Oh, Africa!

Linea is a dentist who has spent a great deal of her “free” time in the Congo providing medical care and training. She goes because she can, and because she feels she must—God has given her a compassionate heart for the poor, and a vision that extends beyond the borders of her own country.

The unrelenting slaughter and suffering in the Sudan has her wondering, “What can one person do to stop a terrible evil?” Linea writes with her heart at her fingertips. Her touching lament is called Oh Africa!.

Her lamentation asks the broader question, “What do we do when we’re faced with terrible events that we are powerless to change?”

Her answer is: we can pray.

And she confesses what all of us have felt, that praying at such times can seem like an inadequate response. We ought to be doing something.

One of my spiritual weaknesses is that I am too often tempted to solve God’s problems by my own wit and resourcefulness, and too infrequently do I trust in the power of prayer. My American can-do optimism and my scientific worldview set me up to default to problem-solving by means of my body and mind, rarely my spirit.

Back when I first became a Christian, a friend gave me a small book written by Edward M Bounds, a Methodist pastor who lived during the American Civil War. Bounds wrote a series of books intended to challenge his fellow pastors to take prayer seriously. The one I read was called Power Through Prayer. It talks about a spiritual power that is available to each of us when we learn to take prayer as seriously as Jesus did.

All of Bounds’ books on prayer are available for free download HERE. Once you get past the nineteenth-century English, you’ll find a lot of wisdom in Rev. Bounds writings.

Pray earnestly and daily for peace in the Sudan.

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  1. Thanks for your comments Charlie. I think the situation in Africa is desperate enough that only prayer – in other words only God’s intervention – will bring about the changes needed for that whole continent to be restored. Not that we are let off the hook for doing what we can, but the problem is bigger than our human resources seem to be able to fix.