Thursday, December 06, 2012

My open prayer to Almighty God for Malawi

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O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands. Lord, holiness and righteousness belong to you only; but as you see, our faces are covered with shame. This is true of all of us, including the people in government, and those scattered near and far, wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you. We have not obeyed the Lord our God, for we have not followed the instructions you give us through your servants. 

Your wrath, Lord God, is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of your people. We have suppressed the truth by our wickedness. For although we know your and your ordinances, yet we have neither glorified you as God nor gave thanks to you. Instead, our thinking has become futile and our foolish hearts are darkened. In professing to be wise, we have became fools. Now we have exchanged your immortal glory and made ourselves equal to animals and creeping creatures.

We have followed the sinful desires of our hearts to sexual impurity and we are degrading our bodies with one another. Lord, you have given us over to our shameful lusts. Our women exchange natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, our men have also abandoned natural relations with women and are inflamed with lust for one another. Men are committing shameful acts with other men, women with fellow women. Now we are receiving the due penalty for our error. We have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. We are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. We are gossipers, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful. Day after day, we invent ways of doing evil. We disobey our parents. We have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.

Now the solemn curses and judgments written in your book of law have been poured down on us because of our sin. You have kept your word and done to us and our rulers exactly as you warned us. Our enemies are laughing at us, they are mocking us and we are all filled with shame. Some are removing the landmarks set by our fore fathers. They want to violently take away the portion of our lake in the land of our ancestors. Hunger is looming and drought is approaching. You have commanded the clouds that they rain no rain upon the land because of our wickedness. The ground is parched and cracked because there is no rain in the land. The farmers are ashamed, deeply troubled and dismayed, and they cover their heads in shame.

Lord our God, you alone are merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against you in every way. In view of all your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn your furious anger away from your beloved nation Malawi. All the neighboring nations mock Malawi and your people because of our sins and the sins of our leaders. O our God, hear your servant’s prayer! Listen as I plead before your throne. For your own sake, Lord, smile again on your desolate sanctuary. We confess our sins and we repent. O my God, lean down and listen to me. Open your eyes and see our despair. See how your beautiful land, the country that bears your name, lies in ruins. We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy. O Lord, hear, O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for the nation that bears your name.

We know we have done wrong, but Lord, do not rebuke us in your anger or discipline us in your wrath. Turn, Lord, and deliver us; save us because of your unfailing love. May you open the floodgates of heaven and let the abundant rains fall in the land. Revive and rivers, lakes and streams. Make our land fertile again. Your word, Lord, is eternal and it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations. The laws of nature endure to this day, for all things serve you. As you promise to your servant Noah, we are sure that as long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night. Bring us out of this prison of dry spell, that we may praise your name. Then the righteous friends will gather about us for you shall deal bountifully with us.

O God, bless our land of Malawi, and keep it a land of peace!

[This is a paraphrase of Daniel's Prayer of Confession (Daniel 9:4-19) and Paul's letter to the Church in Rome (Romans 1:18-32). There are also some scriptures from Job 24:2, Psalm 142:7, Psalm 119:89-96 and Isaiah 5:6]

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