As we read this, a democratic nation in Europe is under military attack from its more powerful neighbour. War almost always causes great anguish, suffering, and loss of life. Both adults and children are exposed to tragedy and trauma.
Please pray for all those – in so many parts of this fallen world – who are affected by wars, civil wars, persecution, terrorism, communal violence, and oppression. Pray that believers may find strength and solace in God, and that many others may in their distress reach out and encounter the living Christ.
Here in New Zealand, the protest outside Parliament drags on. Yes, in a free country everyone undeniably has a right to lawful protest – but not to protests that are illegal, unreasonably obstructive, or violent. Yes, the job mandates have brought hardship and distress for many ordinary people, most of the protestors are peaceful and non-violent, some of them are sincere Christians, and arguably the Government should have found a way to meet safely with a few peaceful protestors and respectfully listen and then give some appropriate reassurances. However, quite a number of the protestors appear to be extremist and violent provocateurs, the protest is causing serious ongoing disruption to the general public, and all those police probably have much better things to do. Many people feel it is now time for the protestors to leave.
Here’s some excellent prayer suggestions by Brian Caughey, founder of Pray for the Nation:
- Please pray for a quick end to the current protests being held at Parliament, in Christchurch and elsewhere, over covid mandates and the effects of these mandates on people, businesses, employment, our economy and country as a whole.
- Pray that serious discussions will be held between mandates protesters, the government and police, which will lead to a speedy and peaceful resolution.
- That people with other agendas, using the anti-mandates protest to further their own causes, will withdraw and not further confuse the issues to be discussed.
- That disruption, violence, death threats, verbal and physical abuse against people (including people who have nothing to do with the protest) will cease.
Unquestionably, the Covid pandemic has brought many complexities and perplexities to both church and society. However, New Zealand churches and Christians may have allowed themselves to be unduly preoccupied by Covid, and to be distracted from our primary callings of loving and serving God, loving and serving our neighbour, and giving witness to salvation and new life in Christ. True freedom does not lie in our human and legal rights, important though they are. True freedom is spiritual, and is in Christ.
Below, is a video of a very encouraging on-line meeting with two Christian leaders in Britain, who told how Covid has given new opportunities to reach out to a hurting society with the love and truth of Christ.