AFReG Call to Prayer
The African Forum on Religion and Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers as a faith community dialoguing on “African Identity, Dignity and Justice in the 21st Century.” This week, Tuesday, November 24, 2020, our theme is “Fruitfulness.”
It is important for us to be fruitful as people in the world, and even more so if we are Christians. Fruitfulness is God’s mandate from the very beginning to men and women, and, when Jesus came on earth He communicated the same message to His disciples.
Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply…”
John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit and fruit that remain…”
To Be Fruitful we have to Maintain a Positive Mindset
Some people are not fruitful because they are lazy and find every excuse not to do what is necessary. “The sluggard says, ‘there is a lion in the road, and I will be slain. A lion in the open square’” Prov. 22:13, 26:13. To be fruitful we have to believe we can be fruitful. Those who do not believe and are lazy are always finding excuses not to be fruitful. And if we are going to be fruitful in the lives of others we will have to maintain a positive mindset as well.
Many persons including Christians believe that difficult situations cannot be changed so they do nothing about them. They might do something about their personal situation but not for other individuals or a nation. They have many excuses (it has been like this for years) and think that change is impossible. This is like the children of Israel who did not possess their promise land because they did not have a positive mindset.
We need to pray that African Christians will have a positive mindset that they can be fruitful and make a significant difference in the lives of their families, nation and continent.
To Be Fruitful we have to be willing to Sow
To be fruitful we have to be willing to sow. This means that there will be a period in which we have to invest our time, minds, skills, efforts and resources even where there is no immediate return. Those who will reap a harvest are those who have invested in sowing. If we do not sow there will be no harvest.
We see this in every area of life and there are so many examples in the world. One well known example is Nelson Mandela who was diligent in his sowing for change in respect to South Africa. He spent 27 years in prison and as a result, at his release he negotiated an end to the racist policy of his country. Another example is Thomas Edison who sowed with 10,000 experiments to develop his alkaline battery and 1,000 experiments for the light bulb. Here we see diligent sowing. We are called to be diligent in sowing so we can reap a great harvest. Diligence is required for fruitfulness.
As African people in this 21st century, if we are not willing to sow but want immediate gratification, we and our leaders will sell out our lands, our minerals, our people and neighbors for personal short-term satisfaction. We have to be willing to sow and not be weary, that is being patient in well doing, in order to reap the harvest of a nation and continent that is intelligent, productive and owning our own lands.
We must Sow the right seeds to be Fruitful in Good Outcomes
The saying is true that “what we sow, we will also reap”; if we sow hate we will reap murder and war and if we sow true love we will reap peace and joy. However, we notice that we do not have to sow weeds but they appear. It is easier for the negative things to be sown than the positive so we have to be deliberate in what we sow so we can have the positive outcomes we want. Leaving it to chance, there is no doubt what will happen.
We must therefore be clear on what we want to sow so that we can reap the desired harvest. What are we sowing in the nations of Africa? We need to be sowing the right values in our children so that the leaders who will arise will not sell out their countries for personal gain. We need to sow in our nations’ education for all as well and at high levels so that the continent is not left behind in knowledge but takes its place on the global space in invention and innovation. We should also train entrepreneurs so that we can develop industries of all types. We need as a people to look at the outcomes we want and begin sowing the right seeds.
Fruitfulness is sometimes Created through Partnership
John 4:37: “For in this case the saying is true, One sows and another reap.” Many times it is the parents that sow and the children reap the benefits. As a nation and as a continent we have to be willing to be part of a process. Moses brought the people out of Egypt, but Joshua is the one who carried the people into the promise land.
This has application in so many ways, for example in respect to leadership and government. One government can start a transformation process but it may require the next leadership or government to complete it. This is important for us to accept because what generally happens is that the following government seeks to undo the achievements of the previous leadership for political reasons thereby losing the gains that have already been attained. This results in we as individuals, as nations and as a continent taking much longer than necessary to achieve the desired outcomes.
Christians Being Fruitful
If African Christians are going to be salt and light and play a restorative role in Africa, we first have to be willing to have the right values, understand the principle of sowing and reaping as taught in the Scriptures and model this in the nations.
The Church in Africa can become a movement which can inspire the principles of fruitfulness to bring about the desired transformation of Africa. The African Forum on Religion and Government can help in this process given its mandate.
Let us pray that Christians and the Church will be fruitful in their lives and be a catalyst for positive change in Africa remembering the saying that “Rome was not built in a day.” Also let us pray the Church will intensify the sowing of the fruitfulness principles throughout the nations of Africa so that Africa will be saved, spiritually, socially and economically and also saved from outside nations who want to own and rape it.
Lord God, we are thankful for the principle of sowing and reaping. We pray that we will espouse the right values as individuals, families, communities and nations in order to ensure good outcomes.
Forgive us where we as leaders have been shortsighted and blind, seeking instant gratification for self-benefit; where we have sown in selfishness, impatience, dishonesty, greed and corruption. Future generations have been maimed because of this poor stewardship. Have mercy on us.
Open our eyes to the ways we can live fruitful lives and be a catalyst to the transformation of this continent to where it will arise and shine in every way.
Protect us from nations that want to exploit Africa and take unfair advantage of her resources through human trafficking and other evil vices.