Prayer For Church Unity – In Love

5 Prayers For Church Unity

Prayer For Church Unity - In Love

Here are five prayers that may help you pray for church unity.

Prayer for Unity in the Community

Righteous Father,

You know that we are called into a community of believers who are to have one mind, and that is to glorify You and to make disciples of all nations, even if we’re only able to reach those in our own community.

We realized that we cannot possibly have unity in our local community, the church, unless Your Spirit has His way with us. Until we are gathered together with one mind, we cannot be as effective as a church as we can be.

Until You send Your Spirit, our carnal natures may try to dictate what we think we should do, but please Father, help us to focus on the mission that You have for each one of us, and as one body, we can do more when we are working together and not placing our own opinions above those of others, than when we work alone.

Help us to see that Your desire is for us to work together as a body does in doing what You have set before us to do, and I pray for You to open doors for us to walk through, but also that we might also see what we are to do in walking through that door and recognize the work You have purposed for us to do.

Truly, we know we must be striving to live a holy life and to make Jesus Christ the center of our lives, and only then can we hope to do anything for His glory, and not ours, and in the mighty name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

Prayer for One Purpose

Great God in heaven,

please help our church that we have one purpose in life and that is to glorify You and Your Great Son, Jesus Christ.

Nothing else matters because You have said in Your Word that we will not glorify You in our lives if we are not striving to live in obedience to You, and to love one another, which is what we need to do to show the world that our love for one another is how they will know that we are truly Jesus’ disciples (John 13:35).

You have testified in Your Word that “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7), should be striving to bring You glory and to not rob You of glory for things that we do and ascribe these works to ourselves.

We must realize that we have nothing that we did not receive from You Lord (1 Cor 4:4), so if we boast, let our church boast only in You for all the marvelous things You have done for us, and that is our prayer and it is in the name of and for the glory of Jesus Christ, in Whose name we pray, Amen.

Prayer for Oneness of Mind

Blessed Father God,

You are so good to us, even though none of us deserve Your goodness (Rom 3:10-12), and that You alone are good, and so let us join together in one mind for one express purpose and that is to proclaim Your goodness to those who do not yet know You. Oh, God, that they would know You so that You might extend Your grace to them (James 4:6) that they might be saved.

Please help us take heed to Jesus’ Words in praying that we might be one, praying “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:11), and that should be our prayer too Father.

Let us be of one mind and have one purpose and that is to glorify You and to tell others that there is only one way that they might be saved, and that is through the Person and work of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

Let us join hands and hearts in this single purpose for us to all have one mind and a mind that is focused on You for Your work that You have prepared beforehand for us to do (Eph 2:10), and it is for this that we pray in the precious name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayer for Mission

Holy God, most reverenced above all,

Please help us to focus on the mission You have given us all, and that mission is to reach the lost and to make disciples of all with whom we come into contact, and to teach them the same things that You taught Your disciples (Matt 28:19-20) and by their writings in Your Word, that we may be taught these very same things.

Oh Lord, Your Word stands forever, so let us put feet on our faith in doing what You have commanded us to do, and that is to help the poor, the widows and orphans (James 1:27), but also to visit the sick and those in prison, and to welcome into the family those who are strangers among us (Matt 25:34-35), because we understand that what we do for the least of these, we are really doing it for You (Matt 25:40), but also what we don’t do for others, we are not doing for You Lord (Matt 25:45). I know You take these marching orders seriously, so let us invest our lives into doing what You have commanded us to do, but always doing it for Your glory and not ours, and in the precious name of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Prayer for the Body

God, my Father,

You have placed each one of us in the Body of Christ, the church, as it has pleased You and not us. Help us to recognize that it is You Who have organized Your church and have placed each one of us exactly where we need to be to do Your work and for Your glory.

If we can respect those who some might consider to be in a less-than-honorable position, then we can understand that even those who seem to be less in the body are actually those who are more honorable in Your eyes, just as Paul said that the “parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty” (1st Cor 12:23). We know that You have no greater respect or regard for one person over another, so help us to not have a higher regard for some and not for others (Acts 10:34), and for what we ourselves have been called to do for You. This is all about You Lord and not about us, so help us to prioritize our calling within the body and to respect all members as the same, as You also do, and in the name above all names, Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.


