May they be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me (John 17:22-23 HCSB)
At the Last Supper, Jesus prayed for His disciples and all believers to be united in love – so “that the world may know that they are Mine”.
The greatest sufferings in this world result not from a lack of material goods or worldly success, but from broken relationships. People, today, seem to lack the resilience and forbearance of earlier generations. Modern pressures of balancing work and family life, social isolation and the extreme individualism have taken their toll on relationships.
Against this background, we seek to follow Christ by preserving the bond of togetherness and unity in relationships. “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3 NIV).
Broken relationships affect our prayer lives and Christian witness (1 Peter 3:7). Jesus said that before we offer our gifts at the altar, we should reconcile with a brother or sister who has something against us (Matthew 5:23).
When conflict and disagreements arise, we ought to go to the cross and plead for mercy and deliverance from all those negative thoughts and stubborn attitudes. We should also support one another in prayer. When friends confide in us that they are going through problems in their marriage or other relationships, we have a duty to lift them up before the throne of God.
- Father, You are the King of the universe, our Saviour and Shepherd.We look to You for all our needs and come to You with all our sorrows.
- Your are the Great Physician, whose heart is moved by our afflictions.The tears of Your people are before You, and You are close to their sufferings.
- So, we bring before Your throne our friends who are going through this difficult period. There is misunderstanding, anger, bitterness and pain in their relationship.
- Father, harsh words have been spoken and they have treated each other unkindly. And there is a lack of forgiveness and proper communication between them.
- Shepherd of our souls, You see our pain and our sins are not hidden from You. Nor our weaknesses, selfishness and unloving attitudes – everything lies open before Your eyes.
- Although we want to change, we find that we cannot on our own. Help us, Father. Have mercy on us. In the way we behave towards one another, we have sinned against You. Forgive us, for we are frail.
- Change our hearts and pour upon us a spirit of repentance. Grant us true contrition and brokenness before You, and one another.
- Remove from us hardness of heart, unkind thoughts, bitterness and anger. Renew our attitudes and help us forgive one another. Help us not to have a critical spirit towards people, especially those we love.
- Bring healing into their souls and into their relationship. Heal them of all inner wounds and lead them to place where they can forgive and minister to each other.
- May the blood of the Lamb, which cries out louder than the blood of Abel plead on their behalf. Vindicate your people and rescue them from the hand of the enemy.
- We thank You that there is victory through the blood. You have won the battle on their behalf and in Your name they have complete victory over this difficult situation.
- “Behold, I make all things new!” Bring about a total change and help them see each other’s suffering. Remove all discord and grant them a spirit of unity, love and mercy. Help them to be one in You.
For we ask all this, in Jesus’ name.