The Church Unity Octave, a forerunner of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, was developed by Servant of God Father Paul Wattson, SA, at Graymoor in Garrison, New York, and was first observed at Graymoor from January 18-25, 1908. Today, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity invites the whole Christian community throughout the world to pray in communion with the prayer of Jesus “that they all may be one” (John 17:21).
In 1966, the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Vatican Secretariat (now Council) for Promoting Christian Unity began collaborating as a common international text for worldwide usage. Since 1968 these international texts, which are based on themes proposed by ecumenical groups around the world, have been developed, adapted and published for use in the United States by the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute.
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Theme Announced for 2019 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity >>
Family Unity. It is a treasure to us all, and something very precious to each of us. The Lord blesses us with family members to lead, counsel, love and take care of, and in exchange, our family does the same for us. Praying for our family is something we should do daily. Whether someone you love needs God’s grace in a hard situation, or you simply want to bless his or her walk in life through our Lord Jesus Christ.
If the need for prayer and protection for your family and loved ones is what you are seeking most, whether in your own life, or in the life of someone you love, let us pray for you at the holiest place on earth, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We have faith that sending your prayer to the place where our Lord Jesus Christ gave his life for us will help your request be granted! It is our honor and privilege to be a prayer warrior for you, and to ask the Lord to watch over you, protect you, and keep you, always. Please submit your prayer request today.
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Acts 16:31
Prayer for Family Unity
Lord, I want to thank You for this precious family of mine. For the talents and good things that You have given each of us. Please keep us united, and our bond strong as the days pass. Please guide us, protect us and equip us to do Your will each and every day. Thank You for all that You are, and all that You have given us. My heart is forever grateful!
Prayer for Protection Over Family Members
Lord, I ask for protection and safety over my spouse, my children, my parents, my family members and myself today. Please lead us with Your mighty hands today and always. Deliver us from any enemy and evil that try to hinder our way. Do not let the ways of the enemy blind our eyes. We know that You are for us, so that no one could ever stop us. Please watch over us and guide us all safely throughout this day, so that we may all arrive safely back home, Father. Amen.
Prayer for a Troubled Family Relationship
Heavenly Father, there is a war going on in the souls of many of my family members. I will not be silent about this, and I pray that you will look after them. I also come to you today to pray for the salvation of my family as well. Lord, may my family know You. I pray that they will learn to crave You just as I do. I pray that they will learn to stand strong in the face of trials and tribulations in life. When people knock them down, I pray that they stand up even stronger in You than ever before. I pray that they show love instead of revenge on those who do not agree with them. Give me strength to persevere through any troubles that come my way today. It is time to rise above the sin that comes at me and to that of my family members. It is in Your precious name I pray these things.
Prayer for Grandchildren
Heavenly Father, You have blessed me with precious grandchildren, and I am ever so grateful! I pray for these little souls, Lord. I also want to thank you for my own children. I have raised them up to praise You, and to look to You in all things. I lift up my grandchildren to You today, Lord. These little ones are precious gems in Your eyes, as well as in mine, and that of our family. Please watch over them each and every day. Keep them safe, and guide them in all that they do. I ask these things in Your precious name. Amen.
Prayer for Your Family’s Strength
Please shine your light upon my family today, Lord. Give us strength to overcome all of the difficulties that we are currently dealing with, and protect us against any and all problems we may encounter in future days. Lord, please bring us together as we are meant to be. May the love that binds us only grow stronger as we fulfill the path and desires You have laid out before each of us. Grant my family forgiveness for any sins we have committed against one another. Amen.
Prayer for a Healthy Pregnancy
Thank you Father for the little baby that is about to be born. Lord, I pray that You would protect this unborn child that is being knit together in his/her mother’s womb, and I pray Lord that You would give grace for a safe and healthy delivery at the right time.
May this baby grow up to know and love the Lord Jesus, which will make him/her wise unto salvation. I pray for Your protection and grace for this little baby who is shortly to take his/her place in this world, and I ask that he/she may grow in wisdom and understanding. Guard and protect both mother and child as the day for delivery draws ever closer, and keep them from all the perils and uncertainties in this journey. Amen.
“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” 1 Corinthians 1:10
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
Prayer for families is the very foundation that keeps a family unit together. Have you heard the phrase “A family that prays together stays together”? The concept is true – a family that has their focus on praying to the Lord Jesus Christ has a foundation that may be shaken at times, but it will withstand all that comes against them.
It’s important for parents to have their children involved in family prayer because this helps build the children’s relationship with the Lord and also teaches them the importance of prayer. Families that pray together establish trust with one another, learn to pray in a fellowship, and come in agreement through Jesus. These disciplines help bring unity to the household.
The family is a small church and our ministry first starts at home. In 1 Timothy 3:5 we read, “If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” Managing your family is caring for each member, teaching them God’s ways, leading them to grow in the Lord, and equipping them for adult life. Prayer is an important element in this process. A family who has a heart of prayer for each other will have a heart of prayer for the world.
