Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023 Isaiah 1:17
Lord Jesus, who prayed that we might all be one, we pray to you for the unity of Christians, according to your will, according to your means.
May your Spirit enable us to experience the suffering caused by division, to see our sin and to hope beyond all hope.
Isaiah seeks to awaken the conscience of the people to the reality of their situation.
Instead of honouring their religious expression as a blessing, he sees it as a
sacrilege. Isaiah denounces the political, social and religious structures which
encourage the hypocrisy of offering sacrifices whilst oppressing the poor. He speaks out vigorously against corrupt leaders and in favour of the disadvantaged.
Isaiah teaches that God requires righteousness and justice from all people, all the time, in all spheres of life.
Our world today mirrors the challenges that Isaiah confronted. Justice, righteousness and unity originate from God’s profound love for each of us. They are at the heart of who God is and how God expects us to be with one another. Yet injustice and oppression continue. The sin of racism is evident in practices that set one racial group over and against another.
We must engage in dialogue and so increase awareness and insight about the lived experience of all people. Together, we must engage in the struggle for justice in
society – because we all belong to Christ.
Lord, you called your people from slavery into freedom,
Give us strength and courage to seek out those who are standing in need of justice.
Allow us to see this need and provide help, and through your Holy Spirit gather us into the one fold of Jesus Christ, our Shepherd. Amen.
God of Unity,
forgive us when we are self-serving
and help us to grow in unity and
understanding as we extend your love and justice to all. Amen
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