For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV)
How often we neglect or remember the importance of corporate unity as the body of Christ. Albeit personal holiness comes first, but instep right behind it ought to come corporate holiness as not only a reflex to the first but a response to the mighty moving of the Holy Spirit in corporation.
Paul prayed for those who were ministering the gospel of Christ. He encouraged them and recognized how vital this corporate unity is to the body because without it we flit and flutter every which way rarely finding harmony with one another on purpose. Quite obviously Paul was also praying that they would continue in this faith despite severe oppression and persecution. He prayed for their safety and for the power of the Holy Spirit to guide them. That Christ would remain in them and continue to unite them together.
Do we offer prayers like this on behalf of other believers? Do we find the time within our personal prayers and sometimes selfishness to consider the needs of other Christ-followers? I don’t mean to sound judgmental or damning because all too often I find myself praying these same selfish prayers: “Lord help me….” ; “Lord bless me…”; “Lord speak to me….” All too often, if I’m not careful, I can get sucked into these self-indulgent prayer traps and lose complete focus on the cares and needs of others in the corporate sphere of this body of Christ.
Paul had troubles of his own. He eventually is killed because of his faith. Before that he is shipwrecked, in prison, beaten and so on. Yet he finds the time to pray for and encourage others along the way. Corporate unity requires a corporate mentality. We aren’t here to go it alone, nor should we be so consumed with our own issues and problems that we lose sight of the great body of Christ.
We are to be holy first as individuals and then as the corporate body and through this we must remain united through prayer, fellowship and encouragement.
-Just a thought.