Perhaps you could comment by giving us a much better prayer than the ones that I have written from the heart. There is such importance in our prayers and in particular, our corporate prayers as we send our requests to God through Jesus Christ.

May we be of one mind, one purpose, having one mission, and for our community of believers to all be in agreement in beseeching Your help in doing what you’ve called us to do.

That is to reach the lost, glorify You in our lives, and to show the world what the love of God truly looks in the hopes that they might be drawn to You and place their trust in You so that they too might be saved.

Read more about prayer here: Different Types of Prayer in the Bible

Resource – 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: Church, church unity, community, corporate prayer, mission, Prayers, purpose

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Prayers for Unity, Reconciliation, and Justice

Prayer For Church Unity - In Love

These prayers were drawn from themes in the Belhar Confession. 

A Responsive Prayer of Confession

There are many ways to be unfaithful to what we have become through baptism, to our commitment and our obedience to God. We offer God now our prayers of repentance.

We confess to you, living God, 
our failure to live as brothers and sisters, and as your children.

We confess to you, loving God, that we have not loved you as you have loved us.

We confess to you, gracious God, 
that we have doubted your word and failed to obey its teaching.

We confess to you, merciful God, our desire to own you and contain you within our doctrines and theologies.

We confess to you, almighty God, 
that we do not acknowledge you as Lord of all the earth.

Forgive us and redeem us for we have not allowed your presence to shine among us.

There are many ways in which we have failed 
in our commitment and obedience to our fellow men and women.

We turn towards our neighbors and our friends 

and offer them our prayers of repentance.

–submitted by Nolan Palsma, Pitcher Hill Community Church, North Syracuse, NY

A Prayer of Confession

O God of shalom,we have built up walls to protect ourselves from our enemies,but those walls also shut us off from receiving your love. Break down those walls.Help us to see that the way to your heart is through the reconciliation of our own hearts with our enemies. Bless them and us, that we may come to grow in love 

for each other and for you, through Jesus Christ.

–submitted by Nolan Palsma, Pitcher Hill Community Church, North Syracuse, NY

A Prayer for Reconciliation

Across the barriers that divide race from race:
Reconcile us, O Christ, by your cross.Across the barriers that divide rich from poor:

Reconcile us, O Christ, by your cross.

Across the barriers that divide people of different cultures:

Reconcile us, O Christ, by your cross.

Across the barriers that divide Christians:

Reconcile us, O Christ, by your cross.

Across the barriers that divide men and women, young and old:

Reconcile us, O Christ, by your cross. 

Confront us, O Christ, with the hidden prejudices and fears that deny and betray our prayers. Enable us to see the causes of strife, remove from us all senses of superiority.

Teach us to grow in unity with all God's children.

–submitted by Nolan Palsma, Pitcher Hill Community Church, North Syracuse, NY

A Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Lord of heaven and earth, we have begun to listen to your Holy Spirit, calling us to unity in Christ:
We thank you, O Lord.May we be more attentive to your inspiration and more ready to listen to one another.

We ask you, O Lord.

We have begun to dialogue with one another, celebrating our common faith and seeking to understand our differences:

We thank you, O Lord.

May the patient work of pastors, theologians and Christian people continue to progress and bear lasting fruit:

We ask you, O Lord.

For the agreements reached on matters of theology and pastoral life:

We thank you, O Lord.

That we may be able to face and resolve the difficult issues which still divide us:

We ask you, O Lord.

For common witness in Christ which we have given in times of crisis, for justice, peace and humanitarian aid:

We thank you, O Lord.

That our unity may one day become such that the whole world may believe in the Christ you have sent:

We ask you, O Lord.

For progress in inter-religious dialogue throughout the world:

We thank you, O Lord.

That engaged in this dialogue, we may sense the urgency of full communion among Christians as a witness to other believers:

We ask you, O Lord.

For all living witnesses of personal communion in the love of Creator, Christ and Comforter.

We thank you, O Lord.

May their family life contribute to the Christian joy of the members of their churches:

We ask you, O Lord.

May the hope of one day sharing the same table and drinking from the same cup, increase our desire to do your will so as to receive from you this gift:

We ask you, O Lord.

We raise before you the concerns raised before us this day.

