Pray for Peace in South Sudan

January 30, 2014 • South Sudan

Christians in the violence-plagued country ask their brothers and sisters around the world to join them in asking God to heal their land even as a ceasefire is providing a glimmer of hope.

South Sudan has been struggling to avoid an outbreak of civil war. Fighting—both political and ethnic—has resulted in at least 1,000 deaths. More than 600,000 people are displaced. A tenuous ceasefire is now in place, but renewed violence is an ever-present danger.

Samaritan’s Purse evacuated more than 70 expatriate employees during the height of the violence. Two dozen of our staff are now rejoining the 800 national staff working to maintain services to the more than 500,000 beneficiaries who are recipients of food, water, medical care, and nutritional programs. They will focus on meeting critical needs and implementing life-saving programming.

Christians in South Sudan are asking fellow believers around the world to join them in praying for the peace of the world’s newest nation.

Bashir, a South Sudanese Christian and church planter who has worked with Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, reports from inside the country.

January 24

Lord, let your light lead us in this nation, let them lead us into your holy hill so that we, the children of South Sudan and the world, will praise you.

It has been just more than four weeks since the crisis erupted in South Sudan that has left thousands dead and many thousands out of their homes. The damages that happened within these five weeks are beyond easy repair and have left so many in greater fear and hopelessness.

We don’t know how long this will continue. We are afraid the air is getting thinner and thinner every day because of too much bad news and acts of atrocities.

Life seems to be getting back to normal but the constant question in the hearts and minds of people is, is this real or should we be expecting the worst?

Many South Sudanese want an end to the hostilities. We all rejoiced and thanked the Lord for the signing of the ceasefire. But we still keep on wondering what that really means. Is it just a break from fighting or is it the road map for finding a solution to this crisis? We keep on wondering and praying.

Despite the ceasefire, our prayer has not changed. The atrocities committed are terrible. We pray, Lord have mercy.

The ceasefire is signed on paper but what about the ceasefire on the human heart? When God created man, for sure He never intended for man to suffer like this. What has happened here, in just a short time, has damaged beyond easy repair! God have mercy.

The dangerous place to plan evil is in the human heart. The secret place to hide good and evil is the human heart. The safest place to keep peace is in the human heart.

South Sudan, if our hearts are not right with God, then everything that comes from our hearts will destroy our surroundings. We can never pretend to be right with God and hurt each other! God have mercy upon us.

Please pray along with us. We will not get comfortable until God touches this nation with true peace, forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation.

  • Please pray for the government of South Sudan, the president, and all the executives. Pray that the Lord will pour His Spirit upon them so as to choose peace and Godly ruling. So many lives have been lost and more might follow. Pray that the Lord’s hand will be upon them and will give them wisdom on how to handle these matters at hand (1 Timothy 2: 1-7).
  • Pray for the opposition group, that the Lord will grant them wisdom and move their hearts to made the choice of peace and unity.
  • Pray for the Church of Christ to stand strong as the pillar of God’s representatives of peace to preach forgiveness and God’s favor (Matthew 6: 9-15). The death of Christ described the work of God’s reconciliation with mankind (Roman 5: 8-10). Pray that God will reconcile the South Sudanese to Himself so that we can all be united in Christ as one Lord and one Savior. Once Christ is in our hearts, the Holy Spirit will always help and lead us to forgive one another.
  • Pray for those who are living in the bush with no food, water, and medical help. Nobody can reach them, but Christ can.
  • Pray for the efforts of peace from different organizations, particularly on the implementation of the current ceasefire and other outstanding issues. It’s critical, but we call the Name of God upon it.
  • Pray that violence and killing will stop, and for the spirit of death and destruction to leave South Sudan in Jesus’ Name. We have never witnessed a level of killing like we have experience this past five weeks. Pray that the Lord will take away the desire and hunger for fighting and replace it with a hunger for love and peaceful co-existence in the nation of South Sudan.

In moments like this, we should draw closer to God in prayers and devotion. For sure God is there and we will find Him. For His Name is a strong tower, and we should run into it and we shall find salvation.

I ask you again to stand with us in prayers every day just for two to five minutes. Pray for this nation. We don’t want it to remain the same; we pray and ask that the Lord will make all things new.

With all these I ask in Jesus Name. Amen.

January 14

“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. … The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalm 46:1-3, 7 ESV).

It’s true the Lord of hosts is with us. He will hear our voice.

The situation here is getting difficult and harder everyday and the air is getting too thin! A few times I was told to leave, but I say, “Lord, where should I leave to?”

I’m dealing with deep work here, trying to mobilize pastors, church leaders, and evangelists to preach salvation and forgiveness to the people of this nation so that they will embrace Christ and forgive the differences with each other and work on reconciliation.

It’s a very hard work, a hard approach, because it’s not popular as the wounds in the hearts of the people are still very fresh and it seems there is no room for forgiveness! But the Lord says, “Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth (South Sudan), for I am the Lord of hosts!”

I trust God, and I know He has a plan for this country. Let’s hang on there, for the Lord is with us; He is our fortress.

