A common purpose in Jesus

By  Nicole Fernandes, Catholic Register Special
  • January 29, 2008

Editor's Note: this is the second place winner of the Friars’ Student Writing Award sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and The Catholic Register. Nicole Fernandes is a Grade 11 student at St. Joseph’s Morrow Park Catholic Secondary School in Toronto.

{mosimage}Christian unity is far more than just the unity of Christians in the same belief, doctrine or principle. It is the unity of all Christians under the fellowship of Christ in whom we are all one. I believe that Catholic and Orthodox churches should come together and pray without ceasing because the power of prayer is massive and Jesus asked God to keep us united. I believe that by doing that we can achieve Christian unity and help change the world.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:13b–18, the apostle Paul tells us to pray without ceasing, or in other words, to pray incessantly. I feel that when Paul tells us to pray without ceasing, he does not mean that we should stop all other activities and pray 24/7.Instead I think he means that we should pray whether we like it or not because prayer is powerful. God knows what we want even when we do not ask Him for anything, but He wants to know that we want it badly enough to ask for it repeatedly. Therefore, I believe that in order for a prayer to be effective it must be insistent and wholehearted. The priests always say, “the family that prays together, stays together” and I believe that all Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ, and the prayer for unity binds us all together, thereby keeping us united in Christ.

In John 17:21 Jesus says, “I pray that they may all be one. Father, may they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one so the world will believe that you sent me.” Jesus prayed to God and asked Him to keep us united as one body just as the Father and the Son are united. Jesus wanted the world to believe in Him and follow Him wholeheartedly and the only way we as Christians can achieve that is by praying without ceasing for Christian unity.

If we as Christians can put our differences aside and come together in prayer, we will be able to set an example for other religions around the world and start on the road to a better tomorrow. I believe that all Christians should pray together for Christian unity for the main reason that we all have a common purpose in Christ. Through Christian unity, we can show the world that Christianity is a strong religion and that Christians can put aside all the issues and come together as one.

In conclusion, Christian unity will require a lot of prayer and determination, but I believe that if we Christians put our faith in God and pray to Him without ceasing, He will help us through anything. The late Pope John Paul II reminded us that “the unity of all divided humanity is the will of God” and I truly believe that we should all strive to fulfill God’s will for Christian unity.

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