A Prayer For My Country

A Prayer For My Country
Image credit: freeimages.com (user: andrewmill)

I wasn’t going to write about the latest horrific wave of xenophobic violence happening in South Africa. I didn’t want to add my outrage to everyone else’s, because I don’t think getting worked up helps at all. It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity and helplessness, especially if you’re active on social media. My Twitter feed is full of woe and doom, while my Facebook feed is post after post of inspirational stories about ordinary South Africans trying to make a difference, and encouraging Bible verses giving hope.

Needless to say, I’m taking a bit of a break from Twitter for a while.

My heart is sore for my country. I don’t understand the kind of fear and hate it takes to commit such acts of violence. I don’t want to understand it.

So what can I, as a Christian mother raising children in this beautiful, broken country, do to help?

I can certainly give money to various charities helping those affected by xenophobic violence. I can drop off groceries at one of the many camps. I can add #SayNoToXenophobia and #XenophobiaMustFall and #IamAfrican to all of my social media updates.

But that’s just treating the effects. What we need is a revolution – not a physical revolution but one in people’s hearts. Nothing is going to change if people don’t change their thinking.

Hashtags are not going to change the world. Telling people they’re wrong is not going to make them stop.

So, what then?

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14

O God, our country is broken. Our country is hurting and afraid. Lord, I pray for a spirit of peace in our country. I pray that all those who are involved in these mob attacks will stop. I pray that you will speak into their hearts and turn their fear and anger into love. I pray that they will become peacemakers instead of fighters, and that this violence will end.

Lord, I thank you for those who are working to help the people who have been injured and displaced by these attacks. I pray that you will provide for the needs of the people, that they will have shelter and food and clothes.

I pray for the leaders of our country. I pray that you will change their hearts,that they will speak out against the violence. If their hearts remain hard, then I pray that you will raise up God-fearing men and women to take their places.

I pray that the spirit of fear and negativity in our country will be replaced with a spirit of love and peace. I pray that people will turn to you, that we will become a country of forgiveness and mercy. Let us be peacemakers, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. – Leviticus 19:33-34

My church is assisting Primrose Methodist Church‘s work with those who have been affected by the violence. They are in need of the following:

N. 31 Polystyrene plates
Disposable cups
Disposable forks and spoons
Baby cereal
Purity baby food

They are also looking for volunteers who can assist during the week, even if only for an hour or two.

Goods can be delivered to Edenvale Baptist Church or Primrose Methodist Church. You can contact Primrose Methodist Church for more information.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. – Matthew 5:9

Please comment if you know of other relief work happening in other areas.

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