January 9

Dear family of Christ,

I would like to start by saying a big thank you all for standing with us in prayers for South Sudan. It’s so shocking to witness as well as hear how in a short time so many people were hurt and have lost their loved ones. The big question being asked by those who have really been affected by this is why? A lot have asked, “Is it the will of God? If there is a God who is good, then why this again?”

These are tough and very painful questions. Sometimes when I visit the Christian families, I end up having no words to say because the pain is so deep and too much. Only God can comfort and encourage and give a reason for some to remain hopeful.

Nobody intended for this to happen or at least to this level of gravity. But it has happened! Still we who are here, we still wonder whether this is it, or if it will get worse, or if peace will come. Tensions are high and it’s hard to predict whether the peace talks in Ethiopia will be successful, but for those who hope in the Lord, the Lord Himself will renew their strength.

We pray this week from Psalm 27 and proclaim that the Lord who was in the beginning will repeat His creation act of being the Light; the Lord who is our father will not neglect us, for He will hear our voice. I personally believe this is going to be a place and season where South Sudan will begin a new journey with the Lord, that South Sudan will learn, come out even better, and be a stronger and more God-seeking nation.

On Saturday, January 11, the South Sudan Council of Churches is bringing all the churches and government bodies together at All-Saints Cathedral in Juba to pray for peace. Please join us in prayers from wherever you are. We are committed to pray until the Lord transform South Sudan.

1) Prayer of repentance and confession (Joel 1:13-14 and 1 John 1:6) for sins committed and the series of serious atrocities, killing, looting, greed, corruption, and forgetting the Lord. Repentance on behalf of the nation so that South Sudanese return and love the Lord (Mark 12:30).

2) Forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15) for the killing of innocent people, looting, and destruction.

3) Prayer for unity (John 14:20-21) among churches, tribes, communities, families, and neighbors.

4) Prayer for peace, reconciliation, and healing (Roman 14:19). Peace with God, peace within ourselves, and peace with one another, that reconciliation leads to healing and sustainability of peace in the Republic of South Sudan.

5) Prayer for the government (Proverb 21:1): for political leaders, the national army, police, and prison officials, for the peace talks between the two parties in Addis Ababa and the chief mediators (James 3:18), for clear vision and a permanent constitution.

6) Prayer for the violence and fighting/bloodshed to stop (Genesis 4:10 and Isaiah 55:6-13). Stop the bloodshed, spirit of revenge, and tribal conflict. Let the blood of Jesus cover the land of South Sudan.

7) Pray for the affected states and displaced people for protection (2 Samuel 22:2-7), provision of the humanitarian aid, and comfort for those who lost their dear ones.

8) Prayer to bring South Sudan to a place of righteousness (Proverbs 14:34) and for effective servant leaders to emerge to disciple the nation.

May God bless you as you stand with us in this critical moment.

Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord!

January 4

This is a hard time for every one in South Sudan. We have never seen Juba like this before as the military movements increase.

One thing we hope is that the glory of the Lord may never leave us. We are mobilizing smaller groups to pray and encouraging others to pray individually at home and in their various places.

We don’t know what is going to happen or how this crisis will end. But one thing we are sure is, it’s going to take a long time and only God’s miraculous hand can heal this situation. People are saying that it’s a political problem and it can only be solved politically. But from what we have witnessed here, the government cannot attain it because the hearts of the people are seeking revenge and that will take the hand of God for reconciliation.

Here are prayer requests that you can also share with others who are interested in praying with us:

1) We are repenting before the Lord. On behalf of South Sudan, ask God to forgive and pour His righteous calling upon this nation. This nation was founded on the prayers of saints, but like children of Israel, they have forgotten about the Lord. We pray that the Lord will grant mercy and forgive and heal our land.

2) We pray that God will use His saints the believers to be peacemakers. What has happened here in South Sudan has cut too deep in the hearts of people and no signed document will be able to heal the wounds and hurt in the hearts of people. Pray that believers of Christ will be the peacemakers at such a time as this.

3) Pray that the violence and fighting will stop. We pray that the Lord will bring the solution. I’m not so sure whether people here would accept any form of resolution from any institution or authority, but we seek for God’s direct intervention now. Enough of the bloodshed, enough of the killings, and enough of all the hatreds. May God prevail in His power and righteousness.

4) Pray for protection of civilian populations in Bentiu where a lot of people have died and many more are hiding in the bushes risking their lives to flee and for those in the upper Nile and in the border regions with Sudan.

5) Pray for the peace talks in Ethiopia. We do not necessarily believe this is the only avenue to bring solution to this crisis but we pray that the Hand of God will be upon it. God can use this situation and turn it into something useful. We know God is capable!

6) Pray that God gives us the opportunity to turn away from our wicked ways and heal our land.

7) Pray that the Lord would also strengthen the faith of believers that they can share Christ wherever they are. Let’s pray that the Lord will encourage them and strengthen their faith to continue to share about the love of God to the people who are in need.

Thanks so much for encouraging others to stand with us in prayers.