Prayer For Brotherly Unity
6 Bible Verses For Church Unity
Here are six Bible verses that speak about the need for unity in the church.
First Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”
When the church is unified by the Spirit of God and by their love for God and for one another, this acts as a powerful bonding agent that helps them endure the storms of life much better as a body and as individuals in order “That together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 15:6). It doesn’t just happen; we must be “Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3), indicating that it needs to be maintained and any kind of maintenance, it takes hard word and diligence.
Philippians 2:2 “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
If a group of believers have the same mind, then they can do more together as a church.
Just as the different members of our own physical body work in unison for our good, so too in the church can we function as one body, “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Rom 12:4-5). We are more than just many members; we are one body of one mind.
Second Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
The word the Apostle Paul used for “restoration” in the Greek (“katartizō”) means “to mend, to repair,” or “to complete” so Paul is concerned that the believers aim for completeness, striving to repair or mend any broken relationships. This is helped when we love one another, comfort one another, be agreeable with one another, and live in peace among each other. If that happens, Paul says “the God of love and peace will be with you.”
Colossians 3:14 “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
What does it mean to live in perfect harmony with one another? It means “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight” (Rom 14:19).
Perhaps Paul knew that we need the help of God’s Spirit to be in harmony with one another and so he prayed that “the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus” (Rom 15:5).
First Corinthians 1:10 “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”
Paul was writing to the Corinthian church about his coming and “whether I come and see you or am absent that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (Phil 1:27) and not striving with one another side by side. The church should be striving to keep division from splitting the church and stand united in the same mind and purpose so that there won’t “be divisions among” us.
Acts 4:32 “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.”
The first century church was more family than a church but that’s the point. Don’t we all have the same purpose in common? Can it be said of us in the local church that “all who believed were together and had all things in common.
And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:44-45).
Do we share our resources with those who have little? Aren’t we able to share our abundance with those who have no such abundance?
I could have well included Psalm 133:1 which says “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity” because of how good it really is to dwell together in unity. I have seen churches this and they are so much stronger when they are all unified in purpose, passion, and so Christians, “Let brotherly love continue” (Heb 13:1).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.
The Story of the “Prayer for Protection”
The “Prayer for Protection” is known the world over, and Unity is often asked how it came into existence. James Dillet Freeman explained once in his Unity Magazine column, “Life Is a Wonder”:
Let me tell you how I wrote Unity's “Prayer for Protection.”
When World War II was raging in Europe, we received many letters and phone calls from people caught in the conflict, but for a long time we did not have a prayer for protection that we were all satisfied with. This is how one came.
Silent Unity has always written a special Christmas Prayer Service just for Silent Unity workers. And in 1940 I was asked to prepare this service. We had never before needed a prayer for protection, but in 1940 we needed one, so I wrote one to go with the Christmas service. What I wrote was a little four-line verse:
“The light of Christ directs me; The love of Christ enfolds me; The power of Christ protects me; The presence of Christ upholds me.”
I had hardly finished this Christmas service before Silent Unity came to me again and asked me to write a protection pamphlet that we could send to people, so I did. It was called His Protecting Spirit.
A Prayer for Wartime
They told me they wanted affirmative prayers for protection on the back page. Among these was the verse from the 23rd Psalm: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Ps. 23:4 KJV).
One of the young women who worked in Silent Unity was reading my manuscript as I wrote it, and as she finished it, she came up to me and said: “Jim, if I were a woman in England and they were dropping bombs on my roof, or if I were a soldier and someone was pointing a loaded gun at me, I wouldn't want to feel I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Can't you do better than that?”
I thought, You want me to do better than the 23rd Psalm? You have to be your mind. But rolling around in the back of my mind was the little verse I had written as a prayer for protection at Christmas.
How the “Prayer for Protection” Was Written
I had written it just for Silent Unity, but now it came rolling up to the front of my mind and demanded that I pay attention to it. It enticed me to see what I could make of it.
