20 Jun Power of Unity
Love is the pivotal virtue of a Christian. Apostle Paul writes, “Now three things remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:13). Only love for Christ and His people will bring real unity among His people and their united prayer will surely bring great blessings from God.
Let us see two examples for, how this principle of unity based on love resulted in prayers that brought God’s blessings, one each from the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Old Testament Example:
Daniel and his friends in Babylon is a classic example of a life of unity based on love, resulting in answered prayer.
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah loved the Lord God more their own lives and were willing to die for Him (Daniel 3:14-18; 6:6-10). Even though they were captives in Babylon, they loved each other because of their love for the Living God.
In Daniel chapter 2, we read that Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon was troubled in spirit because of a dream. So he called all the magicians, astrologers and the sorcerers in his kingdom, to tell his dream and interpret it. But they could not do so. So Nebuchadnezzar became furious and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
On knowing this, Daniel met the king and got time to interpret the dream. Then he shared the king’s decision with his three friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah so as to pray to God for the revelation of the King’s dream and its meaning. These four people prayed together fervently to God to reveal and interpret the dream. And God answered their united prayer. Even though God revealed the dream and its meaning only to Daniel, in answer to their united prayer, Daniel did not think highly of himself. While he thanked God for answering their prayer, he said, “I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, and have made known to me what we asked of You, for You have made known to us the king’s demand.” (Daniel 2:23). He recognized and accepted the power of united prayer with other people of God.
New Testament Example:
Prayer based on love and unity of early Christians emboldened them to preach the gospel even in the midst of opposition and intimidation.
When rulers, elders, and scribes, including Annas the high priest threatened the apostles Peter and John and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus, they informed other believers. On knowing this, they all prayed in one accord. When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. (Acts 4:1-33)
IMPORTANCE OF LOVE, UNITY & PRAYER:
Love is the hallmark of Christianity. Christ is the embodiment of love. God sent His only son to manifest His love for us.
(1 John 4:9). Father God’s great love is revealed when the sinners and enemies of God are transformed and adopted as His own children. (1 Jn3:1)
The proof of a person being born of God is his/her love for other children of God. (1Jn3:10b / 1 Jn 5:1). Love is more precious and treasured than all kinds of knowledge, gifts of the Holy Spirit and even faith. Love never fails. (1Cor13). Love is called the “bond of perfection” (Col 3:14) Love is the fulfilment of the Law (Rom 13:8-10). Serving others should be out of love for Christ (2 Cor 5:14)
The manifestation of love is forgiving people. When there is lack of love, there won’t be real unity and prayers offered without unity will not bring answers. Not forgiving others shows a lack of love for them and it is a great hindrance to get answers for prayers, as it results in disunity.
Jesus promised “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. (Matt 18 :19, 20) And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. (Mk 11:25)
Paul urged the Corinthian believers to forgive the repentant believer as an expression of love for him. (2 Cor 2:7, 8) Apostle Peter also has emphasised the importance of forgiving others as a mark of loving them so as to have a meaningful prayer life. “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins. (Forgiveness)” (1 Peter 4:7, 8)
If we love Christ, we will also love other God’s people. Unity of Christian believers based on their love for Christ is so powerful that it will make the unbelievers to believe Jesus Christ (Jn 17:20, 21) Let us yearn for that day.
As God’s children, let us inherit God’s blessings including answers to our prayers by loving one another and living in unity. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! For there the LORD commanded the blessing– Life forevermore.” (Psalm 133). We, God’s people should be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of (produced by) the Spirit in the binding power of peace (Eph. 4:3 Amp). To have this unity, we should be humble and gentle. Being patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of our love for one another (Eph. 4:2 LB).
Mr. Jebaveeran, and his wife Baby are living in a North Indian city with their youngest son. They are ministering to young people including university students. E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org