This morning, as we observe our theme "ONE," I have the opportunity to lead our Annual Conference in a prayer for unity. Here is my prayer.
Lord Jesus, in your last hours on earth, when the shadow of the cross was hovering heavy over you, you chose not to stand up to violence or orchestrate resistance. Instead, you did something much more daring. You had a “prayer meeting” with your disciples.
You prayed for them, but not for them alone. You prayed for ALL those who would come to believe in you, because of their word. That’s me, Lord. You prayed for me, and you prayed for one each of us gathered here in North Alabama. You prayed that we might be ONE, and you prayed that through our UNITY, the world might believe.
Lord, we haven’t “lived your prayer” very well, have we? In twenty centuries, we have been riddled by scandalous disunity. Today is no different. Your prayer remains the unfulfilled longing of your heart. But now is the time, Lord Jesus. Here we stand, ready. Build bridges across all that divides us, so that though we don’t all think alike, we might all love alike.
Through the unifying power of the Holy Spirit, wipe out our sins, renew our minds, and enkindle our hearts that we might blaze the trails of peace.
In your blessed name we pray, Amen.