Praying for the Democratic Republic of Congo
Our fellow Anglicans in the Democratic Republic of Congo continue to experience violence and displacement. Since April, there has been a significant rise in violence promulgated by a new rebel group, M23, and several existing ones. The violence has caused the displacement of 320,000 within DR Congo, and 60,000 into Uganda and Rwanda.
The work of the Anglican Church in Congo continues to be of the highest quality and responsiveness, rooted in the love of Christian for neighbor. During a visit there in July of 2011, we saw firsthand evidence of the work done by Mothers Union and other groups on behalf of the least of these – women, children, and orphans, all victims of the violence of war. The internal displacement of hundreds of thousands since then, and the flight of still others into neighboring countries, has made the situation much worse. Many thousands are living with fear and insecurity, hunger, sickness, and poverty, while they yearn to return home and live in peace.
Archbishop Henri Isingoma of the Anglican Church of Congo asks us to join in a prayer for peace in DR Congo, initiated by the Congo Church Association. Pray for an end to the conflict, an end to violence and the atrocities, that the needs of the suffering may be supplied, and that peace may prevailThe Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal ChurchA Prayer for the People of DR Congo
O God, Loving parent of all, comfort your children displaced, wounded, lost or orphaned by conflict in D R Congo; and give the people of that country courage to seek enduring peace with justice and freedom, that their children might grow up without fear, for the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.(Adapted from a Prayer from the Congo Swahili Prayer Book 1998)
A short prayer, based on part of the South African national anthem:
God bless Congo:
guard her children,
guide her leaders.
and give her peace;
for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Almighty God, maker of all, enemy of none, we pray to you for the people of Congo, whose troubles are in your heart and ours, whose hopes are set in your promises. Stretch out your arm, your mighty hand, and touch this wounded land. Lord of heaven and earth: bring peace and healing.
Touch those whose lives have been scarred by violence and death; as they look on the cross of Christ, bring them from pain to joy. Lord of heaven and earth: bring peace and healing.
Touch those who are guilty of greed and cruelty; by your Spirit bring them through repentance to new life. Lord of heaven and earth: bring peace and healing.
Touch those who wield power, of government, of arms, and of commerce: give them a vision of Congo rebuilt, united, free and prosperous. Lord of heaven and earth: bring peace and healing.
Touch your church, troubled and tired, and give it new strength, so that with Bible and hoe, prayer and medicine, it can tell of your love and show your compassion. Lord of heaven and earth: bring peace and healing.
Touch our hearts too, renew our solidarity with our brothers and sisters, and show us how we can support them in their difficulties. Lord of heaven and earth: bring peace and healing.
Stretch out your arm, your mighty hand, and touch the wounded land of Congo; for Jesus’ sake. Amen.