19 May 2008

the planted prayer for unity

I may offend some folks' sensitivity on this one with my sarcasm-but I promise the conclusion will get you thinking.

So, our church is going through some changes. Have you ever noticed that when things start to happen at churches that can create disagreement or difference of opinion a prayer for unity goes up? Forget we may not be unified generally, we get into our cliques every Sunday morning, go our way after service and never really work together to be salt and light.

On our way to a special congregational meeting last night my wife and I were speculating on who would send up the prayer for unity and when. No surprises, it was the first prayer to be prayed. And actually, it was a good friend of mine I love like a brother.

So, why do we pray for unity? Here's some thoughts:

"God, we pray for unity" because people don't see things like I do and they need to know that I'm right, I mean, that you and I are right and people just need to get it.

"God, give us unity in the church" because man, we've screwed up and we don't want to admit it and I sure hope no one starts to question what we've done.

"We pray for unity, oh Lord" the natives don't trust us and are getting restless!

"We pray for unity God" because we like things the way they are, everything kept under the surface and everyone pretending everything's ok

There.......that's my jumping off point. Let's talk about husband and wife, Bob and Betty. Bob and Betty gradually have distanced themselves from each other. They have done and said some hurtful things to each other that has broken trust and now they're just kinda numb. They go on in their unhappy little lives pretending everything is ok. What needs to happen? A prayer for unity? How about if Bob and Betty get all their junk out first, experience healing in their relationship and then move forward..........together, as a family, you know, the word we throw around for our church.

Unity is absolutely essential for the church, the body of Christ. Unity doesn't mean complete agreement, but, it does mean working through issues and healing to provide a healthy church.

Somehow we've "holified" unity. We throw down the unity card when it is convenient or want to trump another's opinion or point of view. It's an unspoken, "if you don't shut up or agree with me, you're creating dissension.........you aren't being biblical........you certainly aren't being holy"

I'm praying for our church like never before. But, I'm praying all the junk gets out and people who have been hurt or disenfranchised experience healing. I'm praying that the power struggle goes away because holding on to each other is more important than holding onto a trump card.


3 comments:

jimgrey said...

St. Augustine said, "In Essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love."

I am learning that, in the church, very little is truly essential. We need to learn that real unity in the church comes from loving each other despite our differences.

Anonymous said...

I can understand what you are saying and agree with it to a point, but don't let your obvious cynicism poison your attitude. Do you leave any room for the possibility that someone might truly be wanting or praying for unity out of a right heart and attitude? By reading your blog, one wouldn't think so. I didn't see as one of your reasons for unity, "so that God may be glorified," rather than His name dragged through the mud like has happened many times throughout history.

hoosier reborn said...

"Obvious cynicism"

I've been hearing that a lot lately at work, in politics, and at church. I see a post coming on that topic.

I absolutely believe in and pray for unity in the church, my church. We can't ignore issues that have become like a cancer undermining the health of the church. We need to deal with these in a healthy way and move forward, together. I don't see or hear that from church leadership....I only hear "unity" which translates, for me and some others, "learn to live with our decisions".

My prayer for unity always includes a prayer for forgiveness and healing. In those alone will God be glorified in unity.