Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Praying for Africa: A 2006 Prayer Guide

Pooteewheet received her "Praying for Africa: 2006 Prayer Guide" from the Africa Harvest Intercessors a day or two ago. It helps us focus on which African country to pray for during each week of the year, with just a few weeks given over to "training" and "evangelism" when they run short of countries. I think it's meant for members of Assemblies of God, which we're not, but we appreciate the guidance.

Most of the prayers are given over to praying for youth ministers, HIV/AIDs victims, those displaced by war and abuse, and church funding...but certain prayers differ in their content. For instance:

Gabon: we should pray that the "crisis of health" (HIV/AIDS rate of 8.1%) "will make people open to the claims of the Gospel." Couldn't we just pray that they get better or that a cure for HIV is found? Or that it mutates into something that actually turns sufferers into X-men? Or are we to believe that no one with HIV/AIDS is a Christian, otherwise they'd all feel better?

Botswana: "Rain! Rain Rain! Lord, send the Rain." Honestly, has religion really come no further than raindancing without the dancing? Is it the lack of actual physical movement that makes one religion better than the other? Isn't this the "drinking beer is doing arm curls" argument?

Congo-Kinshasa: "Only You can bring good out of evil" as a prayer for the whole country right after a line about "men's hearts"? Sounds like a bad place to be if you're an African Harvest Intercessor.

Djibouti: perhaps much worse than Congo-Kinshasa as we're praying for a "total tranformation of the people, the way they think..." and "freedom from bondage to bad habits and sinful cultural traditions." Picture it...spitting, nose picking, talking on your cell phone during movies...a whole country of them!

Lesotho: Has to be even worse than Djibouti. "...Holy Spirit will flow into every city, town and mountain village in the small Kingdom of Lesotho, landlocked by South Africa." What the hell does being landlocked have to do with anything? Are we actually giving God a geography lesson during the prayer so he can find the country? If it's so bad that God can't find it or worse, doesn't seem to want to, should we really be praying for it at all? After all, God knows where C-K and Djibouti are, and they need an attitude reversal. If being landlocked is a sign of deific displeasure, well, Minnesota can safely claim Lake Superior is a gateway to the ocean, but Iowa must be Satan's summer home.

Benin: "Pray that the Church's testimony will remain strong and pure in this renowned seat of voodoo". Unfortunately, this was also the prayer used for New Orleans, so it's a bit of a back-handed entreaty to the big G.

Swaziland: Perhaps not as big a challenge as the dissolute voodoo priests of deepest, darkest, Benin, as Swaziland is already halfway to Christ (maybe a third, maybe fourth fifths, hard to say) and we're only praying for "the King and his advisors who tend to mix Christianity and ancestral worship." You have to wonder - do they worship Christ and their own ancestors? Not like Popes or martyrs or saints, those are ok, even the ones who are actually ancestors, you know, the ones who had children of their own, like Saint Thomas More or Cardinal Wolsey. I mean actual run-of-the-mill ancestors who aren't holy - not kings or rulers, they have a bit of the divine, just look at the page for Mauritania where 1 Tim 2:1-2 is quoted, the prayers for kings and all those who are in authority, regardless of their voodoo-esque non-FISAed wiretapping - like farmers and basket sellers? Or are they referring to Christ's ancestors? Wouldn't that be Joseph and Mary? Marian worship sounds really wrong and idolatrous to me. Maybe they meant their ancestors and Christ's descendents and they took that whole scion thing from Dan Brown and Dogma a little too seriously.


PTW said...

Quiet, Heathen! You're interrupting my prayer for the Holy Basket Sellers.

LissyJo said...

"Change the way they think"?? Are you kidding me??!! "Change their cultural ways"??? Wow!! That should be enough to raise outrage at the steps of this church! As a man of god yourself, you should write a letter to their church bullitan!