Prayer Time

Mark 11: 17

And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

This may be one of the most important devotionals I write all year.  In May we celebrated the National Day of Prayer. I would like to suggest that today offers an opportunity for another day of unified national prayer.

The election is over. Regardless of the outcomes, it is time for healing. A nation divided against itself cannot stand. It is time for us to pray for our nation and for unification. Put down the axes and knives and pick up the Word. Healing, restoration and unity is the theme of post-election America. Only Christians can lead this important shift. Lay down thoughts and words of what could have been or should have been. This election has been full of vitriol. Now is the time for Christian ideology to rise to the surface. Christ says those values are prayer and love. The time for vitriolic dialogue is over.  We now enter into a time of national healing and a sense of community, caring for one another in the love and grace of our Lord Jesus.

Interestingly, Jesus said his house was supposed to be a place of prayer for all nations. That should give us pause. He lived in a much smaller world than do we and yet his vision was beyond the borders of his own country. Though he did not have world news on his phone 24/7, he knew there were people all over the globe who needed prayer. We too need to pray for all the nations of the world, especially in this time of a global viral crisis. In the first place, we can gain more by working together. Secondly, what happens in other parts of the world can affect us.

Certainly our “houses of prayer” should be safe zones and places of abundant love and acceptance. They should be places where we pray for all the people of the world. However, there is a nuance here that is even larger. It is that we have become the temple of God. We are houses of prayer. That means that wherever we are, the house of prayer is too. Have we made this temple a den of robbers? Or is it still a house of prayer? The answer to those two questions is of great importance and perhaps a bit concerning. We need not, however, be crushed by the weight of the problems around us. We are part of the needed answers because we have the privilege of going right into the throne room of the creator. Let unity begin in the Christian house where we all meet at the throne to praise our king and petition Him for the needed help.

I hope you agree with me that this is a time of much needed prayer. And if you agree, I will be pleased to join my prayers to yours. Bless you for your faithfulness in Christ.

Perfect Unity

Philippians 2:2             Passion Translation

So I’m asking you, my friends, that you be joined together in perfect unity—with one heart, one passion, and united in one love. Walk together with one harmonious purpose and you will fill my heart with unbounded joy.

Our one passion is the trinity – Jesus our Messiah, the Holy Spirit our guide and our Father. We are to be united by our singular passion rather than divided by our many ideas and doctrines.

This is, I am convinced, an end times message. Jesus is supposed to come back for his glorious church but we are anything but that at the moment. However, there are stirrings. Churches are beginning to throw off their denominational robes in favor of one love of the king. With one heart, united in love, we are to walk together. We have been divided by our ideas, by our thinking, but we were never called to join together in oneness of thought. In fact, our communion was never meant to be an intellectual conclave. We are supposed to lead with our hearts and through love, connect with one another and the father.

There are a lot of different ideologies in the Christian church. Even among one denomination we find many different, and even conflicting, beliefs. I have the thought that when we get to heaven and take to the Father all the things we have argued so vehemently about He will say to us, “You were all wrong.” It is natural for us to develop our own cognitive map about our faith and equally natural for those to have different shading from person to person. In fact, I like to say we are all congregations of one because I often think that there are no two persons who believe exactly the same. That is okay, especially in this age of the Holy Spirit because he is able to give you nuances of a particular scripture that would not apply to or be meaningful to me. Still, we can be united in one common faith, one common non-denomination, if you will, because of our singular passion, the love of Father, Son and Spirit. At the end of the day, that is all that really matters. Jesus said the whole of the law and the teachings of the prophets can be summed up this way, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF’” (Matthew 22: 37 – 39).

If you believe in Christ and love God then you are a friend of mine. And here is the good news, you are not responsible for what I believe. We can differ safely because we will not go to hell because of another person’s misguided doctrine. Our concern is to love one another in faith, not correct one another. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good theological debate and I can tolerate differences of opinion. We don’t have to agree, in fact, the questions are what make the conversation. If you believe exactly as I do, then what is there to discuss?

All of this is to say that we can safely come together in the unity of Christ. This is our calling: one God, one faith. That we do not agree on everything is of no consequence. We agree that God is wondrous to behold, worthy of our praise. Jesus is the Messiah, our beloved and together with the Holy Spirit, they are all working together for our benefit and our eventual life with them. It will be glorious and we can learn all the answers then, though, something makes me think we will care very little. We will just want to gaze upon the Father. So, let’s spend our energy on what is important, loving God, loving one another and accept each other is the same grace that our Father extends to us. This is the coming together of the body in preparation for the coming of Christ.