Beloved Christian Brothers and Sisters in all Churches, Denominations and Groups around the country,
A call for participation in a National Day of Prayer for the elections
20 March 2009
“I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so that I would not have to destroy the land….”
On behalf of a number of different Christian organisational and prayer networks, denominations and Christian leaders in spheres of influence across the nation, we are calling all Christians throughout South Africa to come together on Friday, March 20th for a National Day of Prayer to lift up to our God the forthcoming South African National Elections and the processes which will precede and follow them.
Our nation stands at a critically important crossroads when choices will be made about national, provincial and municipal leadership, which will affect our country profoundly for years to come.
Apart from our first non-racial democratic elections in 1994, we have not had an election of greater importance than this one. How we decide, whom we choose and the policies we embrace now, are issues far too important to leave to politicians alone. These matters require the full involvement and prayerful undergirding of all God’s people if we are to come through to the place of national peace, prosperity and stability which we all so deeply covet.
In the very fragile and perilous months which preceded our 1994 elections, South African believers prayed in an unprecedented way and called on God for His intervention. He heard those prayers and South Africa had an election to which even secular journalists attached the word “MIRACLE.” Our God is still a miracle-worker and Jesus still “the same, yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
We believe that this same Jesus by the power of His Holy Spirit will and needs to intervene in a similarly miraculous way again.
Beneath the apparently calm surface exterior of this nation, there are forces at work which are profoundly divisive, deeply alienating and potentially inflammatory to the point of engendering violent conflict.
Injudicious and unwise words uttered by political leaders unleash a destructive power which cannot easily be recalled nor their damage undone. Says the Apostle James: “The tongue is a fire. The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell” (James 1:6).
Now more than ever we as the Lord’s people need to rise and speak God’s wisdom, healing, reconciliation and love. We have to pray for the rhetoric of these months to be kept under the control of the Spirit of God, and for emotions to remain in check.
We also need our political processes to be controlled by Christian principle so that our fragile but precious young democracy may flourish and be given deeper stability by the Spirit of God.
All people of goodwill and faith need to have a clear understanding of the kinds of politicians we should be electing for places of public office. We need leaders who are characterised by:
* spiritual commitment behavioural integrity
* moral purity
* stable family life
* intellectual acumen
* social insight
* and finally, servanthood.
Servanthood in leaders seems to be the mark our Lord looks for most pressingly, not only from the example He Himself set, but from things He said. Thus He deplored how “the lords of the gentiles lord it” over people but insisted that His leaders should be servants of all and the leader as the “one who serves” (Luke 22:26).
So too in Romans the Apostle Paul speaks about governing authorities (Romans 13:1) as those who are “God’s servants for the good of all” (Romans 13:4). Thus the State is not autonomous or a law unto itself, but rather operates under God in a spirit of servanthood. Thus the command to rule is part of a higher command to obey.
We need to pray for this type of leader – even despite our democratic immaturity. While, we had a miracle in 1994, there is no reason why we should not have another in 2009. Nevertheless, we face many giants who would and could unravel us. These are well known: HIV/Aids pandemic, crime and corruption, poverty and unemployment, racism, sexism, the loss of a Judaeo-Christian moral base, and the breakdown of marriage and family life.
We also need to have God’s hand upon our legal processes. Our President of the ANC faces serious criminal charges. We need to pray that South Africans will be enabled to maintain social and political stability without sacrificing the integrity of our judiciary and legal system.
This is why as an assorted group of Christian leaders, we call upon God’s people everywhere to join together in prayer not only on March 20th, the National Day of Prayer, but during the days and weeks leading up to that.
We believe that our basic approach in this endeavour should be to call upon on churches, groups, business houses, factory employees, teachers and pupils, municipal and civic staff to pause at least at some time during the day of Fri, March 20th to pray for the nation.
On October 9th 1985 when South Africa was at another very perilous point, the leaders of the National Initiative for Reconciliation called for a one day Pray Away. Extraordinarily enough, most South African workers stayed home that day to pray and all over the nation in churches, halls, homes, private offices, and factory floors, people gathered to call on the Living God for His intervention. We need a similar national response right now. Will you be part of this?
Attached is a document drawn up by the Jericho Walls prayer network (firstname.lastname@example.org). Outlined in the attachment is a summary of the strategy as well as some prayer guidelines.
This call is being issued by NIRSA in association with the Evangelical Association of South Africa (TEASA), Jericho Walls, the Global Day of Prayer, Vote SA Initiative/Christian Lawyers Association; Heartlines and the broader church of South Africa, to pray and seek God’s face for our nation in this season of change and turmoil. We are calling on the church for one day of corporate prayer (Friday 20th March 2009)and three days of fasting and prayer leading up to it (18-20 March 2009).
We also need your feedback as to whether you will be participating and what you are planning to do so that we can build up momentum and encourage any who might be holding back.
God bless you all in everything in these demanding times.
“I tell you the truth anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:12-14.
Yes, let’s call on this God of impossibilities and see what He will do for us and our nation at this time.
Warmly in the love, grace and grip of Christ,
In association with:
* Jericho Walls
* Global Day of Prayer
* Vote SA Initiative/Christian Lawyers Association
* And others
For further information the following emails and phone numbers could prove helpful: ¨ NIRSA, Tel: +27 12 343 9488/9
Fax: +27 12 343 5280. Email: email@example.com ¨ Jericho Walls Tel: +27 12 365 3213 Fax: +27 12 365 3214
Contact Details: NIRSA , P.O. Box 14747 Hatfield 0028. Tel: +27 12 343 9488/9, Fax: 0866855649