Lord, may they be one, just as you and I are one (John 17:21).
These are the words of Jesus in John 17 as He prays for His followers. Having just broken bread with His disciples for the last time before Gethsemane and Golgotha, Jesus prayed for oneness among people who called themselves His followers. This passage invites us into the Middle Eastern upper room where Jesus asked the Father for three things: to sanctify us in truth, that we would come to know God the Father intimately, and that we would be one.
Does that move your heart like it does mine? Of all the things Jesus could have prayed over His followers, including you and me, He prays that we would experience the fullness of God Himself and oneness with each other.
Kristi McClelland describes this “oneness” as unity. She says,
Unity is what I call an edenic quality. It existed in the garden of Eden long before sin entered the world. In Eden, everything worked and worked together beautifully. Everything functioned in unison with everything else. Peace was the atmosphere of the original garden. In Hebrew the term for this kind of peace is shalom, and it was the hallmark feature of the garden. Hebraic shalom is about so much more than peace, though. It communicates the idea of wholeness, flourishing, delight, and harmony.
Peace. Unity. Oneness. Shalom.
We all can use help in creating this type of atmosphere in our own places and spaces. As we enter into the last month of the year and the fullness of Christmas draws near, I invite you to ponder these questions and pray these truths over your life today, sister. Why wait? Let’s join our Lord and pray for what He has already interceded for on our behalf.
For Your Own Soul
PONDER: What needs to change to cultivate peace in my daily rhythms and relationships?
PRAY: Lord, I want peace to be the atmosphere where I dwell with You and others. Help me to cultivate daily rhythms that allow me to enjoy the fullness of Your glory.
For Your Own Family
PONDER: How can I bring shalom into (fill in the blank with a current situation) within my family?
PRAY: Lord, I want to cultivate an atmosphere of peace within my relationships. Let it begin with me. Strip away anything standing in the way in my own heart and mind. Lead us towards a harmonious wholeness as a family. Help me to delight in the healthy relationships in my life that honor You. Guide us in every step to arrive at harmony that brings You delight.
For Your Local Church Family
PONDER: How can I gather the generations of women in my church in order to invite harmony and healthy mentorship and discipleship relationships in the new year?”
PRAY: Lord, I pray for oneness over the generations of women in my ministry and in my local church. Even in our differences, unify us so that we may glorify You in replicating disciples and spreading the gospel.
As we model our prayers to pray like Jesus did, my prayer for you, dear sister, is that God would fill you with His wondrous wisdom, delightful joy, strengthening hope, and flourishing peace.
Merry Christmas and peace to you and yours!