How to Pray for a Divided Church

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Division in the church is nothing new. In I Corinthians 1, we learn that Paul was dealing with division in the early church and he sought to squelch it with his letter. He did so by bringing the church’s attention back to the foolishness of Christ crucified because that is where true power is.

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

I Corinthians 1:17 ESV

Eloquent words. Man’s wisdom. Great debates. None of those will unite the church. Only the accomplished works of Christ can. With that truth in mind, I have put together this prayer for the church in this age of division.

Bringing the Church Back to the Cross

Lord, help the church focus on Christ and Christ alone and on his accomplished work. Remind us that the power to change hearts and minds is in the cross. It is not intellectual capacity, it is not eloquence, but the simplicity of the gospel. In your wisdom, God, the world did not know you through its wisdom, but it pleased you, God, through the folly of what is preached to save those who believe (I Corinthians 1:21 ESV). So Lord, help us take every reasoning, every thought through the funnel of Christ crucified.

Bringing our Thoughts Back to God

Lord, we know that we cannot reach any sound spiritual conclusion through our own intellectual capacity. Often times we feel that we can reason our way into the right answer. At the end of the day, we may even believe our own conclusions are sound by using your word to justify our line of thought. What arrogance to think that we can interpret your holy scriptures without the help of your Holy Spirit!! And no wonder how that leads to so much division!

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God, help us bring our thoughts, every thought, every conclusion, or idea back to you. Lord, bring the church and its individual members into the habit of “reasoning” in prayer so that you may guide our minds and our hearts to your truth and we may all be of one mind.

Relevant Article: Spiritual Warfare: Battle Plan for Prayer

Help in Escaping Every Wind of Doctrine

Lord, how easily we are swayed by every wind of doctrine. We forget that every man-made institution, whether government, media, business, is easily manipulated and used by the Great Deceiver. We have been carried away, Lord, by human cunning and craftiness in deceitful schemes. Remind us, Lord, that every news story we read, every social media post, whether leaning right or leaning left, is subject to the Great Deceiver’s scheme. (Ephesians 4:14 ESV). Lord give us a spirit of discernment to identify the lie from the truth. Check our hearts constantly, Lord, so we don’t stray away. Give us that supernatural godly wisdom, Lord, so that we can be rightly dividers of not just your word, but of all the information that we consume.

Help to Be Lovers of the Truth

Lord, help us be lovers of the truth. As your word says in 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12, wicked deceptions come to those who refuse to love the truth and be saved. You will therefore bring them a strong delusion to believe what is false. It is man’s own refusal to love the truth that ushers in such calamity. Therefore, Lord, help us love the truth and seek to find it. Remove this wicked desire to want to be right that allows us to ignore the truth when it is right in front of us. Lord, remove our blind spots and lead us into new truths that our own biases, ignorance, denominations, political leanings, or even church culture have allowed us to ignore.

A Greater Understanding of God’s Word

Lord, help us have a greater understanding of your Word. Often times we want to just study the parts of your Word that make us feel good or that seem easy. Remind us Lord that your Word stands as a whole. We cannot separate one part from the other. We should study the Old Testament with the same rigor as we study the New. We should study the “boring” parts with the same intensity as the “fun” parts. Often times our lopsidedness in our understanding leads us into confusion, misunderstandings, and therefore division. So help us, Lord, guide is into the wonderful study of your word and direct our every path.

Praying for our Church Leaders

Lord, help our church leaders guide us into unity. Your word says in Ephesians 4:11 that you gave us apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers to equip the saints. So I pray for all those that hold these spiritual offices. I pray that you direct them in your truth and give them the spiritual wisdom to help bring the church back into unity.

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Other Articles on Prayer that Might Interest You:

Spiritual Warfare: Prayer Battle Plan

Five Powerful Prayers for Your Kids

How to Pray Against Racial Injustice

4 thoughts on “How to Pray for a Divided Church”

  1. Was just speaking with a friend about CNN’s coverage of the inauguration, and FOX new’s decision to show so little of the inauguration. This: “Therefore, Lord, help us love the truth and seek to find it. Remove this wicked desire to want to be right that allows us to ignore the truth when it is right in front of us. Lord, remove our blind spots and lead us into new truths that our own biases, ignorance, denominations, political leanings, or even church culture have allowed us to ignore.” Yes!

    1. Yup. And most networks’ (like CNN) refusal to show the full footage of the short speech Trump made prior to his departure. It is all pretty toxic….but the saddest part is that we are allowing secular media outlets to define truth for us (on both sides). As the church, we need to guard our hearts and always start by taking a look inside ourselves and seeing what we are missing because of our own blindspots before we can even begin to identify what others are missing. So I pray….and then pray some more.

  2. i just left a comment on the praying for racial justice article page, the descedant of american indian removal and celt removal from homelands for economic benefit the ruling anglos, never know whether my tenuous internet connection in rural high mountains actually connects me to anyone on internet as i must use contact forms and cant use email. I would refer you to rich mullins youtubes again on this subject search terms; rich mullins none are stronger live concert audio ony; rich mullins color green with introduction, creed with introduction, especially rich mullins early music ‘what i would tell a person my age’. I am 65 and have been badly treated by the priviledged american church my entire life , dumped on the street with no warning by greedy crazy mother & her rich 5th husband, driven insane and to teen suicide barely survived and not until my 30’s ever helped to deal withthe impact on my developing brain, my thinking, of being brain washed by the insanity of self-worship of white people controling resources. My counselor of 20 yrs ( mostly pro bono) was a former RN (protestant) missionary with Mother Teresa in infamous famine in bangladesh. I will disagree with you on studying old and new testament equally. What saved me and saves us all is Jesus Words only, as He declared, my counselor, christian missionary RN MFT emphasized my studying the Gospels to rebuild my mind to mental health. It is essential to understand that you will never be a mental healthy christian until you think with Jesus Mind by His Holy Spirit, the world classifies Jesus thinking as ‘crazy’, as my therapist pointed out, ‘jesus was either ho He said He was or He was crazy, there is no middle ground on that in mental health. to think as a mentall yhealthy christian i regarded as thinking insanely by the world. Study the Gospels and Jesus words above all, getting caught up in old and new testament complexities and the arguments of mere men writing letters ABOUT Jesus will , and has, only lead to confusion and division. It is only Jesus’ Words which wil abide forever and not fail and by which all humans will be judged. Ending divsion in the Church is like ending it inside your own brain- your flesh argues with how God’s Word ‘doesnt make sense’, basically because it doesnt give you what you WANT, the Spirit agrees with Jesus Words and if you are to be transformed to the mind of Christ that is the only way to ‘end the war’ between flesh and spirit

    1. So sorry to hear about the trauma you endured. Thankfully, I was never kicked out of my home, but I certainly know what it was like to grow up in a broken home. Jesus saved me at the age of 13 from self-cutting, suicide, and the trauma of sexual abuse. I have been in those dark and lonely places and experienced the healing power of the Lord. God is so good that way and praise God He was able to pull you through! But I do think we will need to agree to disagree on the importance of studying the word as a whole. I do get how the intellectual exercise of studying God’s word without the love of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit can lead people in the wrong direction. However, God’s word is the whole thing–not just the gospels. It all fits together. Many of Jesus’ words in the gospels are quotes from the Old Testament. I really don’t believe that Jesus intentions were to disregard the Old Testament, for example. That being said, the study of God’s word as a whole should be done in prayer, continually seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit, and in the love of Christ.

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