Prayer alone cannot bring change
Posted Friday, October 4 2013 at 01:00
For many people in hard situations, prayer is the ultimate resort. Where wisdom fails, prayers provide the anchor beyond the realm of the physical. Prayer for many is sacred and powerful. Entering Parliament, on the top wall opposite the entrance, is a banner reading: “The 15th National Prayer Breakfast,” with the theme: “Advancing into 50 years with a National Vision.” If you asked several Ugandans what a national prayer breakfast is, you would be surprised at the answers they give.
A national prayer is a wonderful spiritual initiative, in 2 Chronicles 7:14 God advised the children of Israel on prayer: “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”. It shows the ability of prayer to bring forgiveness, healing and transformation. But prayer is premised on a number of things: truthfulness, humility and turning from wicked ways.
For the last 14 years, we have prayed, is Uganda better? Is the prayer life of the country reflected in our lives? Year after year, new shocking scandals of corruption, loss of public interest, respect for humanity and dignity, injustice among our people have become normal occurrences. Prayer for many has become a ritual and lost its sacredness. Prayer cannot be a substitute for doing what is right.
It is tied to human relations based on justice and mercy, for one cannot love God and yet hate man who is His image.
The question is if you called ordinary Ugandans for a national prayer, what would be their prayer requests: I see an old woman raising her hand telling the preacher, “My son, I am 90- years-old, I was born on this land, now a rich young man is telling me that he own this land. Please tell God on my behalf that I need at least a small plot to stay on.” I would see a mid-aged mother, praying to God to help her raise at least Shs150, 000 to take her child to the doctor. Her child has cancer. She does not want to lose her but she also does not have money for medication.
Will such prayer requests be represented in the national prayer breakfast or shall we simply raise our voices and thank God for peace and for a vision of the next 50 years? A vision exclusive of the people that God has a special place in his heart for ; the weak, the vulnerable, and the poor of society.
“We shall know them by their fruit” Jesus declared. Prayer should stem from the inner convictions, groaning, burden and aspirations of the people, without such, prayer cannot produce fruit that can transform the people and society.