–submitted by Nolan Palsma, Pitcher Hill Community Church, North Syracuse, NY

A Prayer for Justice

Lord our God, you have revealed yourself as One who wishes to bring about justice and true peace among people;In a world that looks away from injustice, You cast your eyes on the destitute, the poor, and the wronged;You have called us to follow you, to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release for the captives and recovery of sight for the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed and to proclaim the time of your blessing.Be present with your church, Lord, as we respond to your call. Open our eyes to the downtrodden.Fill us with compassion for the plight of the alien, the refugee, and the immigrant.Lead us into ministries that help orphans and widows.Give us courage to block the paths of the ungodly who exploit the poor.Set us free from pious exercises that prevent us from the true worship you choose:Sharing bread with the hungry,Sharing homes with the homeless,Sharing clothes with the naked,Sharing hearts with our own kin.So may your justice roll down waters, your righteousness an ever-flowing stream.Lead our footsteps to stand with the poor, that we might stand with you.Have mercy, O God:Scatter the proud, Put down the mighty,Lift up the lowly,Fill up the hungry,And send the rich away empty-handed.

Our Father, etc. …

–by Paul Janssen, a prayer the “justice” section of the Belhar

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Answering Jesus’ Prayer for Unity

Prayer For Church Unity - In Love

Editor’s note: This is the seventh piece in our series on Christian Unity.

As a teenager reading the biography of D. L. Moody, I was highly influenced by a statement Moody’s friend Henry Varley made to the young evangelist: “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to Him.

” As a boy, I said, “I want to be that person.” Now at 74, I still do! But even more, I want the world to see what God can do with a people who truly become disciples — His church on this earth, totally surrendered and committed to becoming an answer to Jesus’ prayers.

Believers living in supernatural unity.

Earlier in The Stream’s #ChristianUnity series I shared how God has led me to meet with many diverse Christian leaders who religious tradition and the opinions of others had taught me to avoid. During these times of sharing and seeking together to know God’s heart, I have never disregarded or knowingly compromised God’s Word — and I never will.

As a result, I have experienced firsthand the powerful truth of the psalmist, “How good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). During these exchanges, I have many times felt what I perceived as the Father’s pleasure just as Betty and I experienced it when we watched our three children when they were young playing together in joyful harmony.

The same has been true with our eleven grandchildren.

God’s Children in Harmony

What Jesus prayed for His followers is perhaps what seems to many as the impossible dream — “that they may be perfected in unity” (John 17:23).

Knowing what I know about myself, other Christians, and especially ministers, this is the most difficult to see answered.

If Jesus prayed it, however, it is more important than words alone can describe and obviously will be continually assaulted by the powers and principalities of darkness.

The thought of believers being perfected in unity and love — truly becoming a family of faith with hearts in harmony with our Father in heaven — causes the forces of hell to tremble. The church standing on this foundation will overpower the realm of darkness, deception and destruction, setting free all captives who respond to the kingdom reality Jesus prayed for.

Hope, Even When God’s Children are Split

However, God’s children are split. Not merely on denominational lines, but on whether to hold firm to or abandon God’s timeless truths.

When we look at God’s divided family, we need to consider the parable Jesus shared concerning the father in the story of the prodigal son. This boy took from his father money that he had not earned or helped produce. He left the father’s presence, moved his shelter, and wasted everything the father had provided and entrusted to him.

He damaged the family’s reputation with no regard for it, squandered his wealth in riotous living, and found himself in want. He was in such desperate need that of all things, this Jewish son had to live in a pigpen feeding unclean animals and eating what they ate.

Because their laws and customs forbade contact with pigs, this was the lowest place a Jewish person could sink.

What was the response of the father concerning his son’s rebellion? He certainly didn’t condone it. He didn’t approve of it or continue to enable it. He didn’t act as the federal government often does by funding him while in rebellion in order to make him more comfortable. He prayed continually for the son.

He cared deeply for him. The father’s love never diminished and he looked with a longing in his heart every day for that boy to return to the shelter, shadow and security of the father’s house.

Sure enough, the day came, and he rejoiced to see his son come home! In love he embraced him, covered him and confirmed his sonship.

This should be the attitude of every Christian toward other believers even when they are defeated by sin or turn from the Truth.

While not approving their actions, we continually pray for and long for a repentant heart leading to a return to the watch care of the Shepherd.

