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Prayers . . .from a house divided.
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Join Franklin Graham on October 4 at the Capitol East Steps for a time of prayer for our nation based on 2 Chronicles 7:14. Buses will be leaving Niles Michigan at 8 a.m. Seating is limited, reserve your seats today.

Praying in a house divided

A prayer unheard in heaven

CONSIDER THIS

Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. Matthew 12:25

A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

There is a great deal of talk about racism, one of the many ugly faces of division.  We all have prejudices of some type, learned from our family, culture and even in church.  Denominationalism is a prevalent form of division, doctrines that teach “our church does it correctly, their church dos not!” There are prejudices about wealthy pastors with mega churches and even churches that are prejudiced with respect to women.  Anti-Semitism within Christian churches is unfortunately still a reality.  There are countless forms of self-righteous prejudices practiced within the church, and it has been that way from the beginning of the church.  Religious prejudices and divisions have caused thousands of years of strife and persecution beginning with the first martyrs in Acts and continuing even today with the genocide of Christians in Syria and Iraq.
Undoubtedly, the human susceptibility to division and the resulting lack of power were what Jesus wanted the church to avoid.  He prayed in John 17:20-23
“I am not asking on behalf of them alone, but also on behalf of those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one—I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me."


This powerful prayer of our Lord and Savior leaves absolutely NO room for any type of division.  He has called His body of believers to be one with Him and the Father. Jesus said He has given the church His glory, received from God, for the specific purpose of perfect unity! When the church is united as a Body with the Father and Jesus, there is power!  And it starts with individuals getting over themselves to focus on being a vessel of God’s love in service, first to the Body and then to the world.

 
These attitudes and ingrained beliefs will absolutely inhibit prayer.
In America, Christians are still free and incredibly blessed.  Although religious freedom is being eroded, we are still better off than most of the world, including the rest of North America. We are not called to have a ‘victim’ mentality, nor do we need to exercise our ‘rights’.  Jesus was the Savior yet washed the feet of His disciples shortly before praying that prayer for unity.  As disciples of Jesus, we live through and with Him, ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ Acts 17:28.  We are in the world but not of the world any more than Jesus was (John 17:14).  Our ‘rights’ outside of Christ are irrelevant.
The ‘church’ should not be participating in the same divisions of the world and our culture.  Social issues of the world will never be corrected by worldly governments and courts; these are sin issues of unsaved hearts corrected only by the blood of Jesus.  The world will always have much division; the ‘church’ should be a shocking contrast.
There is no room for division in the Body. Attitudes about race, social class, education, affluence, political party and religious traditions need to be checked at the cross.  These attitudes and ingrained beliefs will absolutely inhibit prayer.  We cannot love our Christian brothers and sisters while talking trash about them, coveting their stuff (position, money, education, etc.) and exercising our pride muscles.  1 John 4:20 says “If someone says, "I love God," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?”
Prayers of divided people that originate from self instead of love will not be productive. 
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.  You adulterous (unfaithful) people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? James 4:1-4

Differences are necessary and our differences complement each other:  “But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.  I Corinthians 12:24-26.
Eleven Christians per hour, 273 a day, nearly 100,000 a year, are being killed.a  This isn’t just in the middle east, it happens around the world including the United States.b,c  Regardless of denomination, color of skin, gender, affluence, education or any other factor, Christians are being killed.  The unsaved world sees no difference, yet much of the body persists in division. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it;  Much of the church doesn’t even realize how the body is suffering.
The church cannot afford to be divided nor can it afford to be caught up in the cultural, racial and social issues that strive to divide.  The church’s role is one of loving each other and the world enough to share the healing freedom of God’s Truth.  The church is NOT called to conventional social activism and protests.  The body's members are being systematically slaughtered for the Name of Jesus while much of the American church idly sits by worrying about NFL protests. We need each other—“those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable. “ If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.
Just as Jesus crossed cultural borders between Jews and Samaritans, and the apostles led by Paul crossed all manner of borders between Jews and Gentiles, the church must cross borders between denominational, racial, education and social boundaries to unite in the grace provided at the cross.  God is no respecter of persons and doesn’t show favoritism. (Romans 2:11)  Neither should His followers. 

a. www.clarionproject.org/news/100000-christians-being-killed-faith-yearly#
b. www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7046/christian-slaughter
c. www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/02/oregon-shooter-said-to-have-singled-out-christians-for-killing-in-horrific-act-of-cowardice/?tid=a_inl

 

Upcoming Prayer Event

Franklin Graham's Decision Tour 2016 is coming to Michigan.  Mark your calendar for October 4 at 12 noon in Lansing.  Pray for the prayer team and the event; join the Facebook groupTell friends and family about this statewide movement and bring them with you on the 4th. Organize a group and make plans to attend Get tickets on the bus to the Decision America Tour prayer rally with Franklin Graham on from PrayMichiana.org or by calling (269) 262-5525.
We have a website!
Check out www.PrayMichiana.org to find out about upcoming events, prayer meetings and more!

Don't Forget . . .

With all the troubling events taking place, remember Christians that being persecuted around the world and our country's leaders in your prayers. 
Copyright © 2016 Michiana Prayer Group, All rights reserved.


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