A Prayer for Unity

Philippians 2:1-11

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

God our Father, King, Ruler, Humble Servant and Savior:

How often we forget that we are but creatures called to live as your faithful covenant children. In our actions towards our brothers and sisters we view ourselves as though we have been highly exalted and are enthroned in heaven. How arrogant and prideful we are! We live as rulers of our own kingdom, and as such we view our own beliefs, actions, ideologies, and theologies as supreme and authoritative. Yet, because these things come from us, they are prone to error. Therefore, we degrade our brothers and sisters and view them lower than ourselves even though they too profess Christ as their Savior . We constantly affirm our own position of holiness while at the same time sinning towards the children of God by viewing ourselves as more significant in the Kingdom. Our pursuits of holiness are in fact done, on most occasions, from pride and selfishness. Because of this self-worship, those who disagree with us become an enemy to our causes instead of a partner in the Kingdom.

Yet, Lord, you have called us to be of one mind and to live in unity. We falsely believe that this means a universal consistency of our thoughts and deeds- but this is not what you have said. The “same mind” that we are to have in Christ Jesus is because of what he has accomplished and completed. We have nothing to add, but are called to participate in what has already been won. Therefore, because he humbled himself to the point of death through obedience (even though He was God!) we should not fear if someone disagrees with us. Rather, we can view the other person more highly than we view ourselves, taking the position of a humble servant as Christ did in the most ultimate sense. Our unity is in the Spirit, and the ultimate authority lies in Christ, at whose name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord- not us. Help us to remember that if Christ (who is God) humbled himself to death on a cross on behalf of a rebellious people, that we have no excuse not to do the same. And even more, because Christ is the one highly exalted, we should remain humbled, knowing that the world will confess Him as Lord- not us. May we be ever cautious of viewing ourselves too highly, and may we instead, because of the unity we have in Christ, view others more highly than we do ourselves. And this we do not for our glory, but for Your namesake. Bring unity to your people, King Jesus. Humble us before Your throne. Amen

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