Father, we thank You for Your Church on earth. We praise You because Your Son Jesus is the head of the Church, and because the Church is His body, and we are empowered by His Spirit and commissioned to do His work and spread His gospel.
We thank You that everyone who acknowledges Jesus as Savior and Lord is part of the Church, and that each one has been differently gifted by Your Holy Spirit in order that Jesus should be glorified, that the fellowship of believers should be strengthened, and that we should serve the world in the name of Jesus Christ.
We pray for the different denominations which make up the one true Church. We praise You that this means Your work is done in many different places and that You are worshipped in many different ways. We ask You to forgive us for the fact that far too often we have allowed our denominational differences to become barriers between us and hinder the preaching of the gospel.
As we seek to work ever more closely with fellow Christians in various parts of the Church, we ask You to give us spiritual insight so that we can distinguish clearly between those spiritual truths on which we must never compromise and those things which are merely part of our human tradition.
Father, pour out Your Holy Spirit upon the Church so that we might march forward as a mighty army. Give us a holy intolerance of all injustice and oppression. Give us the courage to speak and act for the homeless and the hungry. Give us the wisdom to understand the complex moral issues of our age, and the authority to speak to the world with a prophetic voice. Give us the compassion of Jesus Himself so that, with loving hearts and in the spirit of self-sacrifice, we might bring all mankind to know the forgiveness and love of God.
Colin Fairclough, My Father, Our Father