Dear HTC family and friends,
A phrase that I have been using a lot when people ask me what we need to be praying for when praying for South Africa, our Metro, and even the world generally is this: Pray for a willingness for leaders and people generally, to call out their own.
I believe this is the most significant prayer to be praying in a time when daily we hear and witness violence and abuse against the most vulnerable, racist behavior and hate speech, greed and corruption in the various levels of governance. We have become less tolerant of one another and we don’t like to be called out by those whom we see to be different from us and from those we perceive to be against us, or not with us. We are less willing to walk in the light for fear of the consequences of exposing ourselves and others. We protect our own interests and so are not willing to speak up or speak out about that which is ungodly, untrue and shameful. The tendency is to turn a blind eye, when we perceive that confronting wrongdoing, will be costly for us, and may alienate us. As this is true for us, how much more true is it for government, regional and indeed all political leaders. The result is that the ills I have described above continue and even increase in magnitude.
Is there a way out of this terrible spiral? Is there hope in what seems a very dark place to be in – in these present times? I believe there is! Jesus’ way is the only way: His Word tells us that we are to ‘submit to one another, out of reverence for Christ.’ (Ephesians 5:21). Furthermore, His Word encourages us, ‘if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us, from all sin.’ (1 John 1:7). Thirdly His Word tells us, ‘confess your sins to each other and pray for one another, that you may be healed.’ (James 5:16). Fourthly His Word tells us that we mature as we speak the truth to one another in love (Ephesians 4:15). All of these Biblical imperatives apply to the principle of calling out one’s own.
Our prayer must surely be that we ourselves and the governing leadership in our world, our country, our province and our city, embrace these Biblical principles of willingly submitting to one another, of walking in the light with one another, of openly owning our sins and mistakes, and confronting one another with the truth in a loving way. If this is our prayer, we will find ourselves praying that we will all have courage to call out our own, no matter the cost to us.
As we commit to this prayer, I sincerely believe the Lord by His Holy Spirit will move in the hearts of men and women. We will then start to see men calling out men for their abusive and violent acts against women and children; political leaders will call out their own (in their own political party) for their acts of corruption, greed and mismanagement; different race groups will call out their own race for acts of racism, hate speech and discrimination; family members will call out their own families for abuse and all forms of oppression within their homes and families.
There is indeed a way out. There is indeed hope, but it is only found in Jesus and doing it His way. Please join me in praying for this reality in our lives, our world, our country, our region and our city. Start with me, Jesus.
Bless you all,