How can a divided church be united?

Paul issued an impassioned plea for unity in the second chapter of Philippians.

Philippians 2.1-2 – If, then, there is any comfort in Christ, any consolation from love, any partnership in the Spirit, any tender affection and sympathy,

Make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Paul pulls out all the stops in his appeal for unity.

— Is there any comfort in Christ?

“Comfort” in Greek is an expansive word that includes these meanings: Call to one’s aid, encourage, exhort, implore, entreat, comfort and console.

This dramatic word is used to call the church to live in agreement.

— Is there any consolation from love?

Consolation is very similar to comfort and is used to add to the appeal for unity.

— Is there any partnership in the Spirit?

Partnership involves fellowship, communion, communication, participation, and working together for the common good.

— If there any tender affection and sympathy?

Tender affection is the gut reaction we have when we feel the pain of another person.

Sympathy, pity, and mercy round out these descriptive words that call for the unity of the church.

Jesus’ prayer for the church

Paul’s passionate plea for unity is joined by Jesus’ prayer the night before he went to the cross.

Below are some highlights from Jesus’ prayer in John 17. Note the theme of unity.

Verse 11I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.

Verses 20-21I ask not only on behalf of these but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.

As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Verses 22-23The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one,

I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Can the will of our Savior be any clearer, when on the night before his sacrificial death the central theme of his prayer is for the unity of the church?

How can a divided church get united?

God’s will is clear. He wants his church to be united. How can we cooperate with the Lord and see a divided church become united?

Rudy Ross and I met at gatherings of the Citywide Prayer Movement in Kansas City. Pastors from all races and denominations joined together to pray.

It is hard to argue when you are praying. Doctrinal differences and church customs dissolved as we turned our attention to the Lord.

As we prayed together, we learned to accept and appreciate one another.

I believe the prayer movement is part of God’s genius to unite his church around the Head of the church, Jesus.

If differing church leaders will come together. surrender to the leadership of the Spirit, and pray, then God will heal what divides us.

In today’s YouTube video, Rudy Ross and I talk about the Citywide Prayer Movement. We also ask listeners to pray that God will use prayer to unite his church.

Please join us in this very important effort.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I have talked about the Bible for years while eating at Fric and Frac. Each day, we produce a YouTube video that invites you into our conversation. The video can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.

Please email your prayer request to or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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