In order for us to be perfected in the unity Jesus prayed for, we must have the love of our heavenly Father for one another. This is absolutely crucial.

Becoming Perfected in Unity

Consider the part of Jesus’ prayer that we be one with the Father as He is (John 17:22). Think about that a moment. Jesus was continually seeking to do only those things that please the Father. He moved as God directed His steps. He would separate Himself from the sounds of the world to know clearly the Father’s mind and be able to live in sync with His heart.

Can we not do the same?

Would you join me seeking to be one with the Father, perfected in unity so the world will know we are His disciples because of our love for Him, for one another, and for a world in darkness and pain? I may not know you personally, but I love you and I ask you to join with me seeking to be an answer to Jesus’ prayers so that the world may behold the glory of the Father and the Son in our lives! It is the manifestation of God’s love and our supernatural unity that can transform our nation’s leaders and citizens.

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18 Things to Pray for Your Church

Prayer For Church Unity - In Love

Have you ever been reading your Bible and noticed how Paul prays such rich, kingdom-saturated prayers for churches?

  • For the church in Thessalonica: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thess. 1:11; see also 1 Thess. 1:9–13).
  • For the church in Colossae: “We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9–10).
  • For the church in Ephesus:  “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:16–17; see also 3:14–21).
  • For the church in Rome (Rom. 15:14–33) and the church in Philippi (Phil. 1:9–11).

Of course, there’s far more where this came from. See Don Carson’s excellent book on the topic, Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation (Baker) [excerpt], as well as TGC’s corresponding eight-session group study curriculum (LifeWay) [announcement | excerpt].

Leading the Charge 

It’s comparatively easy for you and me to pray for ourselves, our families, and our friends. But how can we learn how to pray more fervently and consistently for our local churches?

For one, we just need to start doing it—and encouraging others to do so.

To help with that, here are 18 things you can pray for your church. They aren’t as rich as Paul’s since I wanted to keep them simple and -length. (Also because I’m not inspired.) Still, perhaps you could print out this article and pray two or three of the points below per day for the next week—maybe in your quiet time, maybe at the family dinner table.

Also, consider copying and pasting your favorite prayers below into or , led by the phrase “Pray for your church: . . .” Don’t insert my handle or TGC’s. You don’t have enough room, and it’s not the point. The point is to use your social media platform to encourage others to pray for their church.

Who knows? One day in glory, perhaps we’ll see all the good accomplished from believers being more deliberate about praying for their churches.

What to Pray For

1. That we would have unity amid diversity—loving those with whom we have nothing in common but the gospel. 

2. That a culture of discipling would form in which making disciples is viewed as an ordinary part of the Christian life.

3. That faithful elders would use Scripture to train members to do the work of ministry.

4. That a hunger for studying the gospel would form among membersso that they can guide and guard one another in it.

5. Thattransparent, meaningful relationships would become normal and remaining anonymous strange.

6.The preaching of God’s Word—that it would be biblically careful and Holy Spirit imbued.

7. Thatelders would remain above reproach,kept from temptation, complacency, idols, and worldliness.

8. Thatthe church’s songs would teach members to biblically confess, lament, and praise.

9. Thatthe church’s prayers would be infused with biblical ambitions, honesty, and humility. 

10. Thatadult members would work to disciple teenagers and not just leave it to programming. 

11. That the church’s primary teachers grow in dedication to God’s Word even when no one’s watching. 

12. That it would grow in beingdistinct from the world in love and holiness, even as it engages outsiders.

13. That members wouldshare the gospel this week—and see more conversions!

14. That members would beprepared for persecution, remembering to love, not curse, their persecutors.

15. Thathopes for political change would be outstretched by the hope of heaven.

16. That giving would be faithul, as well as joyful, consistent, and sacrificial. 

17. Thatmore members would use their careers to take the gospel to places it’s never been.

18. Thatmembers would be good and do good in their workplaces this week.

Can you think of something I didn’t include? Then pray it and share it! This is hardly the “official list” of the 18 most important things to pray. They’re simply what one guy thought of while sitting in his office chair.

The point is for all of us to start praying more intentionally for our churches, and to encourage others to do the same.

Church Membership • Healthy Church • Nature of the Church • Prayer

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The Story of the “Prayer for Protection”

Prayer For Church Unity - In Love

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.

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