Daily Pointers for Connecting with God
Pray That All May Be One
The COVID-19 pandemic has created many firsts and tested our social fabric like nothing else has. One of the things that is being tested is unity in the Body of Christ.
Jesus prayed in John 17:21: “…that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
All believers united to the Father in Christ, all believers united to each other. Now there is a relevant prayer for today! It’s one that Jesus prayed just before His crucifixion, most likely because He knew that unity among the believers and intimacy with God would be severely tested, because the credibility of the gospel could stand or fall with the unity of the believers.
As is evident today. Three churches managed to grab headlines by defying state limits on gatherings and have mass services in the misguided believe that the virus won’t touch us as believers and the state has no right to impose restrictions on church gatherings. No doubt there have been more. South Korea had the same issue, and churches unwittingly became super-spreaders of the virus. While it may be true that constitutionally the government has no say in the affairs of churches, an obedient united response to its guidelines and setting an example in social conduct that inhibits the spreading of the virus enhances the credibility of the church. It serves the gospel, not hinders it.
The pandemic also serves one of God’s more hidden purposes in times of trial: believers making extra effort to stay connected even though we cannot meet in person. Though Satan perhaps rejoices at the idea of us not being able to meet and aims to further divide us, it has the potential to do the opposite and deepen our bonds – small groups meeting on Zoom, a proliferation of prayer calls, virtual services, virtual worship, virtual choirs. All working together like never before to stay connected. Nothing unites us more than overcoming an adversity.
Another reason to be united more than ever surfaced in the news as well: The mayor of New York threatened to permanently close any church or synagogue that didn’t abide by his assembly rules, prompting an outcry from legal groups defending religious liberty. But does it create a climate whereby a government can overstep its bounds, using a crisis as justification, and close a house of worship because it doesn’t obey their rules? Time will tell. Prayerful vigilance is warranted!
So partner with Jesus, the Son of God, and pray that we all may be one – with deepening bonds to each other, and to the Father. Ask the Lord today how you should pray into these weighty matters, in the spirit of Habakkuk: “I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what He will say to me.” (Habbakkuk 2:1)