National Day of Prayer 2023: How the National Day of Prayer Can Unite the Church

Nick Hall (Nick Hall/facebook)

Our world is marked by division and polarization. It’s easy for us to talk about “those people” on the other side of our cultural, political or denominational fence. Using social media, we make judgments about people we’ve never met based on a few sentences.

But when we come together around Jesus in prayer, something happens. We begin to see one another as God sees us—image-bearers, worthy of dignity and respect, in all circumstances.

Today marks the National Day of Prayer, an annual observance first established in 1952 on the first Thursday in May. I believe the National Day of Prayer can unite the church by reminding us there’s more that unites us than divides us.

Called to Unity

In an age of “Us vs. Them,” the church is called to stand as a stark contrast with the world.

The modern church isn’t too different from the church in Corinth in Paul’s day. During that time, Christians drew lines based on different teachers with different positions, similar to the many denominational divides of today.

Yet what does Paul say?

“Now I ask you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak in agreement and that there be no divisions among you. But be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10).

I’m not saying disagreement is wrong. Each of us should hold fast to what we believe is most faithful to God and his Word. But unity isn’t the same thing as uniformity. We have far more common ground than we tend to admit.

Jesus prayed for us, “that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You. May they also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me” (John 17:21).

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