Last Thursday was the National Day of Prayer here in the US, and I attended my first-ever meeting at one of these celebrations. It happened at our local courthouse, and around 1200 people showed up. That was really great considering that our town's population is around 17,000 and about 500 showed up last year. One of the best parts was when everyone started saying the Lord's Prayer at the same time. Over a thousand people of different backgrounds and denominations, all joining together in a well-known prayer. Regardless of our histories or churches, we were united in praying together for the betterment of our community and country.
The next morning I attended a meeting of local pastors for a time of prayer. There was little socializing and no preaching. For about an hour we prayed together, each in our own ways, for each other, the community, and whatever struck us. This was the first time I have attended something like this, and I wasn't sure what to expect. Again, like the day before, I was struck by the fact that we were from very different places and even theological beliefs, yet we were coming together in a common purpose and faith.
I can't stand how much arguing is done over small differences in doctrine or Biblical interpretation. Yes, those points may be important to the person holding those beliefs, but are they really so important in the grand scheme of things? And are they really that important if they keep Christians from coming together as one under Christ?
Seeing these gatherings in my own city gives me hope. If we as Christians could unite in one single faith, we could change the world in ways never before seen.