Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much James 5:16
Prejudice is a common issue all across denominational lines. Many of our greatest struggles in relationships seem to be within the the church rather than out in the world. Amazingly even in the early church they had the very same issues! Right after the miracles and with the church growing at a phenomenal pace they ran into difficulties between the Greek Jews and the Hebrew Jews. It was a conflict that in various forms was played out through the entire book of Acts. What is encouraging is that though even the early church had problems, God worked with them in just as He continues to work with us today.
The breakthrough came, not because of some program or by the power of reason but by God’s action with a non-Christian Roman centurion named Cornelius and the Apostle Peter. First God spoke by an angel to Cornelius as he was praying and told him to send for Peter to learn the way of salvation. Cornelius then sent a delegation to Peter to find out what God wanted him to know. Since the apostles weren’t even speaking with Greek speaking Jews much less Romans, God had to send a vision to Peter telling him to receive the men coming to see him. After Peter went to Cornelius’ house and heard about Cornelius’ prayers and the angel visitation Peter came to a startling conclusion. God didn’t think the way that he did! God in fact cared about people whom Peter would not have even spoken with the previous day!
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him Acts 10:34-35
Is God’s work being slowed down by how we think about others? Who might we be praying for and reaching if we began to see them through the eyes of God? How much more effective might our prayers be if we saw men through the eyes of God rather than God through the eyes of men!