First I took the rhymes from it. I felt it would be more universally received if it was not a rhyme. Then I changed Christ to God. It had been Christ because it was a Christmas prayer, but I felt if we were going to send it around the world, God might be more acceptable to more people. So the little prayer became:
“The light of God surrounds me, The love of God enfolds me, The power of God protects me, The presence of God watches over me.”
That is the way we first printed it. Then a line came to me that I felt would make the prayer even more powerful. The line was:
“Wherever I am, God is.”
I added it as the fifth line. The “Prayer for Protection” first appeared as a four-lined prayer in 1941, but when we reprinted it in 1943, it appeared in the form it has had ever since.
“The light of God surrounds me; The love of God enfolds me; The power of God protects me; The presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is!”
God’s Message of Love
The “Prayer for Protection” came through change after change, not at all “I Am There,” when I felt that God spoke those words to me.
But what is the word of God? It is possible that no prayer Unity has ever printed has reached so many people as the “Prayer for Protection,” for not only has Unity printed it over and over, but almost every Unity church uses it to conclude its services. “I Am There,” it was carried to the moon.
On the very first flight to the moon, on Apollo 11, astronaut Col. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin carried the Unity “Prayer for Protection” with him. He did not know me or Unity.It has appeared in hundreds of different publications that have no connection with Unity, and millions of people have carried it around on cards that fit into their pocketbooks, pockets, and billfolds. It has been translated into many languages. Sometimes it appears with me as the author. Often no author is given. Sometimes other people are named as the author.
It has been changed and changed again before it reached the form that it now has that best meets people's needs. This prayer is the product of much thought and concentration and of a mind that was willing to stay open to receive divine inspiration.
I think Unity's “Prayer for Protection” is as much God's word as “I Am There” is. Sometimes God speaks to us when we don't even know it is God.
I think God has many ways of speaking to us and not only in words that we hear with our ears. I think God speaks to our hearts and minds, and sometimes God's message has nothing to do with words. God is love and intelligence and life.
More than anything we say God is, or even imagine God is, God is the one universal Presence and Power and is seeking to express Truth and beauty and good through all of us and for all of us.
Bible Verses About Unity: 21 Important Scriptures
Throughout the centuries since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the church has often had a difficult time in agreeing with each other. There are obviously numerous denominations and even many differences even within denominations.
There are many reasons for this dynamic. Sometimes things church traditions and differing biblical interpretations seem to get in the way of unity.
But what does the Bible say about unity? There are many passages to gain an understanding of what Christian unity should look .
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
Unity and Love
John 13:35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 17:23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
Acts 4:32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.
Philippians 2:1-3 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Colossians 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
Unity as Brotherly Love
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! (Psalms 133:1)
Psalms 133:1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
Matthew 23:8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are hall brothers.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Unity and Peace
Romans 15:33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Ephesians 4:3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Unity and the Body of Christ
1 Corinthians 12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For kin one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and mall were made to drink of one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
1 Corinthians 12:26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, pall rejoice together.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 4:11-13 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ
Unity In the Midst of Discipline and Disagree- ment
Matthew 18:15 If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
I grew up in a church that went through a major church split where the church was divided into 2 almost equal parts. Unity did not prevail in this instance. And unity is not always easy.
I knew one fellow believer that once was describing another member of our church and he said, “That person is not my favorite saint.” He was acknowledging that this person was a fellow believer but he just had a difficult time loving and being around this person.
However, God’s word is clear that we need to be united, as it will be evident to the world (John 17:23). Some people are easier to love and be around than others. We all have different uniqueness and different personalities. Yet, God’s word shows the importance of unity.Today, you may have been holding a grudge or ill feelings towards another believer. My prayer for you today is that you give that up to God. Show the love that can only come through knowing Jesus and be at peace with Him.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
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as: Bible Verses, Bible verses about unity, Unity
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