Following on from my request that I'd love to hear from you if you have any suggestions as to how the Unity Agreement for the Twenty First Century could be used, I received this excellent idea by email from a brother.
What a great idea!I have taken your “Unity Agreement” and turned it into a “Prayer for the 21st Century”. I intend to carry this on my person at all times, and when any of our Brethren ring me to discuss their issues I will ask them if we can pray together first… I’ll lead and you can follow… and I will pray the “Prayer for the 21st Century”.
A PRAYER FOR THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY
1. Our Gracious Father in heaven, we confess our failures in the past to maintain unity in the Body, we repent of our sin, and humbly rely on your grace so that we might "all reach unity in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4:13 NIV).
2. Father, we acknowledge the teaching of Scripture that there should be no division in the Body of Christ, and we acknowledge the power in our Lord's prayer, when He prayed "that they may be one, as we are one" (John 17:11).
3. We agree to treat each other with the same respect that your Son and our Lord showed to all others who trod this earth with Him.
4. We agree to treat all that come in contact with us with the same love and compassion that you have showered upon us, O Lord. We will act with kindness toward all others, and to speak kindly of them to others. We will not be a party to gossip or malicious talk about anybody, and especially our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord.
5. We agree to serve all our brothers and sisters, to esteem them better than ourselves, to put their needs before our own self-interests and to contribute in whatever way we can to their spiritual development. We are prepared to sacrifice our time, interests and possessions to meet the needs of all others, and especially our brothers and sisters.
6. We agree to pray for all our brothers and sisters. We thank you Father for the contributions they make, we pray for their spiritual development and we plead for their forgiveness when they fail.
7. We agree to trust each other, and, in turn, to be trustworthy. Therefore Father, we take our brothers and sisters at their word and do not wish to attribute motives to their actions. Help us to always speak truthfully and to not deceive or mislead our brothers and sisters.
8. We agree to resolve our differences with our brothers and sisters with love and in the Spirit of Christ. We respect and value their opinions and, recognising that we are all at different stages of spiritual growth and maturity, we acknowledge their right to hold views which are different to our own.
9. We agree that our labours are in vain without your blessing, O Father, and we therefore seek your guidance, as together we unite our energies to building up your house. We stand in your presence, O Lord, as Brethren who are dedicated and committed to the task of maintaining unity in the Body of Christ.