young woman in field of flowers praying

Easter Week Three – Pray for Unity and Peace

 April 19, 2018

Before Jesus went to his death, at his last supper, he prayed, “Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” (John 17:11b) He prayed for his church, for all of us who would come after him in faith. His is a great prayer for unity.

Unity of the Early Church

The early church at first experienced a time of unity, “Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.” (Acts 4:32) This was a unity we can only dream about in our country so divided by partisan politics. It was a time of peace.

The unity of that early community was short-lived, as we read shortly after this passage about Ananias who sold a piece of property and only gave part of the proceeds to the apostles. Perhaps this is only a unity to be dreamed about, not realistic in light of our human tendencies. But if so, it is worth praying for and dreaming about. It is worth joining with Jesus as we pray for unity.

Praying for Peace

When Jesus appeared to the apostles after the resurrection, his first words were words of Peace/shalom. “Peace be with you.” God’s spirit is a spirit of peace, peace that the world cannot give. It is well worth praying for.

Perhaps the peace we are searching for is as elusive as that unity that Jesus prayed for. All the more reason to spend time in prayer for both.  So, as we await the celebration of Pentecost, it is fitting that we, too, pray for unity and peace.

Can you find time in your busy schedule to pray with Jesus for unity and peace?


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