Reaching Outside the Bounds: Expect Your Miracle!

I was attending a secular university in Washington State one summer, a very long time ago. (Maybe my kids are right when they say I'm a dinosaur!) It had been a hectic week, filled with assignments, tests and nightmares, (these three words were synonyms, did you know?) And on Thursday night a friend asked my roommate and myself if we wanted to go out to McDonalds. Why not? We needed a break to regain our sanity, and an outing would do us all good!

Though we were all in different study programs, as we were chatting over our hamburgers, we compared notes. Suddenly it struck me that not only were we in different programs, but we were also from very different cultural and religious backgrounds. My roommate was Buddhist, the guy who had invited us was Baptist, and at the time I was attending a legalistic church, professing that only they would be saved.

Then the conversation veered towards the topic of Jesus Christ. I, for one, had hoped to keep from going there, for in many circumstances, such a topic amongst such a combination of faiths could turn nasty. But it wasn't so! I could only sit in awe as the three of us reverently spoke about the One who had come two thousand years ago, to save us from the very nasty destination we were heading for.

As we talked, the following text came to my mind: "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." (John 17:20-21 NIV)

Suddenly it struck me: Why don't believers from different Christian denominations, all of who supposedly profess as "Master" the One who prayed this prayer for unity, get along with one another all of the time? Right on the spot, I felt compelled to pray this very simple prayer: "Lord, may Your will become a reality in my life. May Your unity reign in our midst."

Years later, God opened my eyes and made me realize that my prayer had been answered. "How so?" I asked, confused. After all, churches in my province still compete with one another.

What was revealed to me blew my mind away! Unity is blatantly being broadcasted through the online ministry that God pushed me into initiating a few years ago!

It was with hesitation that I began this ministry, for I was convinced that I was far from being adequate providing such services. However my inadequacies were transformed into strengths when I let my Heavenly Father be at the helm! I realize now that Answers2Prayer does, indeed unashamedly broadcast unity among believers. Praise be to God! Our volunteers are from the four corners of the world, and they belong to a variety of different Christian denominations. Nonetheless, they are united by their three common goals:

1. To love God above all and to care for the people they are placed in contact with: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." (Matt 22:37 NIV); "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matt 22:39 NIV);

2. To be constant, effective witnesses of God's love: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt 28:18-20 NIV); and

3. To pray for, comfort and support those in need: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5:16 NIV)

Prior to Answers2Prayer, I had never witnessed such brotherly (and sisterly) love among believers. None of our volunteers are ignored. Everyone is important. When someone is sick or is in need of prayers, we all reach out in unity towards that person and shower him or her with our prayers. When one is discouraged, we do everything within our power to be of encouragement to that person. When one is facing heavy temptations, we reach out in love, without words of judgment, to support and encourage him or her to continue clinging to the One who promises victory.

Friends, unity is possible, but only when we set aside our own agendas and let God be God. I want to thank all of the Answers2Prayer volunteers for being such shining examples of God's grace, and for their genuine love towards one another and towards those in need.

God's promises are true. Claim them and trust Him. When you do, you will experience a revolution from the inside out. Unity is possible, genuine love among believers is possible, but only if we set our egos aside and let God be the Master of our lives.

"Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Heb 11:6 NIV)

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love . This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love : not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." (1 John 4:7-12 NIV)

Do you believe in genuine love?

Rob Chaffart

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