God, where are you in Congo? Were you there in Luvungi when 242 people were raped last month? Were you there in Uvira when 21 children were raped? Were you crying with them? God, please help them. We beg you to step in. Have we not prayed enough? Don’t we have enough faith? Were we crying with them? Did we notice? Please forgive us our indifference, change us, give us faith. And Lord God, don’t let our failings prevent you from acting.
We pray for everyone in Congo working for peace and governance. We pray for soldiers and rebels tempted to abuse their power: strengthen them. We pray for those grieving for lost people and lost innocence: protect them from revenge – reward their perseverance with wisdom. We pray for those with blood on their hands: bring justice and punishment, and conviction and repentance. We pray for the ordinary people living in their towns and villages: please stop the attacks. Lord we know you have power to do these things: will you do them?
We pray for the foreign governments’ influence on Congo. For our own leaders we ask for insight and wisdom about how to spend aid money. We ask in particular for understanding of how and whether to support the Rwandan and Congolese governments. We pray that our government would be wholly innocent of accepting injustice in exchange for profit.
When we get serious about asking you such huge things, we realise how serious you are. Maybe it was one of us who was supposed to be your servant in Congo, and we didn’t listen? Maybe you were asking us to influence our government, or provide some money?
God, where are you in our lives? Are you our master? Are we your slaves? We turn, now, from our quiet rebellion. We confess there are no areas of our lives that are off-limits for you: there are no decisions that belong to us. If you send us to some place or some person, we will go. We are ready to do what you ask. Only tell us in a way we can understand – leave us no excuse that we’re not sure of your will. We want to obey you Lord – change us, transform our disobedience.
The most important, difficult and hard to live with gift God has given us is free will. The freedom to choose our actions.
The war in heaven was, and is being, fought over this gift. God *will not* take that gift away, even from the worst of us. He won’t even stop us from giving up our free will.
This means he won’t prevent people in power choosing to do evil things. He may (and frequently does) help those who are being abused in a variety of ways, but not to the point of taking away an individuals free will.
That leaves us with the uncomfortable idea that *we* are responsible for doing what we can to resolve these issues.
God does not want slaves. He wants servants. People who know his will and do it.
God does intervene in the world. He seems to do the minimum possible, but he does interact with us regularly. There is clear Biblical precedent for asking him to intervene.
God does want willing slaves:
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
I use the King James version of the Bible. The text in that version reads:
“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
A very important difference in words I think.
I don’t think there is much difference actually. Whether using the word slave or servant, the meaning is total obedience:
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Complete submission to God. I like the phrase willing slaves because it communicates how complete the submission that he requires is. My attempt to embrace that obedience was what I was trying to express in the prayer.
I don’t have much to add to this conversation but I did want to say thank you for posting your views. This is a fascinating area. You have both opened my eyes a little.
I must confess if asked – my motto is “love God and do as you will”. This conveniently bypasses the slave or servant (theological) issue and goes straingnt to action.
I guess for me the question is not slave or servant but He exists and is in a relationship with me so what am I going to do now?
Again thanks for this thread.
God is simple.
He only has 1 will: our all Good.
All of evil is done by humans, being difficult (crying “no” to doing good things).
God is the only one being able to transform Evil in Good. This is *His* *very* *job*.
Is a simple “thank You” asking for too much?
God (The creator of universe) is perceived by the humans using their 1.4 KG brain…
hence humans tend to put in themselves in the center of universe and try to find their direct relationship with God….
But in reality creator can not differentiate between humans, stones, air.They are all same to him….
All he can see is bunch of basic particles…He does not recognize the boundary between basic particles (electron , proton)of skin and basic particles (electron , proton).He percieves universe as buch of basic particles…. nothing else…………
Its in the view of observer that at which level he wants to see the universe….For humans yogurt is food…..But for the microorganisms there is entire country of microorganism there in the yogurt….But as humans(observer) have created boundaries specific or usable to their world and they try to see that according to their perception…i.e human lives are most important according to humans……….
Universe can be perceived by infinite ways…
For some other intelligent species in the universe human may be just microorganisms in the yogurt……..
Everything in the Universe is relative……..
Nothing is absolute………..
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