Sunday, January 6, 2008

We're All In This Together

I can’t get Kenya out of my head or off my heart. The country that was my adopted home for six g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s years, the people who opened my eyes to what joy and contentment looks like in Real Life, the place that for so long had seemingly avoided the pitfalls of tribalism in post-colonial Africa... Kenya is never far from my mind anyway, but these days I’m searching news sites and checking email frequently for updates on the situation, any glimmer of turning in the right direction.

Here are some specific prayer requests sent by a friend who has lived there, investing in the lives of Kenyans, for over 20 years:

Kenya needs our prayers
• Pray that the church will be THE CHURCH in this crisis: that it will be strength for the weak, that it will be a voice of peace and forgiveness to hearts harboring violence and evil, that it will be a source of food to the hungry and clothes and shelter to the homeless, and that it will be hope to those whose hope is faltering.
• Pray for continued mediation efforts for a peaceable solution to disputed election results.
• Pray that those involved in violence will become tired of fighting and lay down their weapons.
• Pray for those who have lost family and friends and who have lost their homes and are displaced -- may Jesus be their comfort in the hard days ahead.

For those who are interested, here are two reports -- an article by Reuters and a video by Al Jazeera (English) -- about Kenyans filling their churches today and praying for peace themselves. And here's an informative and provocative post by friends who returned to live there this year. Like-minded and like-hearted, they write about the possibility of peace if only Kenyan Christians would stand together as Kingdom people.

Loving justice, doing mercy and walking humbly (together, hand in hand and side by side) with God... Doesn’t sound like much at first, but it’s what our Heavenly Father prescribes, so it must be the cure for our many besetting societal ills. Which is exactly why the Enemy of our souls tries to keep it from happening, turning us on one another instead.

Which is why we all need to keep praying.

* * * * * * *
Lord have mercy on us
Come and heal our land
Cleanse with Your fire, heal with Your touch
Humbly we bow and call upon You now
O Lord, have mercy on us
O Lord, have mercy on us
(Words and Music by Graham kendrick)

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
(Micah 6:8 NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NIV)

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, Our strong deliverer

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint, You won't grow weary
You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

God, You are everlasting
(Words and Music by Chris Tomlin)

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