Prayer initiatives begun in South Africa went on to impact the whole world! The Global Day of Prayer started in Cape Town (2001), and Christians from almost every country joined in this event on Pentecost Sunday. Other prayer movements like Transformation Africa and Jericho Walls also influence many nations. The hosting of the Lausanne III Congress in Cape Town in 2010 was a major event in evangelical history. Biblical Christianity is strong in South Africa - but so are suffering, poverty, and violence. Pray for the many Christian agencies minister to the needy sections of society. Beautiful stories tell of Christians who show love to victims of rape, crime, and AIDS, and also to prisoners, slum-dwellers, and the very poor.
The legacy of apartheid continues to impact the nation. Despite progress in some areas, inequalities and injustices of the past continue to shape the future. Pray especially for:
- Reconciliation among all races. This applies not just to black-white dynamics, but also to coloured and Indian peoples as well as to relationships among various black ethnicities. The "rainbow nation" must still deal with contempt, mistrust and deep-seated hurts and fears among peoples of this diverse but troubled land. Pray that the Church might lead the way by living out the truth of oneness in Christ Jesus.
- Poverty and economic inequality. Land redistribution and affirmative action in employment are contentious intiatives that seek to assist the previously disadvantaged, but they come at a cost to the efficient running of the economy. Extremes of wealth and poverty persist. The black majority itself includes a wealthy elite and a poor majority, but the middle class is growing. Pray for economic measures that might uplift those most needing assistance without crippling the effective running of the economy.
- Rape and violent crime rates are alarmingly high. The proliferation of illegal firearms, poverty, desperation and lack of justice fuels hopelessness and anarchy. Pray for those working for justice and for people's safety - especially pray for the beleaguered police force. Pray for Christian ministries working with children at risk, jobless young people, prisoners and the police force. Pray that the spirit of violence - both physical and sexual - might be bound under the authority of Christ.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.