Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Prayer for Zimbabwe

The following is a prayer for Zimbabwe, submitted by Joy Kauffman, who has been an active voice in calling the Christian Church to pray for Zimbabwe...not just in this election season, but also year round. -Ryan


A prayer for Zimbabwe

and for us as fellow members of the Body of Christ

Faithful God, in this time of turmoil and hope for your people living in Zimbabwe, we lift our voices and lives to you. We pray that during this time of elections, you will bind the hands of those who want to unjustly grasp for power and awake the consciences of those who would aid them. We pray for true peace and we pray for change.

Nonviolent Lord, like you we seek to empty ourselves of the power of violence and embrace the power of self-giving love, looking first to the interests of the poor and the oppressed of this world.

Intervening Messiah, you have called your people to be one, transnational Body of Christ, intervening in places of suffering in this world.

We, as members of the Mennonite church living in North America, confess that we have often looked first to our own interests and forgotten that our Body transcends all borders. We confess that we have indulged in the exploitative consumption made possible by alliances between our government, multinational corporations and oppressive governments like Zimbabwe’s. We confess that, in places like Zimbabwe, we have largely ignored decades of a silent civil war of a government at war with its own citizens. We confess we have seen Zimbabwe as a place of “peace” when there is no peace.

Faithful God, we thank you for the faithful witness of the Zimbabwean Brethren in Christ Churches (BICC) as they shared their resources and hospitality with us during Mennonite World Conference in 2003.

Missional Lord, we thank you that their witness as a missional church has not been shaken by our neglect and their extreme suffering. Out of their poverty many Zimbabwean BICC congregations are supporting hundreds of AIDS orphans and widows and others they have given generously to plant churches in Mozambique. We pray we will receive the spiritual blessings that the Zimbabwean BICC have to offer us.

Peaceful Messiah, we are humbled by their faith and hope as expressed by Bishop Danisa Ndlovu: “In the oppression we are in, where our dreams for our children have crumbled and families are lost, we must vow to draw closer to God who is our hope and our peace.”[1]

While we celebrate the many ways Mennonites have sought the interests of others, we ask your forgiveness God for ways we haven’t. We confess to you O Lord that we have failed to remember those in Zimbabwe who have been and are in prison, as though we were in prison with them; those who have been and are being tortured, as though we were being tortured; those who have been and are hungry, as though we were being hungry. Even as we hope for a new era of true peace in Zimbabwe, we recognize that these silent civil wars of oppression and repression cause suffering in the Body of Christ in other nations. We seek to awaken to the pain of others and to respond with generosity and self-giving love as the Body of Christ.

Faithful God, as we continue to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we remember our call to be His Body here on earth. We seek to lead lives that are worthy of this high calling,

Loving God, we thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit that empowers us to be the Body, with you Jesus as the head of us all.

Generous God, thank you for allowing us to be part of your Body with sisters and brothers around the world who cry out and work for justice and peace. Help us to listen and respond, especially to those who are so oppressed that their cry may be only a whisper.

Walk with them, and with us as we are inspired by the faithfulness of the Zimbabwean BICC and as we all seek to imitate Christ’s faithfulness.


Suggested Scripture Reading:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. - Romans 12:1-5

Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross. - Philippians 2:4-8

But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.- Ephesians 4:15-16

[1] MWC Press Release September 10, 2007:

No comments: