Week 23 - Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland

3 June - 31 December 1969

Intercessions

Give thanks for:

  • Those around the world who worked for an end to apartheid and who continue to strive against racism in all its forms.
  • Nelson Mandela, a beacon of hope, a leader who brought his people to freedom, and then gave up power as a model of democracy.
  • The prophet Ntsikana, the first Xhosa Christian convert, whose witness led to the spread of the Christian faith among the Xhosa people in South Africa during the early nineteenth century. He wrote Christian music for his people and he preached peace.
  • Those who care for children who have been orphaned by the HIV and AIDS crisis.
  • Those who raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and provide services for those living with this disease.
  • Those who dare to bring the issues of sexuality into the church in order to prevent God’s people from dying.
  • Songs which proclaim justice, freedom, and hope.
  • Overtone singing, the ability to sing two notes at the same time, and the uhadi, a musical bow used to accompany songs.
  • Ecumenical efforts in these countries as they seek to find unity and face political, social, and cultural challenges with a united voice of faith and witness.

Pray for:

  • Stability and justice in the government, that all may receive fair treatment.
  • Those who lead subsistence lives, who continue to live in substandard housing, are unemployed, who do not have access to safe water or sanitation, who suffer from malnutrition and the effects of drought.
  • A fair distribution of wealth from natural resources so that it contributes to the general well-being, not just that of foreigners.
  • Continued healing and rebuilding of these nations that have been torn apart on the basis of race.
  • Land and educational reform, economic justice, and access to medical care for people of all colours and ethnicities.
  • Women and children who continue to bear the brunt of poverty and are vulnerable to domestic violence.
  • Young girls who have been raped in the mistaken belief that this is a cure for AIDS.
  • Parents who see their children die of disease and malnutrition, and children who see their parents die of AIDS.

 

Prayer

Psalm 139

Lord, you have examined me and you know me.
You know everything I do;
from far away you understand all my thoughts.
You see me, whether I am confessing or denying you.
Even before I speak,
you already know what I will say.
You are all around me on every side;
you protect me with your power.
Your knowledge of me is too deep,
for you knew me before I was born;
and this is beyond my understanding.
It is very dangerous to serve you in this world,
but where can I go to escape
from being the instrument of your peace?
What far place can I flee to,
without confessing you? 

If I withdraw myself into “neutrality”,
you would be there;
if I go into my office to hide behind my typewriter
you would be there;
if I take refuge in the farthest country
away from the oppression of my people,
you would be there,
to remind me of what I promised you.
I could ask the darkness of my pain and humiliation
to cover me,
or the light of your love in my life
to turn into darkness;
but even the night of my suffering
dissolves in the light of your presence. 

You created me in your image and loved me
even before my mother conceived me.
I praise you,
what you do is so wonderful
and above our human understanding. 

Examine me, O God, and change my mind;
test me, and clean my thoughts.
Start the revolution in my life,
create me anew,
and guide me in the everlasting way.

 

 

(prayer text for 2007)

God,
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.