How Do We Pray When We Are Divided?

March 11, 2019 by Staff of The Upper Room

“When we pray for people with whom we are in conflict, we open a channel through which God will work fully as much within us as within the wider situation.” —Stephen V. Doughty

All families experience conflict, but rarely does it become so destructive and harmful that it threatens to divide us and redefine relationships for years to come.

We see and hear the pain and hurt that our United Methodist family is experiencing due to the recent actions of General Conference in St. Louis, and our heart breaks.

We give thanks that we follow a God who has experienced such pain, a God who knows about broken hearts and how to heal them.

As staff of The Upper Room, our work is to create safe space, holy ground, for the healing, transformation, and love of the whole world and everyone in it.

We offer a few helps on this journey of healing and transformation. The road is not easy. Thank God we do not go it alone.

 Resources for Conflict and Community

  • “How Do We Pray When We Are Divided?” by Stephen V. Doughty helps us to grapple with the uneasiness of conflict as we continue to pursue prayer.  
  • God Unbound by Elaine Heath takes a close look at Paul and his letter to the Galatians, who were going through a sea of cultural change. Heath invites us to broaden our view of God and to become a more diverse church.
  • Living Compassion by Andrew Dreitcer introduces us to the Compassion Practice, a compassion formation process that has been developed in the last decade. Each chapter includes a "Review and Practice" section that helps us apply what we learned. 
  • Practicing Compassion by Frank Rogers helps us to incorporate compassion in our daily lives. 
  • The Spirit and Art of Conflict Transformation by Thomas Porter challenges us to transform conflict into a positive rather than a negative force, basing this spiritual pursuit on grounded biblical principles.
  • Conflict and Communion, a series of essays written by a diverse group of church leaders, reflects on how the Lord’s Table can be a place of healing and restoration for those who are hurting.
  • Prayer, Stress, and Our Inner Wounds by Flora Slosson Wuellner looks at inner wounds and reminds us that healing was central to Jesus' ministry.


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