The older I’ve gotten the harder it’s been to make real friends. When I was younger it was far easier. Two of my grade school best friends, Jonathan and Trevor, I met while in kindergarten, with the simple opening question: “Do you want to be my friend?” With that simple opener, we became fast and close childhood friends, despite tremendous differences in our personalities and interests.

However, the older I got the more my friends were built around the things that we had in common: common hobbies, passions, and interests. Altogether, these things built a self-selected pool of individuals who had a common comfort zone. In Junior High and High School, my friends had similar interests in bands, sports, and hobbies. That’s the way we often make friends in the world; through a common comfort zone.

Christ calls us to make a different set of relationships. These relationships are built between people with tremendous differences of personality, cultures, and passions. We can even see this reflected in the sort of people Jesus selected as his disciples. Levi, the tax collector sellout, is in the same circle as Simon, the religious extremist zealot. And yet, though Levi, Simon, and the other ten disciples, have tremendous differences, they are all gathered around a common person: Christ. What gave Christ the tremendous ability to unite these different people? The answer is, at least in part, found in what Christ does at the very beginning of this passage in verse 12: “he went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.”

Before he entered the tension of the twelve men he had assembled, Christ spent an abundant amount of time with his Father. This reveals the secret of the people of God: they are gathered and united together by prayer. Prayer is the only way that we can hope to connect a group of people who are totally different from one another: in culture, in personality, in interests, in backgrounds, and in giftedness. Because time spent in prayer is time spent with the Father, and from being one with the Father in prayer, we can experience what it’s like to be one with one another (John 17:21).

As a church, we engage with a monthly night of prayer, the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30PM. We have such an opportunity tonight! We would love to see you there and experience together the power of prayer to unite our church family.

Ryan Lunde
Young Adults Pastor

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