The prayer Jesus prayed for you
Currently in our church we are consistently discussing how we can "Make Jesus Known," more effectively in our lives, community, and world. We are praying boldly that God will work through us, we are equipping our members to love intentionally and to do it through actions, and we are not holding back on the vision of our church in the future.
Often times, if we are not careful, we can get lost in this "what could be," mentality that we lose sight of what we are doing in this moment. If we are not careful, we can depend on a program or a person to build the church, when in reality it takes a church to build a church. Take a moment, open your Bible or Bible app to John 17:20-23 and read the prayer that Jesus prayed for us:
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
The only way we can grow; the only way we make "Make Jesus Known" to our community and this world, is if we are willing to be one in Jesus. Thom Rainer, a popular leader in the church community, sent out a post today reminding his followers of this prayer from Jesus. Rainer also added in his discussion that "the greatest distraction in churches is often disunity." This hurts my heart. I pray that we will be a people that Jesus prayed for us to be. I pray that we will live by the way we were designed to live: in community.
How do we go about doing this? How do we develop habits and practices that unify us with the "others" that our in our life? "Others" being our neighbors, co-workers, and brothers and sisters in Christ. Here are some simple things you can begin doing today that might help you as you seek to live with others more willfully:
- Pray for others. It's easy to pray for yourself, I personally do it all the time. When is the last time you said another's name in your prayer? Think and pray for each other.
- Prioritize others. It's easy to fill our days with meetings, and kid's sports, and alone time, that "others" our often left low on the priority list. Look at your schedule and open some time for "others" in your life.
- Prepare others. We are all called to be the witness of Christ to this world. Not just the preacher, pastor, or priest (I have a thing for "p" words today). The true sign of a disciple is if they are making other disciples. By this definition, are you a disciple?
God's people were designed to live together and to be unified through Jesus. What steps are you taking to make that a reality today?