Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In light of the recent unfolding of the political events in Kenya, the call to prayer has never been more urgent than it is currently. When lines of war and disagreement get drawn between warring factions, we must always heed the call to pray together as believers in the One who holds everything together. In such situations things seem to spin out of control before our very eyes, well beyond our power to do anything to forestall the downward spiral. That seems to be the sad news.
However, we can always find some good news. Christians have the answer to our current political problem. Prayer is our answer. More accurately, summoning God’s help through the name of Jesus Christ is our answer. 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us of what we must do to restore healing to a nation at the brink of brokenness. The first thing we must do is to humble ourselves. Humility is a disposition of recognizing our complete helplessness without God. Only God can come to our rescue at this time. Since he is the only one in control of the universe even when he has given us the will and the desire to make our own choices, he is still capable, through his sovereign power, to bring the sort of healing we need.
The second thing we must do is to pray. Praying as a nation underscores our dependence on God. It admits that God alone, and not humans, is our source of strength. Our prayer must, therefore, be coupled with humility. Coming to God as people who think we can do things autonomously without God is a contradiction of dispositions. Third, in order to find the healing we need, we must seek God’s face. Stated differently, we must always be in the presence of God. In other words, we must always be aware that God is near us and around us, and that he is watching us, and that we are before Him. When one remains consistently in the presence of God, one will have no time to lift a hand against a rival group specifically because one will recognize the image of God in that person. Fourth, we must turn away from our wickedness. Another word for this exercise is repentance. Repentance is really a change of mind resulting in a change of action. In other words, we see that the path to violence, hatred and animosity that we are following is wrong, we change our minds about going down that road, and make a complete about turn towards the path of peace and justice and righteousness.
When we fulfill these four conditions in our lives as promised by the Chronicler in 1 Chronicles 7:14, we will be on the right path towards establishing an ideal government. From God’s perspective, an ideal government is one whose people model it after righteousness (Morally), justice (legally) and peace (socially). Isaiah 32:1 says: A king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. Verse 16 of the same chapter says: The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. These three ingredients characterize an ideal government. At the moral level, righteousness must prevail, where the greatest ethic is unconditional love for one another. Moreover, we read in Proverbs 14:34 how righteousness exalts a nation and how sin is a disgrace to its people. Righteousness must, therefore, prevail at the moral level. At the legal level justice will prevail where wanton breaking of laws remains either at a minimal level or as a thing of the past. We must guard against all threats to justice. At the social level we must allow peace to prevail because of our love for one another. The apostle Paul reminds us that as far as it is possible with us, we must remain at peace with each other. Vengeance belongs to God alone (Romans 12:18, 19)
A government that God will support must model itself in this manner. That is why you and I have the obligation not only to pray for the realization of such a government, but also to encourage the current leadership to maintain righteousness in its rule, to maintain justice in its judicial system, and to foster peace at the social level. These three principles remain fundamentally etched in the moral fabric of the universe our God and Father has designed. Let us all heed the call to come together, Kenyan Christians from all walks of life, and call on God at this critical time of need in our country.
God bless you all.
Dr. Joseph B. Onyango Okello