Thursday, December 19, 2013

“Prayer Service for the End to Unjust Rule”

Seen and heard on Ms. Theary C. Seng's Facebook accounts: 
 Photo: I'm so spoiled! Nick and Claire Wolterstorff hosted a dinner (Indonesian cuisine!) on my behalf and then gave me this priceless signed gift, Nick's most recent publication!
[Excerpts from this wonderful book (p. 236-8) which highlights the specific prayers to end apartheid. We can learn from the US Civil Rights Movement and the South Africans by praying more to end the destructive rule of Hun Sen and the CPP.]

“Prayer Service for the End to Unjust Rule”, 15 June 1985, South Africa

This day, O God of mercy
we bring before you all those
who suffer in prison,
who are oppressed,
who mourn those who died in freedom struggles
in places like Soweto, Cross Roads, Uitenhage,
Sharpville and many places not known to us.
Deliver us from the chains of apartheid, bring us all
to the true liberty of the sons and daughters of God.
Confound the ruthless, and grant us the power of your kingdom.

[In an open letter from prison, Allan Boesak wrote to the Minister of Education (South Africa) in March 2001 about the place of prayer within the protest movement:]

Prayer is not doctrinal formulations or the mumbling of magical formulas. Neither is it an escape from our earthly responsibilities. Rather it is a call to take up those responsibilities, not on our own, but in total dependence on the grace of God and in the power of God.

Yes, for this very reason our prayers are sometimes political. They must be, because all the world is the Lord’s, and there is no area of life, not a single inch, that is not subject to the lordship of Jesus Christ. So politics and politicians cannot consider themselves outside the demands of the gospel or outside the circle of prayer. We pray for politics, not because we feel much at home there, in that world of intrigue and compromise, of betrayal and awesome responsibility, but because even there we must assume our positions as believers. Even there we must dare to name God, to confess God within the womb of politics, and to challenge every idolatry that seeks to displace God in the lives of God’s people. And so we came together to pray for transformation, political and societal and economic; and we prayed for personal transformation, for conversion, so that people might be driven by inner conviction rather than by political expediency.

We pray also because we believe passionately in the power of prayer. Prayer changes things, Christians say, and that is true. It is that conviction, you will remember, that inspired us in 1985 to call for a day of prayer for the downfall of the apartheid regime. We prayed then in the midst of a storm too, and we were viciously condemned by all who felt themselves threatened by a God who listens to the prayers of the oppressed. We were vilified by those whose interests could not abide the changes we were praying for. But the thing is, God heard our prayers, things changed, and apartheid is no more…

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