The African Forum on Religion and Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers in this era of COVID-19. “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). We trust that everyone is praying. Every week on Monday a devotional and some prayer points will be posted, so that on Tuesday we can use them as resources to unite our hearts in prayer.
This week, Tuesday, 2 June 2020, our theme is “Positive Self-Identity”.
Humanity has not always kindly treated people of the African skin color. Tracing back to Biblical times when the curse was said to have been placed on Canaan’s line (erroneously pointing this to the sons of Africa), through slavery, times of apartheid in South Africa to current day racial oppression being witnessed in the USA through cruelty to African Americans, there is need to declare unequivocally, with the authority of the Creator of all mankind, who we are and whose we are. In the congregation of those who will be gathered around the throne of God described in Revelation 7:9 from every nation, tribe, people and language, the sanctified African will stand alongside all the rest. For we were made in God’s own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26), fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:14). We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). There is now neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). Therefore, let us not regard anyone from a worldly point of view (2 Corinthians 5:16). Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
As we look into the mirror of God’s Word, the perfect law of liberty, we see ourselves as Africans in a clear and positive light. As a man thinks so is he (Proverbs 23:7). When we fail to walk in this positive image, God says we suffer from inferiority and lack self-esteem. We walk in fear of failure and always expect that we will not meet the mark. We project our inadequacies (real or imagined) to others and expect them to treat us with skepticism. So subtle is the drawback in our subconscious mind that we sabotage our own opportunities, fail to see our blessings, and block our divine destinies. African culture glories in its past and places a high premium on community affirmation – “I am because we are”. As a result, we can fail to see the new thing the Lord is doing, and that the Church of the Firstborn is now our family. The identity story is further complicated in this post-modern era by the digital milieu that our Generation Z children are growing up in. We are most to be pitied and set ourselves up for failure, if we let others tell us who we are judging us through the lenses of various prejudices.
We must each come to a place where we define our position, our attitudes and questions of self from a place of reflection, awareness, re-evaluation and acceptance, based on who are in Christ. It is from this accurate position of positive self-identity that holistic growth will begin, true development will flow individually and corporately, and Africa shall ARISE!
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! 2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy. 3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
Forgive us Lord –
Where we have defined who we are by any standard other than the Word of God, and therefore thought of ourselves more highly or lowly than we ought.
Where we have not walked in the fullness of who we were created to be, because of our imagined or real weaknesses/inadequacies, not allowing God to transform us by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). “Set me free from my prison that I may praise your name” (Psalm 142:7).
Where we have fallen short of the grace of God (through unforgiveness and negative self-identity), and allowed a bitter root to grow up and cause trouble and defile many (Hebrews 12:15).
We live and move and have our being in You, Lord (Acts 17:28); our new and glorious identity is in Jesus Christ.
We are co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17) and have an imperishable inheritance in heaven (1 Peter 1:3, 4) – the home that You have prepared for us to live forever with You.
The unique and beautiful expression of God that we as Africans bring to humanity, and the contribution we make to the revelation of who God is, because of the way He made us.
The grace of God available to overcome the challenges that we encounter in the course of life and the opportunities we have to display God’s strength and power in our weaknesses.
AFReG Webinars: God’s anointing on each speaker, good flow of the program, many people drawn to zealously connect and engage, desired outcomes and good follow-up. Pray against any technology glitches, confusion of any kind and lethargy in follow-up. We commit the first AFReG Webinar on Wednesday, 10 June, which will focus on the health and medical dimensions of this current time. (Details on the presenters and time frame will be sent separately – registration to join the Webinar via Zoom can be done on the AFReG website (www.afreg.org).
Decree an end to the COVID-19 pandemic (Job 22:28).
Healing for the sick and dying (1 Peter 2:23-25).
Protection for the frontline workers and their families – medical staff, hospital chaplains, essential service providers in high risk areas.
Comfort for those who have lost loved ones (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).
Leadership in this crisis and decisions being made so that these will not be unfavorable to the advancement of the Kingdom of God (Psalm 21:1-3), but will thwart the agenda of the kingdom of darkness and the schemes of the enemy.
The Church to arise at this time and take every opportunity to engage in the Great Commission and the Greatest Commandments (Ephesians 5:16; Mathew 28:18-20; Luke 10:25-37). Your Kingdom come, Oh Lord, and Your will be done in and through Your Church as it is in heaven.
The recovery of the continent of Africa post COVID-19 pandemic; that we would indeed ARISE.
We declare that Africans walk in positive self-identity, in the knowledge and belief of who they are in Christ.
- WE ARE THE REDEEMED OF THE LORD AND WE SAY SO!
- WE WALK IN THE GRACE OF GOD AND WE ARE RELEASED FROM THE INJUSTICES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT, WALKING IN THE HEALING AND REDEEMING LOVE OF GOD.
- III. WE WALK IN THE CONFIDENCE OF WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST AS HE DID ON EARTH, AND FULFILL HIS PURPOSE AND PLAN FOR OUR LIVES.
- WE KNOW OUR GOD AND THEREFORE WE ARE STRONG AND DO GREAT EXPLOITS IN HIS NAME.
- WE BUILD SPIRIT-FILLED LEGACIES BASED ON WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST AND PASS THIS ON TO THE GENERATIONS COMING BEHIND US.