We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
There is so much here in Romans chapter 15, verses 1 through 7 to unpack, to think about. The big picture though is well it’s summarized in verses five and six. It’s a prayer that God might grant his church to live in harmony with one another, in accord with Jesus himself who died to make us his church, to bring us together in himself to the Father, as his sons and daughters. So that we might with one voice, verse six says, “Glorify God, the father of our Lord, Jesus Christ.” This is exactly what Jesus prayed for us in John chapter 17 before he went to the cross. And this is what Jesus purchased for us when he went to the cross, a blood-bought, spirit-filled harmony, unity with one another. One voice glorifying God in accord with Jesus, which means that we welcome one another. We lay aside our preferences for the sake of one another. “We look for opportunities not to please ourselves,” verse one says, “But to build up our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Rather than pleasing ourselves, we ought to look to build each other up.
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good to build him up,” talking about brothers and sisters in Christ, because this is the spirit of Christ in us. And so we pray, oh God, in a day where there is so much division, particularly as we are praying for our country leading up to a presidential election, there is so much division around us in the world. So we pray. We plead together for the unity of your church in accord with Jesus. God, we pray. We plead for harmony with one another, for a pleasing of one another, for a building up of each other. So that with one voice, we may glorify you, oh God. With one voice, we may proclaim the good news of your love in Christ for sinners.
Oh God, amidst so many different convictions, opinions, perspectives, all we pray that are grounded in your word, driven by your word. God, we pray for unity around your word. Not an ambiguous, flimsy unity that doesn’t mean anything. God, we pray for a rock-solid unity in accord with Jesus Christ, that brings glory to your name. God, please help us as your church amidst these toxic, divisive political waters that surround us, help us to glorify you in harmony with one another. As your children, with one voice honoring you, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has welcomed us into his family. So help us to welcome one another, to build one another. God, we pray for harmony in your church during these days, according to Romans chapter 15, verses 1 through 7. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Join us in praying God’s Word as we lead up to the presidential election on November 3rd. Download our prayer guide HERE.