Ephesians 4:1-6 NIV As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. In 1988, the law was unanimously amended by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Thursday, May 5, 1988, designating the first Thursday of May as a day of national prayer. Every president since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
Prayer brings people together. Prayer builds bridges between opposing persons and even political parties. Prayer reminds us that we are created in God’s image and He desires for us to represent Him everywhere we go. Prayer brings UNITY. In 2018, our theme was Pray for America – UNITY, based upon Ephesians 4:3 which challenges us to mobilize unified public prayer for America, “Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Christians from across denominations came together in Lampasas Thursday to pray for our city, state, and nation. It is wonderful for us to gather united in prayer once a year; however, prayer is a daily privilege for the believer. We have the awesome blessing to go before the throne of God anytime. Jesus intercedes for us and the Holy Spirit lives in us always.
Today’s passage in Ephesians 4 emphasizes unity in the body of Christ. We ultimately do not follow a bishop, cardinal, council, deacon, elder, pastor, priest, or pope. Jesus is the head of the worldwide body of believers who have called upon Him as Savior and Lord. Paul reminds us to be completely humble and gentle. Jesus is perfect and always right but we are not. We are to listen actively to others, pay attention to our critics, and learn from other Christians from throughout history and around the world.
Paul instructed us to be patient and loving. Patience is not a virtue in the United States today. People want to promote quickly at work, watch television and movies at anytime, eat at fast food restaurants, expect to get great abs in seven minutes a day, find their future mate at the click of a button, and get almost any product in the mail in two days. We can even find a mammoth amount of information with a quick search on Google.
On the other hand, God matures us over years. Love takes time. Lust is about getting what we want now without investing in a relationship. Greed is about getting rich quickly and without ethics. Love is about looking past the faults of others and putting their needs first.
Colossians 3:12-14 NIV Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Gentleness, humility, patience, and love promote unity. If we follow the Beatitudes and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit we will be unified. We are all ambassadors for Christ. We are all citizens of Heaven. We are all witnesses to the world. We all worship the same God in a multitude of languages and with an array of musical instruments. We are one in the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:16-17 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.
Prayer for Unity
by Carl K. Moeddel
One only Holy Spirit of Father and Son in whom all are baptized, one giver of many gifts, one tree of many fruits, one speaker of every tongue, renew in our day the wonders of Pentecost, grant that people of every race and nation may understand one another, and as one, proclaim the praises of God.
Grant that all may be one as you, Spirit, with the Father and the Son are one God, one Lord. Grant unity to the Body of Christ. Amen.2