'Reconciliation by Josefina de Vasconcellos at Coventry Cathedral' photo (c) 2011, Ben Sutherland - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

We had a wonderful church service this morning, with a missionary couple sharing about what God is doing in Latin America. It was beautiful.

But one thing that struck me was this. The speaker’s main point is that Jesus has already been given authority; we just need to pray together with Him and things will change. One of the reasons we don’t pray, though, is because we aren’t reconciled to one another.

You know the verse that says,

Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:19)

The key point of that is that we must AGREE. And I think of the areas of my life in which I’m having difficulty right now, and it tends to be because there is some ill will and just disagreement among people, even people of faith. We can’t pray together if we can’t first agree.

That’s the same in marriage. I receive so many emails asking for advice, and mostly it boils down to the fact that the two spouses have very different views on marriage and on who is right and who is wrong. They have grown apart. They resent each other. There’s sin involved.

And how can you move forward, how can God work, if you can’t pray? And you can’t pray if you can’t agree.

That doesn’t mean we can’t pray on our own. I’m just saying that the fundamental problem I see in so many areas is that we have not yet received or participated in the true ministry of reconciliation. We don’t know how to handle conflict. We don’t do a good job of finding unity. We paper over problems rather than deal with them, but then we become bitter because things don’t change. We take offense too easily.

I am staring into a few weeks of conflict in front of me in one area of my life (don’t worry; it’s not my family). Until this morning I was trying to figure out how I could make sure that the outcome was the right one. I am now thinking I need to change my attitude, and instead focus on reconciliation. I don’t know how to get there, but I’m praying.

Those are my Sunday afternoon thoughts. What are yours? Do you have problems with reconciliation in your life?