Prayer is not a substitute for action, or even preparation for action. It’s something much more fluid and powerful.
Perhaps it is best to say that prayer and action are at their best when they are in harmony, and if we are serious when we say, ‘our prayers are with you,’ then our prayers must be in intimate relationship with redemptive work.
Prayer and action together are key to establish change in the future. We need this more than ever in Zimbabwe right now.
Lets not be divided by this crisis
As our nation finds itself in yet another highly divisive crisis, our tendency can be to draw firm lines between ourselves based on which political party we support, and that can in turn lead to personal dislike for one another, anger towards those who lead, and eventually division.
In the wake of the devastating shootings in Zimbabwe, that killed citizens (demonstrators/looters) and injured many in the ‘stay away’ protests dubbed #shutdownZimbabwe. Some social media users pointed the finger at the army and lambasted the heavy- handedness of government in dealing with rioters and demonstrators. On the other hand, others started calling for dialogue and peace as they offered their “thoughts and prayers” on Facebook and Twitter.
“God Isn’t Fixing This,” blasted some disgruntled Christians who felt prayer needs to be accompanied by action in response to the tragedy. The argument being the church is not using its influence as leverage in this crisis.
The way the leaders reacted
The leader of the opposition MDC Alliance reacted in a very personal way by visiting the injured and praying for those he visited in hospital. Meanwhile, the president was very much impersonal, he displayed no care for the injured and focused on the political issues calling for dialogue with all stakeholders. These are some of those little touches that affirm the characterisation of President Mnangagwa as a brutal killer. Albeit he would argue he is ‘as soft as wool’, and he is a God-fearing Christian.
As Christians, we are to live in a fine balance; standing for that which is true while seeking unity amongst ourselves whenever possible, standing firm in the faith while showing grace to those who do not, holding our leaders accountable while praying for their wisdom and well-being.
We are to learn from the words of Ezekiel 22:30, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land, so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”
Stand in the Gap
We are to be those who stand in the gap, who lift up our nation with all it favours and faults before the throne of God and pray that He continues to work in our midst.
Zimbabwe let us as a nation have faith. Let us have hope that God can – and does – change situations. Even the greatest injustice can be overcome by the power of prayer. God can make a difference, and often chooses to act through our prayer and action.
Let us ask God for the gift of faith to see, pray and act for the redemption of the situation indeed, our beloved Zimbabwe is in a deep crisis.