What does the need to pray earnestly, and the growing disunity among followers of Jesus have in common? For me, these two things have merged in an unusual way. The visual I have is of two Christians holding opposite views about a volatile current event, kneeling side by side, and beseeching God for His will to be accomplished on the matter. No hedged prayer hoping God will enlighten the other person as if that is what’s necessary to accomplish His divine will— just two Christ-ones with everything essential in common, asking God to come and do what He deems right to do.
So, I’m asking myself who I know personally, who clearly holds an opposing view to the one I hold about any of the following issues, (not an exclusive list):
- about politics and the coming election
- about the State and Federal mandates regarding COVID
- about mask-wearing
- about Church indoors or outdoors
- about the State and Federal response
to riots and protests
- about the subject of racism
- about the way the police engage
with our black community
I have Christian brothers and sisters who think differently than I do about most of the list above. I’m guessing you do too. What I intend to do is to invite a person on the other side of a current-event-fence and ask if they would meet with me, in the spirit of unity, and cry out to our God— together— side by side— foregoing our limited lenses and linking arms before the only wise God. One single item would make up our agenda: YOUR WILL BE DONE. The grounds rules— to acknowledge our differing views but not to jump into a discussion about them AT ALL.
I’ll keep you posted about how this goes. And if you want to jump in the pool too, please let me know how God meets you and your partner in prayer. Here’s to resisting the plethora of invitations to Christians to hate one other. Here’s to purposing NOT to allow our opinions to pit us against one another. Here’s to resisting the devil and NOT embracing his horrible, insidious attempts to divide us.
Perhaps in doing this, we might learn again the art of lovingly addressing our differences without losing the bonds of fellowship. Let’s cease-fire and pray!
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to walk in a manner worthy
of the calling to which you have been called,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another in love,
eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit
in the bond of peace.