Pray for SA

It’s safe to say we’re all concerned. A resurgent pandemic, escalated grieving, and now civil unrest. I’m sure we’re all feeling tired, disappointed & anxious.

What do we do with this?

First of all… Pray

1 Timothy 2:1-2

Prayer is always our first response. The instruction to pray in 1 Timothy has some clear prayer points:

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way

1 Timothy 2:1-2

  • Supplication’ means asking. Anyone can ask. You can even ask without words. Grieving is asking. Lamenting is asking. Ask and don’t stop asking (Luke 11:5-10).
  • Intercession’ means asking on behalf of someone else. In particular we will need to intercede for:
    • Those caught in the midst of the violence, suffering loss of property and physical harm.
    • Exhausted & anxious medical workers.
    • Our President and Ministers, leaders of teams helping bring stability.
    • The police, security workers and armed forces.
  • Prayers’ refers to the kinds of prayers we might always pray, regardless of circumstances. For now that would include:
    • Prayers for justice (Luke 18:1-8).
    • Prayers for the Holy Spirit to bring conviction of wrong doing (John 16:8).
    • Prayers for those lost in darkness to see the wonderful light of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).

Don’t leave that last one out (you might be tempted to). The very next verses in 1 Timothy:

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth

1 Timothy 2: 3-4

  • Lastly, let’s not forget ‘thanksgiving’. At times like this it might be hard to be thankful, but we call to mind the mighty miracles God has done in our country in the past. We’ve been here before. He has miraculously intervened.

Second of all, be an agent of hope & peace

James 3:18

That means:

    • Speaking words of hope to those around you (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
    • Being a peacemaker where you have opportunity (Matthew 5:9)
    • Refraining from spreading fake news and fear mongering. We are a people of hope, and we are a people of the truth (Proverbs 6:19).
    • Don’t “sow discord” by the way we speak about people in the news. (Titus 3:2)

It is nothing new for a nation to be in turmoil. God has always been directing human hearts towards His ultimate rule. Be encouraged with these words from a nation in turmoil long before ours:

“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Selah

Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Selah

Psalm 46

Lamenting with you, hoping with you, praying with you,

Richard.