Good day all. Glory be to God. In the month of August, I studied 2 devotionals. They were:
Unity in Diversity
In this first reading, Jesus is praying for his apostles and all those who believe, asking that we may all be one - just as he and the Father are one. He prays extensively saying that he has given his glory to his apostles and just as the Father is in him, he prays that he will be in his disciples. He goes further to say that this oneness is not just for the benefit of believers, but also so that the world may know that He was sent by God.
When I first read this excerpt, I was a bit lost. Because just jumping into the prayer without any context made it seem out of place. But with the help of my devotional guide, I came to understand that Jesus' prayer was about unity. Unity amongst his apostles, and unity amongst all believers at large. In today's world, with all the different denominations of Christianity, I wonder whether we are as unified as we should be - or whether we're letting our differences divide us. I really wonder...
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Persistence in Prayer
This my second and last reading of the month was actually where Jesus taught his disciples The Lord's Prayer. It was interesting going back to this point in the Bible because not only is it where he teaches the Lord's prayer, it is also where he guarantees answers to our requests:
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Now, I recently lost an uncle to a violent mugging, here, in Lagos. He was hospitalized for several days after the attack, and in that time the immediate and extended family got together and prayed for him. But in the end, he still passed away.
I believe that this coming together was a great example of unity in the church... but we did not get the answer we wanted from our prayers. What is one to make of such a situation? Should it rock ones faith? Or is it simply that God's answer is not always the answer we desire. I believe the latter is true. God answered us, and his answer was that it was time for my uncle to come to Him.
This is not the answer, we (the family), wanted. But perhaps it is the answer, he (my uncle) needed. I shall never know. In the meantime, the experience has answered two questions:
- Being of different denominations does not prevent unity amongst Christians.
- God's answer is not always the one you want.
Therefore, we close out this Bible Study with the mantra:
Be Unified in Spirit and Dogged in Prayer, yet Receptive to God's response.