Daily Devotionals: (June 29th): Prayer for Unity in the Church

by Aaron Dunlop

Reading: “That they all may be one.”—John 17:21

O Lord, this morning I lament the sad and mournful estrangement of Christian from Christian in Your church below: that so many, treading the same heavenly journey, with the same glorious portals in view, should be following separate and diverse footpaths, that so many brethren in the Lord whose interchanges ought to be all love, should be looking coldly and censoriously on one another. How much ungodly jealousy and heart-burning and mutual recrimination among Your professing people! How little of the spirit which of old provoked the testimony even of heathen gainsayers: “See how these Christians love one another!”

O blessed “Author of peace and lover of concord,” in Your mercy, pour out on Your church on earth, a greater spirit of unity and brotherly-kindness and charity. In Your mercy, heal the bleeding wounds of Your mystical body, casting over them the mantle of love. Bring us all, blessed Jesus, as individuals and as churches nearer Yourself, and then shall we be nearer one another. It is because of our distance from You, the great Sun of Righteousness, that we, as wandering stars are revolving in such devious and distant orbits. Give us to feel that we are all members of one mighty family, of which You are the glorious Head, that, though following diverse tracks, we are sheep of the same pasture, owning the same “Chief Shepherd.” Preserve me, good Lord, this day, from all uncharitableness.

May I have Your favor resting upon me and Your love softening and sanctifying all its trials. May all my beloved friends be one with me in Jesus, Amen.

Adapted from the Rev. John McDuff, D.D., The Morning Watches, 1852.

John Ross Macduff was born at Bonhard, near Perth, on May 23, 1818. After studying at the University of Edinburgh, he became parish minister of Kettins, Forfarshire,  in 1842. In 1849 he moved to St. Madoes, Perthshire, and in 1855 to Sandyford, Glasgow. He received the degree of D.D. from the University of Glasgow in 1862, and from the University of New York about the same time. He retired from pastoral work in 1871, moved to Chislehurst, Kent where he died in 1887.

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