As Christians, we believe in the power of intercessory prayer. As the late scholar of revival James Edwin Orr once said, “No great spiritual awakening has begun anywhere in the world apart from united prayer.” Across the nation, leaders are hearing the Lord say that the U.S. is going to experience a great awakening.
Prompted by this message, a coalition of influential evangelical and charismatic/Pentecostal leaders met together in a meeting hosted by Dick Eastman at the international headquarters of Every Home for Christ in 2016.
The coalition—including Paul Cedar (Mission America), Lisa Crump and John Bornschein (National Day of Prayer), Ed Silvoso (Harvest Evangelism), Dutch Sheets, Lou Engle, David Butts (National Prayer Committee), David Kubal (Intercessors for America) and Mike and Cindy Jacobs (Generals International)—sought the Lord, strategized, and came to a consensus that God was leading them to unite and issue a national call for multiple days of fasting and prayer walking.
Out of this has emerged a broad coalition of ministries called, In Unity. The vision is: uniting as one in Christ Jesus, appealing to heaven to change the spiritual climate of our nation. The basic strategy revolves around a period of prayer-walking, fasting, and corporate prayer events. We invite all who are like-minded to join us in this pursuit of seeing a great awakening.
Here are five prayers that may help you pray for church unity.
Table of contents
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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Heavenly Father, we come before you to magnify and glorify your name. We, as the body of Christ, give you all the praise and honour you deserve. Help us all to unite and and pray together as a congregation, for we know where two or more are gathered in your name, you are with us, Oh Lord.
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.
Rom 15:5,6 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That you may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Bless us, Oh Divine Father, to find unity with each other, to work together to deliver your word. For we know man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
May we be a blessing to others, as we strive to be more like Jesus, Oh Loving Father; kind, caring, compassionate, loving, giving, forgiving and humble.
Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
Oh Lord, as we work together to build your empire, let us be the light that leads the world to you. God, teach us to be good role models to the people around us, so that when they see you and your love within us, they would want to know you more and more.
Grant us the patience to work together. Bring us all together as a family. Let us work together with understanding and compassion in our hearts. Let us not be rude or arrogant towards one another, as we light the way to your heavenly kingdom.
Read also Praying for Family Unity
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.
Eph 4:31, 32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
We declare in the name of Jesus and according to the power of God at work in us, that we are of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing (with one another), loving (each the other as brethren of one household), compassionate and courteous – tenderhearted and humble-minded.
We never return evil for evil or insult for insult, scolding, tongue lashing, berating. But, on the contrary, blessing, praying for their welfare, joy, and protection and truly pitying and loving one another.
For we know that to this we have been called, that we may ourselves inherit blessings from God, obtain blessings as heirs, bringing welfare and joy and protection.
In Jesus’ most Holy and Precious name, AMEN!!
I’m a young Christian, from South Trinidad, seeking the wisdom of the Word and God’s blessings on my life. A journey, that’s just begun, but living to the Glory of God.
I have never been to Hajj.
I have heard amazing stories of rebirth of faith and I have heard horror stories of corruption from people who have completed this pillar of Islam.
The thought of hajj awakens extreme feelings in me. Mostly terrifying feelings.
When I reflect on these feelings of anxiety and fear, I come to the conclusion that at the root of my fear is a distrust of my fellow brothers and sisters–a deeply sad realization.
I have heard of communities getting into fist fights and splitting because some people are pushing to attain power for the sake of power.
And I have seen organizations ripped apart because everyone wants their own way and shouting the loudest becomes more important than cooperation. I have seen corruption and lack of manners all too often in the ummah. The tragedy at hajj seems to highlight this defect.
We’ve all learned good manners and correct behavior as children in school and at home. But somehow we lose sight of manners and morals as adults or even think it is a naive way to act in today’s dog eat dog world.
But each day when we join together with our families in our homes or with our community in our mosques, we are demonstrating that we can act with manners and have order if only in prayer.
In congregation prayer, Muslims are acting as individuals and a unit at once. If we just take a look at how this is achieved, we can translate this team exercise found in prayer into order in our everyday lives and order in our organizations to create good manners and unity.
One Direction (No, not the Band)
Imagine if everyone prayed in a different direction.
Billions of Muslims turn their faces towards to the direction of the Ka’bah five times a day. This directionality is known as the qiblah, a direction that is one, singular, reminding us that there is one God, we are one ummah and that we are all on the same path back to Him.
If we remember this directionality and goal-oriented thinking in our communities and organizations, we can have better unity.
Instead we often can only see the small picture and lose sight of the direction in which we should all be traveling, toward Allah, seeking His pleasure, in worship of Him alone as one community.
This kind of distraction from our ultimate goal as an ummah is like praying in congregation and getting distracted by a bug, following behind it, and forgetting that you are in prayer.
The well-known hadith:
Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is oppressed.
The Prophet was asked:
“It is right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?”
By preventing him from oppressing others. (Al-Bukhari)
Help your brother face the right direction in the path to Allah and in prayer, insuring that we keep each other on track, and doing so with kindness.
Time, a Non-Renewable Resource
Imagine if everyone came to prayer at the mosques whenever they pleased.
As Muslims, we keep our eye on the clock, never losing track of the time, so that we can perform our prayers in their appropriate times.
The mosque sets a time for each of the five daily prayers for those who wish to pray in congregation. And for the most part, we understand the importance of punctuality in prayer.
Praying a prayer outside of its time limit it is not acceptable. Coming to congregational prayer late means you will have missed it.
But when it comes to other areas of our lives and in the organizations within our communities, we tend to forget the importance of punctuality.
Time is a non-renewable resource and we never know how much of it we have, but we do know it is coming to an end for each of us.
Being foolish with time or making others wait for you is like knowing there is a drought coming, so you turn your faucet on and let it all go down the drain.
Being perpetually late sends the message that we are not only ungrateful to Allah for the time He has given us, we are also headless about stealing someone else’s time.
But we can correct this bad behavior and lack of consideration for others by applying our punctuality for prayer to all engagements, knowing that everyone’s time is precious, and never wasting a drop of time.
Everyone Wants to Lead
Imagine if everyone in the lines to pray was fighting to lead.
As Muslims when we pray in congregation, we know when to bow in prayer because the imam bows. And we know when to prostrate when the imam of the prayer prostrates. We only know to stand when the one leading the prayer does so. And we understand the importance of unity in following the leader in our prayer.
But when it comes to all other activities, we all try to lead. We have a very human tendency to want to be on top without knowing that a good leader is really just a servant to his or her people.
The leadership role is not for self-glorification or to attain power. Those who are most aware of this know that to be a good leader you must inspire love in your followers and love your followers in return.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is our example in all things. He was the best in manners and the best in leadership. He said:
The best of leaders among you are those whom you love and who love you in return. They pray for you and you pray for them. (Muslim)
We cannot all lead, we cannot all be like the Prophet Muhammad was in his leadership role. Most of us are not capable of being humble when given power, me included.
We need to find good leaders who try their best to emulate the Prophet’s example, understanding that leadership is a heavy responsibility. And then we can look to our prayer to teach us how to be better supporters instead of always jockeying for a leadership role.
One of the biggest problems in our ummah is that we do not have solidarity. We are constantly trampling over one another, either literally or metaphorically. This is a great tragedy and can even be seen at the most fundamental levels of our organizations and communities.
We can take a lesson from our prayer to turn this division into unity by always trying to move toward the same goals; keeping on track in or schedules; and respecting a good leader.