These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
There was a time when there was only one Christian church. It was the church in Jerusalem and, immediately after Christ’s ascension, it appears to have had 120 members (Acts 1:15). By contrast, today there are more than 40,000 Christian denominations in the world.
The most striking difference between the first church and today’s worldwide church is that they were all of “one accord in prayer” (Acts 1:14). Jesus had told them to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Holy Spirit, so that was likely the focus of their prayer (Acts 1:4). But after the Spirit came at Pentecost, their unity in prayer continued as they chose a replacement for Judas Iscariot and chose men to assist the apostles in serving the church (Acts 1:24-25; 6:1-6). Jesus had made unity among His followers a matter for His own prayer (John 17:20-21).
It is to be expected that human beings, even Christians, will differ in their ideas. But the goal of unity through prayer is always the highest priority. If there is “one body and one Spirit” (and there is—Ephesians 4:4), unity should be the result.
To strive without sacrifice of truth for the visible unity of the body of Christ is to enhance its glory.
R. B. Kuiper
2 Samuel 17–19