Life Prayers - Unity

Sermon from CCM Ladybarn


This sermon was preached by Andy Brownlee at the Ladybarn site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 14th April 2019.

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This message was part of the ‘SERIES NAME’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Withington in EARLY/MID/LATE YEAR. The full series included the following sermons:


This sermon was based on John 17:1-26.

The High Priestly Prayer

1When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
6“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
20“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”


What is Unity?

  • Dictionary: Unity, the state of being united or joined as a whole. Now unity isn’t good in itself, we can be united over thing which are not good.

  • As Christians what our unity is based on is our belief in the gospel. Our belief in the good news that Jesus has died on the cross to forgive us for our sins. What Jesus prays for is that we wouldn’t just be a bunch of people who believe the gospel but are separated from each other but that we would be joined to each other in a profound way.

  • Jesus prayer is for all of us to relate to each other the way he relates to his father, to love each other, trust and honour each other, to serve each other, putting others interests above ours. That’s what he wants for us. So, question, who do we have Christian unity with? I think we can be have unity with people who believe the gospel and love Jesus no matter what denomination they may be in, or whether we agree with all they do.

How do we Grow in Unity?

  • In verse 21 Jesus says Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us Jesus is saying if you want to grow in unity with those around you, you need to grow in your unity with me.

  • How do we grow in our knowledge of Jesus? Surround yourself with the word of God, sermons, listen to Bible. Read. Elisabeth water colour verses. Growing in our knowledge of what he says about us. Our identity increasingly being found in Christ.

  • How do we grow in maturity? Knowing Jesus better Self-awareness. Through others, through discipleship. Need others to speak truth. Spending time with the Lord. It’s a process. As we grow in our knowledge of Jesus and become mature we grow in Unity.

What does Unity do?

  • In verse 21 Jesus says to God that unity helps the world to believe that you have sent me. In verse 23 he says that unity helps the world to know that you sent me. Jesus is saying Christian unity is a powerful witness to the world that he is Lord. The opposite is also true, when people see disunity in the church it makes them think well if Christians can’t even get on then Jesus mustn’t be that special after all.

  • When they see the genuine love people have for one another. When they see that people don’t gossip about each other, when they see that when we have a problem we go to the person and sort it out. When they see people putting others needs above their own they realise something powerful is going on here. I want in. This is especially true when problems happen. It is an incredibly powerful witness to watch Christians resolve problems with each other in a loving and graceful way.

  • My question to you is there disunity in your life with another believer that you need to put right? Are you harbouring resentment, hurt or a judgmental attitude towards another believer? Are you gossiping about them? Maybe it’s time to repent of that, resolve the issue so that unity can flourish.



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