Friday, May 29, 2020

Praying for South Africa

The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Prayer Cycle highlights southern Africa (Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland) from May 31st to 6th June, 2020.

We are invited to pray for our diaconal sisters and brothers in South Africa - the Highveld Deacons, and the Methodist Diaconal Order. They are member associations of DIAKONIA World Federation and DRAE (DIAKONIA Region Africa Europe).

Prayer from South Africa

How wonderful it is, how pleasant,
to be healed of the corrosive disease of racism and separation;
and to live as your people together in harmony.
Your Spirit will then fill the hearts and the minds of all people.
Nobody will be judged any more on the basis of race or colour;
but all will be ruled with justice and integrity.
The war will end and the people together will rebuild the country.
There will be no reference to the colour of the skin,
for all will be regarded as the people of God,
the people created in your image.
And this will be the beginning of what you have promised –
the life that never ends.
(South Africa Council of Churches, Marshalltown, South Africa)

Responsive prayer on poverty
Loving God,
we believe you are the God of the poor
and that poverty includes being hungry, unemployed and orphaned,
living on a pension or grant,
meagre earnings for arduous and hazardous work,
ill health, anxiety and stress and the absence of power,
worsened for women by unequal gender relations.
Loving God,
we hold up to you all those living in poverty.

We believe that God wants all people to live a dignified life
and engage in meaningful work,
that workers should receive fair wages,
and that those who possess more resources and skills
must share them in neighbourly love with those who have less.
Loving God,
open our eyes to the deep needs of those who are poor.

We believe that the challenge of fighting poverty
does not lie solely with governments,
but that faith-based organisations are ideally positioned to address it,
with their human and financial resources.
Loving God,
challenge us to see ways in which we can work against poverty.

We renew our commitment to be in solidarity with the poor
and to work against any form of injustice.
We commit ourselves to put our faith into action
and to demonstrate our faith in practical ways,
so that together we can overcome the scourge of poverty.
Loving God,
in your mercy, hear our prayer and strengthen us in our commitment
(Based on extracts from statements on poverty by Diakonia’s member churches, and in Pilgrimage of Hope © Diakonia Council of Churches 2009, Durban, South Africa)

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