Our Father in heaven, hear our prayers for peace

Our Father in heaven, hear our prayers for peace

Pope Francis has invited all men and women, regardless of their religious denomination, to join a special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace for war-torn nations, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan.

The call to prayer has been echoed by the Head of the Church of England, Archbishop Justin Welby, who said, ‘I support this call and invite you to join us – and people around the world – in praying that these terribly suffering populations will know peace’.

Will you join with us in prayer for South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo?

‘We are called to pray fervently for the millions of people who simply cannot take any more of this war,' Archbishop Welby exhorts (read the Archbishop's call the prayer here). So today, MAF staff from around the world are offering up their prayers for peace. We invite you to add your prayers to ours for two countries. 

Both nations are home to Mission Aviation Fellowship programmes where staff have seen first-hand the effects of war on its citizens and all the challenges that brings. As a Christ-centred organisation, MAF encourages all its supporters to pray for the nations where it works and the specific needs that each nation and programme faces.

Pilot and Programme Manager Jon, prays for an end to ethnic violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  

'We have seen an upswing of violence in our province as ethnic fighting has started up again.  There have been a number of killings and burning of villages and thousands of displaced people, both internally and into neighbouring Uganda.  Please pray that the hand of the Lord would be over the area to bring peace to the hearts and minds of people who have been traumatised by this harsh lifestyle for so many years now.’ 

Facilities Manager James, prays for an end to persecution in South Sudan. 

‘We lift up this nation of South Sudan before you Lord our God. Only you truly know the complexities of the situation here and the turmoil brought about by centuries of conflict. Father, we plead on behalf of those who have been persecuted and downtrodden that you will have mercy on them, that they may be able to find in their villages a place of peace and rest. 

For those who are persecuting others Lord, please convict them and cause them to show mercy and forgiveness - even to those on whom they feel justified in paying out retribution.’

And prays for the nations leaders... 

‘Lord we particularly pray for the leaders of South Sudan. May the government make fair and just laws to govern the land. May the local elders guide wisely the communities over which you have placed them and may the leaders of the church in South Sudan seek to glorify you in all their ways, renouncing their loyalty to any power other than you our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

'We know Lord that true, lasting peace will never come from legislation, armament or aid programs but rather from the heart of every man, woman and child. So, Lord we pray for a change in the hearts of the people of South Sudan, that every individual will genuinely seek your face, that they will renounce evil and embrace you, clothing themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and forgiveness and most of all, the love that comes from you.'

“I have to tell the world that there is something good happening in South Sudan, not always just talk of war and death and something negative. South Sudan has something positive. We have an oasis of peace in Kuron.”  Bishop Paride Taban

Pilot Sam prays for forgiveness in South Sudan

‘Pray for peace in South Sudan. Pray for a spirit of forgiveness. The people need to learn to forgive their neighbour. That spirit of forgiveness from a grass roots level is what will make the difference. It’s hard to do, coming from Northern Ireland I am no stranger to it, but it comes with the Gospel. There’s a lot of hope in the Gospel that breaks down that barrier of holding things against people. Pray that MAF can be a part of that.'

And for the church.... 

‘Pray for the church in South Sudan. Pray they would be led by the spirit of truth and bring that into their communities as an example of good leadership leading with honesty and integrity and with a desire to see the common man benefit from decisions that are made.’ 

'Our Heavenly Father always listens to his sons and daughters who cry to him in their pain and anguish. I make a heartfelt appeal so that we too listen to that cry and each of us, in our own conscience, ask ourselves before God, 'What can I do for peace?" Pope Francis

Pilot and Programme Manager Nick, prays for peaceful elections in DRC 

‘For us in Kinshasa there have been a number of protests which usually end up with some getting hurt and others losing their lives. The people seek justice and peace and are just trying to demonstrate to raise awareness and bring about change. Everyone wants elections which are overdue since December 2016. Pray for Sunday 25th February when most protests are planned. Because it’s Sunday, many are unable to go to church and are even stopped or prevented from going, which is sad. These days have us staying in our homes as we don’t feel it’s safe to go out.

'May the peace of Christ fill hearts here and may Gods wisdom guide the leaders of this country so that their hearts would soften and heed His voice and direction.'

MAF UK CEO Ruth, prays for healing and reconciliation 

'God of Peace, God of Love, God of Grace. We lift our eyes up to You, O Lord – for our help comes from You. We lift the nation of South Sudan to You, we pray for peace for this land. Father, we believe that You bind up the broken hearted and You heal wounds. Heal this land we pray.  Bring about a new season, make a way for lasting peace and true reconciliation. We thank you – that with God all things are possible.'

Human Resources Director David, prays for future staff to meet the need

'Dear Lord, today we pray for South Sudan - hot, humid, isolated, diverse, war torn, desperate. 
Lord amidst a country of such great physical, spiritual and infrastructural need, we pray that you would raise up a new cohort of people willing to take up the call to serve the least the last and the lost. We pray for people willing to take up the challenge to change the world. So that isolated individuals and communities are transformed in Christ’s name. Specifically, we pray for experienced pilots, engineers and managers who will come and work for us in our base in Juba.' 

'Heavenly Father, together, we lift up the many MAF partners

...that are the hands and feet of Christ in a hurting world.  We pray for their safety as they travel to reach populations in need and ask for strength and energy as they work to meet the relentless need. We give thanks for the skills and compassion of medical workers, nutritionists, water and sanitation specialists, counsellors, and those protecting the most vulnerable including children and the elderly.

'Lord watch over each one of your precious children from the youngest to the oldest. Protect the vulnerable. Heal the hurting and bring comfort to the distressed. Feed the hungry. Care for the sick. Bring hope and a future to every person caught in a desperate cycle of conflict. May they experience your perfect peace and leading in their lives as they walk the difficult road towards peace and reconciliation in their nations.  

In Jesus’ name we pray

Amen’

 

‘Jesus says if we pray faithfully, the mountains can fall into the sea.

We have mountains in front of us: the evil war and the killing of innocent people.

Pray that Almighty God will remove this evil war, bring us peace and remove the suffering of South Sudanese people.’Archbishop Peter Munde Yacoub of South Sudan