Can you guess which one it is?
When Jesus established a Church on this earth, he did not intend it to be a divided house. As St. John Paul II wrote in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint, “The unity of all divided humanity is the will of God … On the eve of his sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus himself prayed to the Father for his disciples and for all those who believe in him, that they might be one, a living communion.”
Unfortunately, living in a fallen world we have yet to realize that desire of Jesus and according the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there are roughly 41,000 Christian denominations in the world.
While there remains much that divides Christians across the globe, one activity that all Christians can engage in together is prayer. It is prayer that unites us and crosses the lines of theological controversy and differing opinions on the teachings of Christ.
In particular, there is one prayer that is shared by a vast majority of Christian denominations: the Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer taught by Jesus himself and as the Catechism states, “The Lord’s Prayer is truly the summary of the whole gospel, the ‘most perfect of prayers.’ It is at the center of the Scriptures” (CCC 2774). While Christians may not agree about everything, they can at least pray together the prayer taught by the person whom they love with all their heart.
Keeping in mind the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25), let us join together “bound not by chains but by the love of Christ that has been poured into our hearts, and pray to the Father in the words that Jesus taught us.”
Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.