For the Unity of the Church

The hymn The Church’s One Foundation is one of my favourites. It addresses so many issues faced by the Church and her members. It personifies the Church as the bride of Christ and acknowledges God’s sovereign hand over life in the Church. The hymn was originally written to address issues faced in the Anglican Church of South Africa that led to the deposition of a bishop.


The Church’s One Foundation 
1 The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her
And for her life He died.
2 She is from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth;
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one Holy Food,
And to one Hope she presses,
With every grace endued.
3 The Church shall never perish!
Her dear Lord to defend,
To guide, sustain, and cherish,
Is with her to the end:
Though there be those who hate her,
And false sons in her pale,
Against or foe or traitor
She ever shall prevail.
4 Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song!
5 ’Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore;
Till, with the vision glorious,
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.
6 Yet she on earth hath union
With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won,
With all her sons and daughters
Who, by the Master’s Hand
Led through the deathly waters,
Repose in Eden land.
7 O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
Like them, the meek and lowly,
On high may dwell with Thee:
There, past the border mountains,
Where in sweet vales the Bride
With Thee by living fountains
Forever shall abide! Amen


O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
our only Saviour, the Prince of Peace:
give us grace seriously to lay to heart
the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions.
Take away all hatred and prejudice,
and whatever else may hinder us
from godly union and concord;
that, as there is but one body and one Spirit,
one hope of our calling,
one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God and Father of us all,
so we may henceforth be all of one heart and of one soul,
united in one holy bond of peace, of faith and charity,
and may with one mind and one mouth glorify you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers was a Scottish Baptist preacher who is widely known for the devotional My Utmost for His Highest.


O Lord, explore down to the deepest springs where the Spirit maketh intercession for us, and read the prayers I cannot utter.

Taken from the book The Quotable Oswald Chambers, Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

A Prayer for the needs of Christendom

This prayer can be found in the Book of Praise (Anglo-Geneven Psalter) and it addresses the various needs of the Church around the world.


Almighty and merciful God, we confess that we are unworthy to come before You in prayer. Our consciences accuse us and our sins testify against us. We also know that You are a righteous judge who punishes the sins of those who transgress Your commandments.

But You, Lord, have commanded us to call upon You in all our needs and have in mercy promised to listen to our petitions. We realize that this is not because of our merits, for we have none, but because of the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom You have appointed as our Mediator and Advocate. Therefore we forsake all other help and refuse to take our refuge in anything but Your mercy alone.

Heavenly Father, You have showered upon us so many blessings that we are not able to comprehend them, much less to count them. We especially thank You that You have led us to the light of Your truth and to the knowledge of Your holy gospel. Time and again, however, we have ungratefully forgotten Your benefits, deserted You, by following the desires of our own hearts. We have not honoured You as we should have. We have grievously sinned against You. If You were to bring us into judgment, we could expect nothing but condemnation and eternal death. But, Lord, look upon the face of Your Anointed. Hide Your eyes from our sins and remove Your wrath through His intercession. Work in us mightily by Your Spirit, that He may daily put to death our sinful nature and work the daily renewal of our life.

As it pleases You that we should pray for all mankind, we implore You, bless the spreading of Your holy gospel, that it may be proclaimed and received universally so that the whole world may know You. Enlighten the ignorant, strengthen the weak. May everyone by word and deed magnify Your holy Name. To this end send faithful servants into Your harvest and equip them to discharge the duties of their office diligently. Destroy, we pray, all false teachers, fierce wolves and hirelings who seek their own honour and profit rather than the honour of Your holy Name and the salvation of men.

Graciously preserve and govern Your Christian churches throughout the world in the unity of the true faith and in godliness of life, that Your kingdom may come day by day. Destroy the kingdom of Satan until the perfection of Your kingdom arrive when You shall be all in all.

We pray for the mission among Jews, Muslims, and heathens, who live without hope and without You in the world. Grant Your blessing upon the spreading of the gospel among those who still call themselves Christians but have deviated from Your truth in doctrine and life.

Remember all Christian instruction and all who are engaged in it. Bless all societies which, in accordance with Your holy Word, seek to hallow Your Name, to further Your kingdom, and to fulfil Your will. Be with all Christian institutions of mercy and grant those who work there the full measure of Your love.

We also pray for the civil government, for our Queen and her house, and for all national, provincial, and local authorities, whom You have set over us. Grant that they may perform their task in such a manner that the rule of the King of kings is acknowledged by them and by their subjects. May they as Your servants more and more oppose the kingdom of Satan, which is a kingdom of lawlessness. Grant that under the rule and protection of the governing authorities we may lead a quiet and peaceful life, godly and respectful in every way.

We pray for all Your children who suffer persecution for the sake of Your Name and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Comfort them with Your Holy Spirit and deliver them from the hands of their enemies. Do not permit the memory of Your Name to be removed from the earth. Do not let the enemies of Your truth have occasion to dishonour and blaspheme Your Name. But if it is Your will that persecuted Christians by their death bear witness to the truth and glorify Your Name, comfort them in their sufferings. May they accept their trials as from Your fatherly hand and remain faithful in life and death to the honour of Your Name, to the edification of the church, and to their salvation.

We remember before You all those whom You are chastening with poverty, imprisonment, physical illness, or spiritual distress. May it please You to heal the sick and to restore soundness of mind to the mentally ill. Surround those who are handicapped in body or mind with Your care and bless all that is done to help them. Lift up those who are cast down. Be a Comforter to the widowers, a Protector to the widows, a Father to the orphans. Show Your love to the lonely, Your strength to the weak, Your grace to the dying, Your sustaining power to the bereaved. Grant that all trials may yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Glorify Yourself in the faith, love, and endurance of all those whom You have called to Your eternal glory in Christ.

O Lord, take us and our dear ones into Your care and keeping. Watch over our families. Strengthen the expectant mothers and grant them a good delivery. Bless the bond between husbands and wives, and between parents and children. Be with those married couples whom You, in Your wisdom, do not give children. Bless them and cause them to be a blessing in the midst of Your household.

Help us in our daily work, and protect us when we travel. Bless our work for the promotion of Your kingdom and for the benefit of our country, or for the advancement of honourable personal interests. Bless the products of the soil and grant favourable weather and fruitful increase.

Enable us in our respective callings to live according to Your will. May we use the talents we have received from Your hand in such a way that they may not hinder but rather promote our life in Your kingdom. In all temptations strengthen us so that we fight the good fight of the faith, obtain the victory, and hereafter with Christ inherit eternal life.

We pray all this in the Name of our faithful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


The Prayer of Jonah

“In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me.
 I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’
 The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.
 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit.

“When my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
    to your holy temple.

“Those who cling to worthless idols
    turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
    will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”

Jonah 2:2-9 (NIV)