December 15, 2014, was the first anniversary of the violence that began the current instability in South Sudan. As we reflected on this, and grieved at the significance, a missionary friend of ours began writing prayers for the nation. Many joined with us, to pray for ten days – from December 15, a day that speaks of death and conflict in this nation, until December 25, a day that speaks of peace and reconciliation for the whole world. Join us, as we continue to pray….
Day 1: Pray for Peace
As the violence and killing began December 15th, 2013, there will be many today (December 15, 2014) remembering those they have lost and what they have suffered. We pray that in their grief they will seek the Lord and remember His blood was poured out for peace and reconciliation. May the warring tribes humble themselves before each other and no longer cling to their hostility.
Ephesians 2:14 For He himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, …16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Day 2: Pray for Godly Governance
The South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar’s opposition have been stuck on how to share executive powers in a proposed transitional government since the violence began last year. The reports state that there is ‘little hope’ that peace can be attained and that this power struggle gives a lot of fears that the war will continue. We are asking God for non violent solutions to this power struggle and that South Sudan will have leaders who do not dispute over being the greatest, but rather serve their people, following the example of our Lord Jesus.
Luke 22:24 Then they (the disciples) began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.
Day 3: Pray for the church in South Sudan
Pray that the church of Jesus Christ in South Sudan will be united with a strong voice for peace and reconciliation in this nation, the newest and youngest country in the world. A house built on a firm foundation will last. In the same way, a country built on the firm foundation of faith in the Almighty God will overcome the pain and despair of this past year and bring HOPE and LOVE. Even the most serious barriers to development and education can be resolved when all sectors of the society work together in peace and with hope.
Psalm 33: 12-22
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth – he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.
No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.”
Day 4: Pray for health care
South Sudan has some of the most horrendous health statistics in the world with 1/7 women dying in childbirth and 1/8 children dying before the age of 5. There is no medical school for doctors in the country. HIV is becoming more prevalent. Malaria and Typhoid are endemic. Often people will visit the witchdoctor before coming to the hospital, by which time it might be too late.
We thank God for those working to try and see a change to these statistics, but when a nation is so unstable politically, it is difficult for real development and progress to be made. With the food shortage in the northern states and many people internally displaced from their homes due to fighting, people are living in crowded home situations with poor sanitation. Please pray that God would bring peace to this nation so true healing and hope can be seen. Pray that He would raise up a generation of compassionate healthcare workers from within this nation who love their people. Please pray for people to come here and teach and train medical skills.
Revelation 22:2 On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
Day 5: Pray for infrastructure
For the majority of the last 50 years, this country has been in war. Villages have been destroyed, development has been hindered and horrendous roads make transporting basic supplies in and out difficult. There is around 125 miles of paved road in the country – the rest is dirt!
Many live in mud tukuls which often need repairing after a rainy season. Most families need to walk to a well to pump water for their houses, some carrying water for miles to bring to their family. Many have no access to clean drinking water.
Please pray that the violence would stop so true development can occur. Please pray for people to come and rebuild the towns that have been destroyed. Please pray for basic infrastructure to be in place so that essential services can be made available. Please pray for wisdom as to how to use local resources for building.
9“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.