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Pray in Harmony: A United Church

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2022 Series on Biblical Spiritual Disciplines.

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Ephesians 2:11 CSB
So, then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh—called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” which is done in the flesh by human hands.

INTRO—

Mark 11.17 “He was teaching them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!””
Acts 2.42 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.”

PRAYING IN HARMONY: Ephesians 2.11-22

Ephesians 2.11-13 “So, then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh—called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” which is done in the flesh by human hands. At that time you were without Christ, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
Ephesians 2.14-16 “For he is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In his flesh, he made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that he might create in himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. He did this so that he might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross by which he put the hostility to death.”
Ephesians 2.17-19 “He came and proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So, then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household,”
Ephesians 2.20-22 “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole building, being put together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you are also being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.”
Five Aspects of a United Church (from Ephesians 2):
THANKFUL (2.13 - “you who were far away have been brought neay by the blood of Christ”)
UNITED (2.14 - “made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility”)
DIVERSE (2.17 - “He came and proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.”)
CO-OPERATIVE (2.19 - “fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household”)
GROWING (2.22 - “In him you are also being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.”)

PRAYING IN HARMONY: Small Groups

“Father God, head of the Church, help us to be increasingly...”
A THANKFUL Church (2.13)
The people in our church come from various backgrounds, various regions, and have various preferences…YET, we are ALL brought into this church family through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross.
Pray, praising and thanking God for saving us, bringing us closer to him and closer to one another.
A UNITED Church (2.14)
No one in the first century thought it possible for Jews and Gentiles to get along, but in Christ they were united.
Pray, that our church family would continually grow in our patient acceptance and encouragement of each other. Pray, that we would unite around our celebration and sharing of the good news of the Gospel of Jesus.
A DIVERSE Church (2.17)
God reaches out to all. No matter anyone’s ethnicity. No matter one’s current beliefs or values, everyone is welcome to come into God’s family.
Pray, that we will be a church where people of all ethnicities are invited and welcomed to connect with us as we celebrate and share salvation through Jesus Christ.
A CO-OPERATIVE Church (2.19)
Fellow citizens have shared responsibilities…such is true of our church as part of God’s kingdom.
Pray, that as a church we are always seeking to further the kingdom through our serving our Lord together. Pray, that our church would always be ready to work with other churches to further God’s kingdom.

PRAYING IN HARMONY: Large Group

“Father God, head of the Church, help us to be increasingly...”
A GROWING Church (2.22)
God designed our church to grow together—rooted in Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit—maturing alongside each other.
Pray, that we would all seek to give and receive Gospel encouragement. Pray, that we would take the Gospel to our lost friends, family, and neighbors that our Lord would grow his church.

CONCL—

Matthew 6.33-34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Ephesians 2:22 CSB
In him you are also being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.
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