Prayer and unity in the Christian community

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Yesterday Jeff preached a fantastic sermon on overcoming division through the person and work of Christ. As he talked about being unified as a church I couldn’t help but think about a chapter I recently read in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together. Bonhoeffer was writing about the specific role prayer plays in the Christian community. When he came to division he wrote:

A Christian community either lives by the intercessory prayers of its members for one another, or the community will be destroyed. I can no longer condemn or hate other Christians for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble they cause me. In intercessory prayer the face that may have been strange and intolerable to me is transformed into the face of one for whom Christ died, the face of a pardoned sinner. That is the blessed discovery for the Christian who is beginning to offer intercessory prayer for others.

How incredibly true that is! If there is division between you an another Christian one of the best things you can do is pray for him or her. It’s impossible to take the needs of one Christ has bought to God the Father and maintain arrogant, prideful division. Even more, if there is no division between you and your church family your bond in Christ will only grow stronger as you pray for them. Oh, that we would cherish the fellowship building power of prayer! Pray for you brothers and sisters today. They need your prayers, you need their prayers, and, for the sake of Christian love, the church needs our prayers.

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