0103 - Weak, Weary, Strong: Enduring as a Bridge-Builder

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Hosts: Isaac Adams & Trillia Newbell

Overview: “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

In this third episode, Isaac Adams and Trillia Newbell discuss why being a bridge-builder is so difficult and how bridge builders, in Christ, can persevere in their ministries. The reality for anyone building a bridge is that bridges get stepped on, they get driven on from both sides, and they’re the first to freeze over when the bad weather hits. How might a bridge builder guard against cynicism and despair? Why should they pray for the very folks who are burning bridges? What might taking care of yourself as a bridge-builder look like?

We don’t have all the wisdom to answer these questions, and so we pray. 

Often, bridge-building work can be discouraging work because of sin—both the sin of others and our own. What’s more, bridge-builders can be tempted to look for external fruit from their labors, when the reality is that we cannot calculate our own fruit. We labor, but God gives the growth. Yet the great hope of bridge builders is that when we are weak, we are strong in the Lord. His grace is sufficient. His mercies are new each morning. And so we pray with this hope, knowing that, as one theologian said, “God will change out his workmen but carry on his work.”

If you know someone who is doing good bridge-building work, why not drop them a note of encouragement? We can never encourage one another too much. If there’s a brother or sister, whether publicly or locally, whose ministry you’ve appreciated, why not encourage them?

To learn more about United? We Pray follow us on Twitter or our website. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and subscribe using your favorite podcast client to hear more!

Recorded and produced by Karl Magnuson
Graphic design by Rob Alvey

0102 - Deep Demons: Race & The Church (w/ Ray Ortlund)

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Hosts: Isaac Adams & Trillia Newbell

Guest: Ray Ortlund

Overview: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

Join Trillia Newbell, Isaac Adams, and Ray Ortlund as they discuss racial strife and the church. While recording this episode, Ray made an apt analogy. He compared the evil of racism to the demon possessing the boy in Mark 9:14-29. Jesus said about that demon: "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer." Reflecting on racism in the church, Ray said, "that demon is deep, baby; it's deep!" And so we pray.

We pray, as Trillia mentioned, that we wouldn't be smiling racists. We confess our weakness. And we do so because, as Ray said, "If we’re really going to make a difference regarding ethnic strife and unity, prayer must be at the foundation of everything.”

Links & Show Notes:

1. Black Lives Matter and Racial Tension in America Here's an article breaking down the statistics of racial divisions in American churches in light of the racial strife from the last few years. 

2. Divided by Faith A fuller-treatment that analyzes, from a sociological perspective, the differences in worldviews of different evangelicals and how that leads to racial divisions. 

3. No Racial Reconciliation Without Intersectionality and Privilege Is "white privilege" a term devised simply to make white people feel guilty? This article looks at privilege, and the different kinds of privilege, and suggests how we might both reckon with the truth and use the benefits God has given us for the service of others. It re-frames the understanding of privilege in a biblical perspective and speaks to the need for a more dynamic conversation about the complexities of race if racial reconciliation will occur.   

To learn more about United? We Pray follow us on Twitter or our website. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and subscribe using your favorite podcast client to hear more!

Recorded and produced by Karl Magnuson
Graphic design by Rob Alvey

0101 - Pilot: What A Chorus That Would Be

Hosts: Isaac Adams & Trillia Newbell

Overview: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

In this first episode, Isaac Adams and Trillia Newbell discuss the purpose of United? We Pray and share their hopes for the podcast. The Bible makes clear that God’s people are a praying people, and United? We Pray seeks to encourage more prayer about racial struggles. We hope to pray proactively, and we hope to praise God, confess to God, thank God, and ask of God. What’s more, we hope that brothers and sisters listening in on these prayer join in prayer because, as Trillia says, “what a chorus that would be!” 

The issue of race, unity, and the church may daunt you; it may have you altogether weary. Wherever you may be, join us as we come to the throne of grace in Jesus’ name. We pray that we would see these issues not as something entirely negative, something like a prison, but as something that can glorify God, a prism that reflects his beauty. 

Links & Show Notes:

1. Francis Grimké Sermon Series — The Negro His Rights and Wrongs, The Forces For Him and Against Him

2. Trillia Newbell’s Call to Prayer Blog Post

3. Trillia’s children’s book: God’s Very Good Idea

To learn more about United? We Pray follow us on Twitter or our website. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and subscribe using your favorite podcast client to hear more!

Recorded and produced by Karl Magnuson
Graphic design by Rob Alvey

0100 - United? We Pray (Teaser)

One thing is clear: when it comes to unity in the church across racial lines, we need divine help. Prayer is how we ask for that help (James 1:5). Christians don't agree on how to address racial divisions, but Christians do agree that we ought to rely upon God in prayer. We must do more than pray if we are to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, but we cannot do less. Will you pray with us?

To learn more about United? We Pray follow us on Twitter or our website. Please consider rating the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and subscribe using your favorite podcast client to hear more!

Recorded and produced by Karl Magnuson
Graphic design by Rob Alvey