Prayers are always in order for the people of Sudan. Prayers are particularly in order as January, 2011 draws near.
A referendum on self-determination for the people of South Sudan is scheduled for January 9. On that same day, a referendum is also scheduled for the Abyei region of Sudan where the people will vote on the question of whether to retain Abyei's special administrative status in the north or become part of Southern Sudan.
Our sisters and brothers in Sudan are in prayer now and will continue in prayer until, through, and after the referendum. We have a number of opportunities to join them. The World Communion of Reformed Churches has called for prayers for the month before the referendum: December 9 to January 9. The World Evangelical Alliance has called for a Global Day of Prayer on December 5.
In Sudan and in the United States, a number of faith communities will come together in a Season of Prayer in the month before the election. Specifically, we are invited to pray for thirty minutes on:
- Friday, December 3
- Friday, December 10
- Friday, December 17
- Friday, December 24
- Friday, December 31
- Friday, January 7
- Saturday, January 8
- Sunday, January 9
- Monday, January 10
Our sisters and brothers in Sudan will pray at 6:00 p.m. in their country. In the United States, we would join them by praying at Noon (EST); 11:00 a.m. (CST); 10:00 a.m. (MST); 9:00 a.m. (PST). Many in Sudan plan to engage in the spiritual discipline of fasting on January 7 through 9. If this is a spiritual discipline that speaks to you, consider joining them.
This season of prayer is open to all people. Pray wherever you are; pray individually or gather with your community or an ecumenical community or an interfaith community; pray in a manner you feel comfortable praying. Find prayers to use or adapt. The prayers are created in partnership by the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, the Office on Africa, the Sudan Advocacy Action Forum, and the Sudan Mission Network.
In humility . . . giving thanks for the faith, courage, and strength of the Sudanese people . . . confessing that the challenges faced by the Sudanese people have been and are impacted by forces beyond their control . . . acknowledging that the nations of the world have failed to respond effectively to the cries and needs of the people of Sudan . . . recognizing that the affects of whatever happens in the referenda will be felt in the region bordering Sudan and around the world . . . affirming that we all stand in need of God's transforming power and grace . . . we are invited to stand with the people of Sudan and join together in prayer.
Please take a moment to let us know how you participate in this Season of Prayer.
God bless the people of Sudan; God bless all the peoples of the world.