”If I were your enemy, I’d work to create division between you and other Christians, between groups of Christians, anyone with the potential for uniting in battle against me and my plans.”
Priscilla Shirer, Fervent
This post was part of the #RealWomenPray Fall ’15 online Bible study series “Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, Strategic Prayer.” Our next online Bible study titled, “Hope Is” begins December 1st. To get information and register for the next online Bible study visit our Bible Study page.
Church hurt: a term use to describe hurt caused by other Christians.
I have seen people hurt by other Christians more than I care to admit. And, if I’m honest, I am among that group myself—devastated by the very people I loved and trusted.
Where there is church hurt, there you will find the enemy. Sitting slyly in the corner, rubbing his hands together in delight with a glint of evil pleasure in his eyes relishing in the fact that God’s children are fighting…each other…and not him!
One of the most important prayers we can pray is against disunity among Christians.
Because there is power in UNITY—and the enemy knows it.
Because when the Church unites their shields of faith in prayer, we are unstoppable—and the enemy hates it.
Because when we come together in harmony, we have peace with God, which keeps us focused and passionate in prayer and discerning of the enemies lies.
When we as a group of God’s children have peace towards each other and are operating out of peace with God, others are drawn to Him.
We have a testimony of love, forgiveness, and peace they can not find in the world.
If they begin to be drawn to Jesus and His Church, the enemy loses ground.
When the enemy feels threatened, he will attack. He will divide and fracture the body of Christ any way he can.
We have all heard stories of churches in dysfunction and in-fighting.
It’s so sad.
“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:14-18 ESV
According to these verses, common ways the enemy brings division and disunity to our relationships is through jealousy, bitterness, selfishness, and arrogance.
These attributes are in direct conflict with the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-26. ”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (ESV)
Let me encourage you in this:
Seek the fruit of the Spirit
Love Joy Peace Patience
Kindness Goodness Faithfulness
Live by the Spirit, keep in step with the Spirit. Do not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Stand firm—shields of faith locked together—and pray always
Call To Prayer
Not only will the fruit of Spirit help our defense against the enemy with others, but it will serve us well in every other area of our lives.
Pray for God to help you develop and demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in all your relationships, both Christian and non-Christian.
Write out your prayer using scriptures that speak to you.
You can use your own prayer journal or download and print this journal page:
Jesus, thank You for giving us brothers and sister in Your body to encourage us and pray for us. Help us to be an encouragement to them, too. Father, help us to display Your fruit in our relationships. Give us patience when we deal with others that are hurt or angry. Help us to show them Your love, grace, and mercy. Lord, help us to be the best witnesses of Your goodness and love towards Your creation. Jesus, we thank You for bringing us together in Your body, to lift each other up and to draw closer to You and each other. Father, I ask that You strengthen friendships and bless each person as they continue to seek Your will in their lives. I pray You will continue to teach us as we go into the Holiday season and celebrate the birth of Your son. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Sharon Hartley says
This is what I am struggling with right now I will not let the enemy in I will continue to Pray for God’s Guidance with this whatever he want’s me to do with this situation I will be obedient to him. Thanks Stephanie a lot of your posts I can really relate too. Sometime’s you think your the only one in this world that has struggles. It’s important to know we all feel this way at times of all places you would feel safe secure & Loved within a church but that is one of the places where the other side attacks the most.. This is going in my Prayer Journal. until this is resolved I will continue to Pray for answers I seek I will keep knocking on the Door an keep asking.
Stephanie K. Adams says
Sharon, unity in the body is so crucial to seeing the Holy Spirit move. It is sad to see when others are hurt by their brother or sister in Christ. I have learned the enemy often will seize an opportunity where misunderstanding took place and use it against both parties. It is crucial we are able to speak kindly and with love with our brothers and sisters in Christ to communicate how we understood something that was said and how it made us feel. Most of the time we find it was a true misunderstanding.
And on those occasions where I find I just do not agree, I try to take a position of love and kindness. Lifting up the situation to God and allowing Him to mend any hurt, forgiving the other person within myself, but above all, find common ground in our love for Jesus Christ and pursuing unity within the Body.