation (Baker) , as well as TGC’s corresponding eight-session group study curriculum (LifeWay) .
Leading the Charge
It’s comparatively easy for you and me to pray for ourselves, our families, and our friends. But how can we learn how to pray more fervently and consistently for our local churches?
For one, we just need to start doing it—and encouraging others to do so.
To help with that, here are 18 things you can pray for your church. They aren’t as rich as Paul’s since I wanted to keep them simple and Twitter-length. (Also because I’m not inspired.) Still, perhaps you could print out this article and pray two or three of the points below per day for the next week—maybe in your quiet time, maybe at the family dinner table.
Also, consider copying and pasting your favorite prayers below into Twitter or Facebook, led by the phrase “Pray for your church: . . .” Don’t insert my Twitter handle or TGC’s. You don’t have enough room, and it’s not the point. The point is to use your social media platform to encourage others to pray for their church.
Who knows? One day in glory, perhaps we’ll see all the good accomplished from believers being more deliberate about praying for their churches.
What to Pray For
1. That we would have unity amid diversity—loving those with whom we have nothing in common but the gospel.
2. That a culture of discipling would form in which making disciples is viewed as an ordinary part of the Christian life.
3. That faithful elders would use Scripture to train members to do the work of ministry.
4. That a hunger for studying the gospel would form among members so that they can guide and guard one another in it.
5. That transparent, meaningful relationships would become normal and remaining anonymous strange.
6. The preaching of God’s Word—that it would be biblically careful and Holy Spirit imbued.
7. That elders would remain above reproach, kept from temptation, complacency, idols, and worldliness.
8. That the church’s songs would teach members to biblically confess, lament, and praise.
9. That the church’s prayers would be infused with biblical ambitions, honesty, and humility.
10. That adult members would work to disciple teenagers and not just leave it to programming.
11. That the church’s primary teachers grow in dedication to God’s Word even when no one’s watching.
12. That it would grow in being distinct from the world in love and holiness, even as it engages outsiders.
13. That members would share the gospel this week—and see more conversions!
14. That members would be prepared for persecution, remembering to love, not curse, their persecutors.
15. That hopes for political change would be outstretched by the hope of heaven.
16. That giving would be faithul, as well as joyful, consistent, and sacrificial.
17. That more members would use their careers to take the gospel to places it’s never been.
18. That members would be good and do good in their workplaces this week.
Can you think of something I didn’t include? Then pray it and share it! This is hardly the “official list” of the 18 most important things to pray. They’re simply what one guy thought of while sitting in his office chair.
The point is for all of us to start praying more intentionally for our churches, and to encourage others to do the same.
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