• Pastor Cheryl Penn

Pray for Oneness Identity

“I am praying for them. I am not praying (requesting) for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they belong to You… Holy Father, keep in Your Name [in the knowledge of Yourself] those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We [are one].” John 17:9, 11b AMPCE

These verses come from Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer” (John 17:1-26). God gave the High Priest designation to Jesus after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:8-10). When Jesus states in verse 9, “I’m not praying for the world”, He means He is praying first specifically for His followers; His elect and then, secondly, He prays for those in the world in v.20, “…for all those who will ever come to believe in” Him. Jesus includes all people in prayer.

To be one as The Father and Jesus are one involves being one in spirit, nature, character, authority, purpose, and deferential love. Once we make the decision to be identified with Jesus, the life that was in Him becomes ours. As Christians, our oneness identity in Christ develops as we are being restored through Christ to be the authentic people God created us to be. Our identity is found and centered while actively trusting Christ’s Spirit in us, the way that Jesus trusted God in Him incarnationally. “For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28a, NIV).“The greatest issue we face in being Christian is not one of ability, but of identity” (Pastor Jerry Cook, EFC Journal, 2006).

Another facet of oneness is being identified with the visible Body of Christ, where individual functionality may need to be subjugated to the Body. “so in Christ we, who are many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5, NIV). "In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matthew 5:48, MSG). Let us pray together…

Father God, help us to, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3, NIV) Lord, we humbly ask You to help us solidify our union in You through prayer and to be thankful as we worship You acceptably with adoration, reverence, and awe. Forgive us for our selfish controlling ways, ignoring Your will. We pray that we will choose to lay down our life for one another in the Church. In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.