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University Shows How Racial Tensions Can Be Healed Through God

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Students and faculty at Arizona Christian University recently lived out Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of different races working, praying and struggling together to live up to the nation’s highest ideals.

ACU president Len Munsil told the roughly 200 people gathered Friday for the unity walk and prayer meeting that the event came about through the initiative of students who approached him to talk about the current racial tensions in the country and how to best address them as a student body.

“We had an amazing time together and it just was so obvious, I think, for those of us that were in the room, that God is doing something here that is unique and special,” Munsil said.

“And we have the ability here at Arizona Christian University to do things that really, really matter. We know that the fervent, effectual prayer of a righteous people avails much,” he added, referencing a well-known passage from the Bible’s book of James.

Friday’s event began with some of ACU’s students walking arm-in-arm across campus, which is located in Glendale, near Phoenix.

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Following the unity walk, campus pastor Dr. Jason Hubbard presided over a prayer meeting.

Some topics included racism, forgiveness, reconciliation, unity and healing.

Do you think prayer can help bring about racial reconciliation?

Each subject began with someone leading the entire gathering in prayer, and then everyone breaking up into small groups to further pray about the issue.

Before launching into their petitions, those assembled received a copy of a statement put together by both students and school leadership, which attendees all read in unison.

“Acts 17:26 teaches us that from one man — on race, one blood — come all peoples and nations of the world. The students, staff, faculty and administration of Arizona Christian University stand #unitedinprayer to end racism, injustice and unequal treatment based on race,” the statement read.

“We mutually pledge to ‘love one another’ as brothers and sisters in Christ, without regard to race or ethnicity. At ACU, we seek to demonstrate to the world that unity and reconciliation is possible through shared faith in Jesus Christ.”

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Junior Jazmin Garven then sang a song she wrote following the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests and riots.

The first verse of “Sounds of Innocence” spoke to the pain and loss Floyd’s daughter felt upon learning she no longer had a father, while the second verse addressed the same pain experienced by the children of police officers who die in the line of duty.

The final verse pointed to the hope and healing that only Christ can bring to those who’ve known injustice and loss, because he is a savior acquainted with grief.

Tanya Mihailov — whose daughter attends ACU — led the group in prayer for forgiveness and reconciliation with their fellow man and for people not in a relationship with God to be reconciled to him.

“You saved us Lord, not just that we as individuals could be in a saved club,” she prayed.

“But to leave us here for a season so that we can impact this world for your kingdom and show nonbelievers what a citizen of your kingdom should look like and call them to be reconciled with you,” the Naval Academy graduate added.

Bryce Mackey, a senior on the ACU football team, offered a prayer for unity.

“God, I pray that you rain down your power, your glory and your love for us, God, as we sing, ‘Holy, holy, holy,’ oh God. God, we are unified as one through you,” he prayed, in part.

Transformational coach Randy Chambers, who works with the sports teams on campus, lifted up a prayer for the nation’s healing, drawing from a biblical passage Ronald Reagan placed his hand on when being sworn in as president in 1981: 2 Chronicles 7:14.

“Your word says that ‘If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven. I will forgive their sin and I will heal their land.’ We pray for healing on this land,” Chambers said.

Chambers also pulled from the book of Jeremiah 33, saying: “[God’s] seen our ways, but he will heal us.

“He will guide us and restore comfort,” he said, before again citing scripture: “I will bring health and healing. I will heal my people, and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”

The prayer assembly ended with everyone forming a circle around a statue of the globe and singing “Amazing Grace.”

Munsil shared a little history about the tune first, noting it was written by John Newton, who had been a slave trader in the mid-1700s, but whose heart was then changed by God.

Newton would go on to become a pastor and spend the latter years of his life fighting to end slavery in Great Britain.

Santan Smith, a freshman who attended Friday’s unity event, loved it.

“Well, it was phenomenal, a phenomenal experience seeing everyone come together in Christ, acknowledging that he is our savior and that we are one in his body and in him,” he told The Western Journal.

“Really representative of how Christianity brings all of us together, and truly represents unity,” Smith added.

Friend and fellow freshman Elliott Simpson agreed.

“I was glad to see everybody come together and show unity,” Simpson told The Western Journal.

“And I just hope it continues and we can just spread this out and reach the world and make it bigger than just ACU,” the Marine Corps veteran added.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 1,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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