The Goodness of Togetherness:
A Prayer for Unity
Rev. Danielle L. Bridgeforth
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! Psalm 133:1 (NRSV)
This year when our ability to BE together with one another has been so strained, we have hopefully come to appreciate better the truth expressed by the Psalmist in the text quoted above. While it is expressed as a statement of fact, as we enter into prayer today, I wonder if you will reflect upon it as a question. How good is it when we – the Body of Christ, our family, our church, our Nation, our world – dwell and live together in unity? It is very good!
Unity as a notion is easy, but unity in a world that is full of pain, disappointment, evil, and contention, is a true work of the Lord. Our God is relational. And, healthy, dynamic, and authentic relationships are very important to God. When we are unified and in right relationship with our sisters and brothers, God is honored and pleased. There seem to be so many reasons for us to be divided these days, even in the Body of Christ. We are divided over politics, over race and gender issues, over finances, and even over how to properly interpret the Bible and relate to God.
Despite the many things that seek to divide us, the call of God is for unity. Not only is unity God’s desire, but also unity is what Holy Spirit cultivates between us. Unity in the Body of Christ is simply an outgrowth of the oneness and unity which is found in the Trinity. Unity is not something that we as Believers create, but nonetheless it is something that we are tasked with maintaining and growing until Christ’s return. We can do this when we make the choice to walk together, to listen, and to love. We can maintain unity when we decide that our bond in Christ is greater than our disagreements and shortcomings. We can maintain the unity when we pray and stand upon God’s word: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3 (NIV)
Let us pray:
Dear God, we thank you for the goodness of togetherness. We repent of the times when we have not allowed your unity to be seen in and through our lives and relationships. Today, we pause to ask for your forgiveness. We ask that you give us the strength and wisdom to walk together. Help us to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to take offense. We look to you for the grace to forgive and the power to love.
Father, we have experienced many challenges this year. We are grieving, we are hurting, we are confused. We turn our hearts and minds to your throne and seek your face during these difficult times. We realize that in you is everything that we need to endure and overcome. We believe that we are stronger and better together. Empower us to trust you beyond what we understand. Give us ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to understand you and one another. We are open to your Holy Spirit. Lead us according to your Word. Help us to be the salt and light that our world so desperately needs. Help us to follow Christ’s example of faith, hope, and love. We believe that you are for us and that together we are greater than anything that opposes us. We belong to you.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.