By David Mayen Ayarbior, Juba, South Sudan
March 6, 2017 (SSB) — Amid skepticism and outright rejection from some circles, a Day of Prayer has been announced by the President. The people of South Sudan are called to pray for peace to return to this country. Let us all, inside and the Diaspora, Juba and Pagak bend knees down in supplication and pray together for this country.
If you are in opposition you must know that it is not for the sake of those who called for prayers (President Kiir and some Church leaders like our most graceful Emeritus Bishop Paride Taban), it is about the peace prayer itself. You may even refuse to participate in the National Dialogue to be followed. But let’s just do the prayers together for the sake of those orphaned children who are currently trapped in the death triangle of Upper Nile without food and shelter.
Before I proceed, allow me to begin these notes with a prayer from our national anthem: “Oh God bless South Sudan!” I may add: because South Sudan has been cursed since 15 December 2013. Legions of demons descended from heaven (yes there are demons in heaven) and possessed many SPLM/SPLA leaders to split and descend upon innocent women and children in the name of “democracy.” Once they started, the ground was made fertile for evil demonic spirit to take over, and now the entire country is under Lucifer’s full control, not even theirs anymore.
Since that day of December 15, hell broke loose for battalions of Lucifer to be sent to destroy and break the spirit of this blessed piece of earth called South Sudan. With the exception of most of greater Bahar Elghazal which is relatively spared from rebellion for obvious tribal affiliation reasons, the rest of South Sudan is burning. All of Greater Equatoria and Greater Upper Nile are under untold suffering, almost depopulated as the result of war and famine.
First it was the Arabs who burned villages, raped women and girls…men and boys, callously slid their throats in the name of a holly Islamic crusade. Now, we have done more than the Arabs upon the same civilians who had fled and suffered for over 20 years and just returned to their homes after independence. They are now back on the run again, trapped in swamps, forests, and refugee/IDP/POC camps.
Why should we all pray? We need to pray because peace talks have failed to bring peace. The hearts of our leaders are hardened and no amount of destruction, displacement, and suffering has made them commit to a genuine cessation of violence so that the people go back to their farms and avoid further suffering, even though the country’s humanitarian crisis has already turned into famine. The bible says that “He will respond to the prayer of the destitute, he will not despise their plea” (Psalms 102:17).
With peoples prayers our land could be healed from the control of evil doers. Chronicles 7:14 says that “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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
What should we pray for? Since our civil war is not between the civil populations who have just borne the brunt of it, we shall pray to God to bring peace to our country and change the hearts of those who are bent on continuing this destructive civil war (or destroy them on behalf of the destitute and downtrodden). Timothy 2:1 states that we should make petitions and prayers for God to change the hearts of those in authority (whether government or rebels). When all South Sudanese (especially the suffering civilians) bend their knees together, God will surely listen to their pleas.
In times of suffering, we don’t have to be devout Christians or Muslims to know how to pray. Let’s just bend our knees that day and prayers will come through our suffering spirits and despair for true peace. Romans 8:26, states that “the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the spirit itself intercedes for us through wordless groans;” the groans of suffering and hungry orphans who look to God for help.
While other countries have suffered from natural disastrous, no one can honestly dispute that ours is one hundred percent man-made. We are abundantly blessed with natural resources, from land to rivers and rain, forests and minerals, but the curse of civil war and tribal hatred have been imposed on the people of this country.
The people of South Sudan have suffered more than enough, if at all there was a measure of what constitutes the word “enough” in the eyes of God. But as the gates of Jericho can attest, the power of fasting and prayer can bring down every evil spirit in South Sudan.
Since our so called leaders have pitilessly thrown the country into the abyss, let all the suffering 99.9 percent of the population of South Sudan (who are the suffering civilians) have a strong collective faith and ask God to pull us out and he will not fail us. I personally believe so.
The writer is a Lawyer, Political Economist, and International Security specialist. He is the author of: House of War (Civil War and State Failure in Africa). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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