Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Mystery of Prayer

(John 17:20-21 NKJV) “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
(Acts 2:1 NKJV) When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
(Philippians 2:2 NKJV) fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
(1 Corinthians 11:18 NKJV) For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.
Was the Lord’s Prayer Answered?
In John 17, the Lord prayed for the same unity among believers that existed between the Father and the Son.  In Acts 2, that unity existed 50 days after the Lord was raised from the dead.  That same unity is seen in Acts 15 where the church in Jerusalem was united and in agreement as they considered the need for Gentiles to keep the Jewish ceremonial law.  However, it is obvious that Judaizers were already causing problems in some Gentile churches.  The Philippian church had fairly good unity with the exception of two women who seemed to have trouble working together.  But the Corinthian church. . . now they were breaking bread together but in a totally divided way.  Some were following one preacher, some were following another, and they weren’t being considerate and sharing their food at their feasts of charity which were supposed to be the Lord’s supper.  
Encouragement for Us
Some of us get discouraged when we ask the Lord for something and we don’t get it.  We may have thought our prayer was in the will of the Lord and according to Scripture.  We may even have shared our prayer with other prayer warriors and we may have gotten “no” for an answer.  I personally do not consider “no” to be an answer to prayer.  Here the Lord has prayed for something that He did not get.  There was nothing wrong with the Lord or His prayer.  So I guess I shouldn’t be discouraged if the answer to some of my prayers is no. It apparently doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have prayed, or that something was wrong with me when I prayed.  It just means that in our dispensation, Satan is alive and well and manages to oppose the answer to a godly prayer.
The visible church (those who call themselves Christians today even though they may be Christians in name only) has long been divided into sectarian groups.  Leadership, doctrine and differing views on salvation, separation and discipline are some of the main reasons for these divisions.  The Bible says that a divided local church is a carnal or immature church.  Every time a church has a split, every time a new church is planted in locations where many churches already exist, unity is obviously missing.  
I would like to see congregations that look more like Philippi than like Corinth or the Galatian churches.  I would like to see churches where pleasing the Lord is more important than “growth.”  I would like to see churches where we love God and as a result we love our neighbors.  We should be willing to perish if need be (as Esther was) in order to save our brothers and sisters.  That kind of church would at least be unified with the Lord and with His Father.  I think it would be attractive to the unsaved.  
I doubt that the Lord’s prayer in John 17 will ever be fully answered on this earth until the Lord comes and raptures those who are truly His own.  Then the church will be one even as the Lord is one with the Father.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of June 13, 2021

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