The Prayer For Unity Points to the Prayer Of Unity, The Lord’s Prayer, to Unite Future Believers

Jesus Christ foresaw denominationalism. The Center of the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theology Seminary estimates that there are about 45,000 denominations in the world today. This is a staggering figure!

In John 17:20-26, we read about the heartfelt prayer by Jesus Christ for future believers to be united. It is Jesus’ Prayer for Unity.

Jesus Prays for All Believers (NIV)

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you 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. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

The identifier of John 17:20-26 is 581.

Book#Chapter#Verse#Sum
John 17:2043172080
John 17:2143172181
John 17:2243172282
John 17:2343172383
John 17:24 43 172484
John 17:25 43 172585
John 17:26 43 172686
581
The identifier of John 17:20-26 is 581

The number 581 has 4 divisors, namely, {1, 7, 83, 581}. The sum of the divisors is 672, so that the arithmetic mean is 672/4=168, the Lord’s Prayer in the Gospel of Luke. The Arithmetic Mean is telling us that the central message of unity in John 17:20-26 is pointing to the Lord’s Prayer as the vehicle of unity.

CONCLUSION: The Prayer of Unity in Christianity is the Lord’s Prayer.

Quoting D. Timms, “Living the Lord’s Prayer”, 2008

Surely God did not intend the abundant life to be drab, boring, empty, or tedious. We harbor deep suspicious that something deeper and vaster lies beyond our daily routines.

Many of us share the deep yearning to explore the spiritual realm more fully. We want to know the deep interior of God.

A SHARED HUNGER pages 15-18)

For centuries Christian men and women have desired a deeper walk with Christ.

For two thousand years various Christian mystics and devout believers have advocated a range of pathways to a deeper relationships with God. They shared our hunger for the holy.

If we summarize [the] saints of the past, we develop quite a catalog of possible pathways [to God]. We draw nearer to God through:

Seriousness, obedience, and humility;

Spiritual disciplines of silence, solitude, fasting, study, and more;

Encountering the love of God;

Sharing the sufferings of Christ;

Crossing metaphorical bridges and entering metaphorical castles;

Enduring the purging work of God in our lives;

Praying the Scriptures;

Studying the Scriptures;

Spiritual gifts and revivalism;

Devotion to the body of Christ;

Meditative prayer and social engagement;

Belovedness and brokeness.

The vast array of insights [by the saints, and great and influential thinkers of the past] inspire, but also confuse us. Every tidbit of wisdom sounds good and right, but without a fixed point of reference we become rudderless in a sea of generic spirituality. Our hearts resonate with those who have walked close to God, but we lack the experience or wisdom to accurately access their advice.

Nevertheless, a fixed reference point does exist – in Scripture. We find a ready-made summary not in the saints or scholars of the past, but in Christ himself.

THE LORD”S PRAYER (pages 20-21)

Jesus lays out what we commonly call the Lord’s Prayer, and in it He provides the greatest Christian teaching of the centuries on spiritual formation.

[In the prayer], He outlines life-giving attitudes and paradigms. We also encounter a prayer that does not seek to get God’s attention but to give our attention to Him.

The Prayer functions less as a chant and more as a challenge [because] memorizing ten short lines poses little difficulty of most of us [but] the concepts and insights have the capacity to remold our lives entirely. Overstatement? Exaggeration? Not at all. Indeed, this prayer offers a simple framework that steers us through all the suggestions of the ages and into the very intimacy with Christ that hearts desire. It reveals the building blocks for authentic spiritual formation.

SPIRITUAL FORMATION (pages 21-23)

Will Hernandez provides a helpful definition. He describes spiritual formation as “the process of being with Christ in order to become like Christ and consequently live for Christ.” His succinct definition captures three vital elements.

Being with Christ;

Becoming like Christ;

Living for Christ.

Spiritual formation is not one or even two of these three elements. True formation, as modeled by Jesus and reflected in the [Lord’s] Prayer, incorporates some measure of all three parts of the definition. Spiritual formation remains incomplete when it becomes fixated on meditation (“being with”). But it also fails when it focuses entirely on character adjustment or behavior modification (“becoming like”). Similarly, the process falters it simply means busyness in the kingdom (“living for”).

The teaching contains in the Lord’s Prayer catapults us toward complete transformation. While we soak up the wisdom of godly men and men throughout Christian history, they would certainly defer to the wisdom of Christ expressed in the Prayer.

Ultimately, the Lord’s Prayer reveals more about how to live than how to pray.

Quoting B. Pitre, “The Lord’s Prayer and the New Exodus”, 2006

In this  essay, I have tried to show that while the Lord’s Prayer is most certainly an eschatological prayer, it is also much more than that. It is also a typological prayer, a messianic prayer, and a Davidic prayer. That is, it is rooted in the eschatology of the Old Testament, which held that God would act in the future in ways that would parallel how he had acted in the past.

Quoting G. H. Palmer, “The Lord’s Prayer”, 1932

In both the Old Testament and the New Testament there is a climatic point: a passage, I mean, which so epitomizes all the teaching of that section of our Bible that we should be eager to save it were all else to be destroyed. In the Old Testament it is the Ten Commandments, which form a foundation of civil society.  Society would go to pieces were not the Ten Commandments understood and usually obeyed. In the New Testament it is the Lord’s Prayer which lays foundations for the harmonious inner life as the Ten Commandments do for the outer.  Here speaks the aspiring spirit to its Maker. This is the love-song of the Christian world.