You cannot pray the Lord's prayer & even once say 'my'
You cannot pray the Lord's prayer & not include another;
You cannot ask for daily bread & not include your brother.
For others are included in each & every plea;
From the very beginning it never once says me.
Unity is a common theme throughout the Bible and we can recall many positive points in the Bible where it has been the cause of the great gain for God's kingdom. Matthew 18:20 says "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Then there is also the instance in Romans 12:4 where Paul writes "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." I would be remiss if I did not to mention Acts 2:1 "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place". There are many more instances in scripture that we know of where unity was the driving force for great change, but after my exposure to the above poem I discovered another avenue where the need for unity is apparent.
In Matthew 6:13 Jesus advises that we pray "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil", which we can all agree is a necessary prayer point. This has a newfound meaning for me though, because it is no longer a request that I pray for the things that tempt me, but also for the things that tempt us as the church. Let me explain. The three temptations of sin are written in 1 John 2:16 and they are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. What do these look like when we give into them as individuals? The lust of the flesh could be sexual sin. The lust of the eyes could be wanting worldly possessions more than Godly righteousness. The pride of life could be wanting to be in the spotlight instead of shining the spotlight on God. These temptations are horrible things to succumb to, but how much greater of a tragedy would they be if they took those that were like minded and in one accord with me? An individual moral failure becomes the crack that splits a church. An individual desire for more physical things becomes a culture of materialism. An individual focus on gaining more power becomes a church that has forsaken the one who holds the world in his hand. Temptation that goes unchecked has the tendency to corrupt all that are connected. Therefore, we have a great responsibility in our individual prayers to ask for the protection and the direction of the Spirit to guide us as a church body.
The old saying is "the weakest link breaks the chain", but the repercussion of that broken link is a chain that has lost its purpose. We will inevitably mess up because we are sinners by nature, but we have the daily opportunity to put our best protection in place. My prayer is that we as the body of Christ can be lead not into temptation. It is only after putting in that request that I think we can ask to be delivered from evil. Although evil is constantly seeking whom it may devour, temptation is only powerful when we make the first move towards it. It is a lot easier to resist something when you have someone next to you resisting the same thing. If Proverbs 27:10 that says "For better is a neighbor that is near than a brother far off" worries you, just remember that we have a friend that sticks closer than a brother. His name is Jesus and as long as we are striving to be like him together, no temptation of this life stands a chance.