Prayer for families can be done in a variety of ways – by you in your prayer closet, by praying together with your spouse, praying together as a family unit, and praying with friends. Praying for your family not only lays a foundation for family life, it also surrounds your family with protection and peace.
In many cases, the Lord reveals specific needs for your family members. He reveals pain that they may be feeling or certain things that are drawing them away from fellowship with Him. Praying for your family can give you insight from the Lord and most of all, prayer will bring you comfort as God reminds you of His promises. Perhaps some members of your family do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Prayer for the unsaved is vital.
Prayer for Families – Sample Prayers
- Prayer for protection and provision – Father, Thank you for my family. I ask that you bless them with Your favor. Provide for all of their needs. I ask You to protect them from harm and evil. Surround them in the shadow of Your wing. Go before them and prepare the way for them. If any path is crooked, I ask you to make it straight. Protect them from the schemes of the enemy and keep them from deception. Bring Your perfect peace to their hearts. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
- Prayer for unity – Father, I thank you for blessing me with my family. I ask you to bring us into unity through You. I ask that anything that is hidden in darkness – to cause disunity – will be brought to light. I ask You to lead us into Your perfect truth and help us to be the family You intend us to be. Lord, help us to be a blessing to one another and to others. Reveal Yourself to us and let us come into agreement with You. Lead us in Your ways. Grant us compassionate hearts, fill us with Your love that does not keep records of wrong, and bring joy to our hearts when we think of one another. Bring Your perfect peace and unity into our family. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
– We have all
and deserve God’s judgment.
, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.
, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He
for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was
rose from the dead
according to the
. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your
, declaring, “
Jesus is Lord
,” you will be saved from
and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions
On the last night of his life Jesus prayed a prayer that stands as a citadel for all Christians:
“I pray for these followers, but I am also praying for all those who will believe in me because of their teaching. Father, I pray that they can be one. As you are in me and I am in you, I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that you sent me” (John 17:20–21 NCV).
How precious are these words. Jesus, knowing the end is near, prays one final time for his followers. Striking, isn’t it, that he prayed not for their success, their safety, or their happiness.
He prayed for their unity. He prayed that they would love each other. As he prayed for them, he also prayed for “those who will believe because of their teaching.” That means us! In his last prayer Jesus prayed that you and I be one.
Of all the lessons we can draw from this verse, don’t miss the most important: unity matters to God. Why? Because “all people will know that you are my followers if you love each other” (John 13:35 NCV). Unity creates belief. How will the world believe that Jesus was sent by God? Not if we agree with each other. Not if we solve every controversy. Not if we are unanimous on each vote. Not if we never make a doctrinal error. But if we love one another.
Unity creates belief. Disunity fosters disbelief. Who wants to board a ship of bickering sailors? Paul Billheimer may very well be right when he says: “The continuous and widespread fragmentation of the Church has been the scandal of the ages. It has been Satan’s master strategy. The sin of disunity probably has caused more souls to be lost than all other sins combined.”
Could it be that unity is the key to reaching the world for Christ? The world will be won for Christ when the church is one in Christ. If unity is the key to evangelism, shouldn’t it have precedence in our prayers? Shouldn’t we, as Paul said, “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3 NIV)?
Nowhere, by the way, are we told to build unity. We are told simply to keep unity. From God’s perspective there is but “one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16). Unity does not need to be created; it simply needs to be protected.
Where there is faith, repentance, and a new birth, there is a Christian. When I meet a person whose faith is in the cross and whose eyes are on the Savior, I meet a brother or a sister. Wasn’t that Paul’s approach? When he wrote the church in Corinth, he addressed a body of Christians guilty of every sin from abusing the Lord’s Supper to arguing over the Holy Spirit. But how does he address them? “I beg you, brothers and sisters” (1 Corinthians 1:10 NCV).
When the church in Rome was debating whether to eat meat offered to idols, did Paul tell them to start two churches? One for the meat-eaters and one for the non-meat-eaters? No, on the contrary, he urged, “Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other, which will bring glory to God” (Romans 15:7 NCV).
Is God asking us to do anything more than what he has already done? Hasn’t he gone a long way in accepting us? If God can tolerate my mistakes, can’t I tolerate the mistakes of others? If God allows me, with my foibles and failures, to call him Father, shouldn’t I extend the same grace to others? If God doesn’t demand perfection, should I? “They are God’s servants,” Paul reminds us, “not yours. They are responsible to him, not to you. Let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. And God is able to make them do as they should” (Romans 14:4 TLB).
God’s ship is a grand vessel. Just as a ship has many rooms, so God’s kingdom has room for many opinions. But just as a ship has one deck, God’s kingdom has a common ground: the all-sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Will you pray with me for the day when Jesus’ prayer is answered?
©Max Lucado (taken from In the Grip of Grace, Thomas Nelson, 1999)
Paul Billheimer Love Covers (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1981), 7