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!
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.
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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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