K is for Kingdom
Jesus’ final prayer with his disciples included all Christian’s throughout the ages. He says, “I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me…” (John 17:20). These eternal words remind us that we are part of the larger body of believers. We are not just individual Christians who attend a church, belong to a denomination, nor connect through an international ministry, like NCFI. Instead all Christians throughout time are connected through Christ for the purpose of building the Kingdom. Verse 21 & 23 of John 17, says “I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.” In other words, the world looks to the unity of Christianity as a testimony of God’s purpose in sending Christ. This gives me pause for thought. For the unity of Christianity is not very cohesive. Thus, I agree with E.M. Bounds response to Jesus prayer in John 17 and wrote the following edict:
Pray for God’s people, for their unity, sanctification, and glorification. How the subject of their unity pressed upon Jesus! Today’s walls of separation, alienations, riven circles of God’s family, warring tribes of ecclesiastics—how He is torn, bleeds, and suffers anew at the sight of these divisions! Unity—that is the great burden of that remarkable high priestly prayer. “That they may be one, even as we are one.” The spiritual oneness of God’s people –that is the heritage of God’s glory to them, transmitted by Christ to the Church.”
May the Lord open our hearts to pray for unification of the Holy Spirit throughout the global Christian Church and open our hands to extend across denominations to demonstrate the redemptive work of Christ.
(EM Bounds in The Reality of Prayer, p. 305)