This year there has been a significant increase in (violent) protests over a wide variety of issues, across South Africa. The past few days were marked by several violent crime incidents, destruction of property, fearful intimidation and prohibition of citizens wanting to go to work. The estimated damage in the Hermanus violence is now at R40 million. In Pretoria, statues in the Helde-Akker were vandalised.
However difficult the situation, let us not become dismayed and discouraged, or fall into the trap of taking sides. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph.6:12). There are legitimate issues that need to be resolved. There are always reasons why people react violently and protest in many ways.
The violence is more damaging than helpful to communities and is often politically motivated because of racism or perceived racism. As Christians, we must view and respond to matters like these from a spiritual perspective and respond in a way that will testify of the manifest Christ in us, distinguishing our behaviour from others around us.
- For Believers everywhere to start small prayer groups, consisting of 2 or 3, watching for and standing in the gap for situations in their local area and sphere of influence. (Matt.18:20).
- For Believers to intentionally listen to the Holy Spirit, to be different in their response, to reach out, to help, to become involved, to support, and to take responsibility as the Holy Spirit leads them right where they are.
- For the vulnerable – for their protection, to put on the whole armour of God, that all may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Eph.6:11).
- For management/city councils – supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (1Tim.2:1-2).
- For those responsible for violence – that the negative and destructive mindsets will be renewed and for all thoughts to be brought into obedience to Christ; For the voice of the enemy to be silenced and ears to be opened to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
- For those instigating and organising violence – pray for the Holy Spirit to convict them of sin and of true righteousness. (John 16:8). Pray in the name of Jesus for the blindfold to be removed, for the conviction of ungodly deeds which are committed in an ungodly way (Jude1:15).
- For the church – to take up her place in every community across this nation to pray, to help, to guide and advise leaders who are desperate and in need of Godly counsel. (Eph.3:10).
- Spiritual and political leaders – pray for spiritual and political leaders to step into this situation and to give wise counsel and direction. Pray for leaders and spokespersons on both sides to be able to listen to one another, that emotions will not derail negotiations and the process of finding solutions.
- For practical solutions – pray for long-term and practical solutions. Pray for the real issues that caused the unrest to be discerned and that practical and effective solutions will be found.
Issued by Jericho Walls International Prayer Network on 19 July 2018