President Salva Kiir has prayed for forgiveness for what he describes as sins he may have committed while exercising his duty as the Head of state. President Kiir also called for redemption of the people of South Sudan from the many troubles bestowed on the country.
South Sudanese political leaders have been taking to the podium at the Dr. John Garang mausoleum in Juba to pray on the National Prayer Day.
The prayers are led by religious leaders. Among the first to speak was the Catholic Archbishop of Juba, Rev. Paulino Lukudu Loro. Below is the excerpt of his speech.
“We have been invited to this National Prayer for Repentance and Forgiveness by the President. I very much hope, and I believe that the majority of us –so innocent, so good, so sincere in heart have really come to pray.
Your Excellency, the reason why I came here today for this prayer, is because I know the weak; the poor are the ones to come to pray. And that is why I really decided to come to pray, because as we are seeing them now bearing this heat, these sons are the very ones who are touched in their lives by the difficulties and the desperate situation of our country. We have come to pray so that God may open our hearts to accept what is really wrong with us in this country. Since we have been in this heat and in this moment, our repentance and forgiveness will have a meaning.
Your Excellency, we are praying that may God grant us the results of this prayer. This prayer, your Excellency, the way I look at it; this situation that we are seeing with us and among us and in front of us of our situation are a double-edge sword for us all. This prayer today, I think it is a dangerous prayer. It is a difficult prayer for us all. It is especially for somebody and a few of us who might have not prayed well with clear conscience, and who might not have prayed with the right intentions.
This prayer is dangerous today, because if you have come here, I believe this bitterness of our heat, will not go in vain, but God will reply to us. I therefore say, if this prayer is correct and is true, then its about our peace. We are standing for peace and we are praying for peace. Are we going to choose peace or evil?
Your Excellency, I want to question you; why did you call this people to the heat here like this; are they coming to choose evil or to choose peace? Is that what your intention is, to bring us here to suffer like this? I hope nobody will be sick today because of this heat. I believe you have invited us to see this suffering because you want peace.
Our government, which way are going to take and what is the government going to do after this prayer? Is the government going to choose evil or peace? Mr. President, take-heed after this. We are telling you that after this prayer, your Excellency, go into a room and pray and decide for peace in the country.
We expect peace, Justice, forgiveness, genuine dialogue, good governance, security, rule of law after this prayer. We expect after this prayer an end to; raping, torture, arbitrary arrests, corruption, tribalism. These things will continue if this prayer is misused.
My brothers and sisters, our way forward now is working, doing and choosing peace and not for war.”
Kiir was the first among the Christian political leaders to go forward.
“I pray that you may not bring condemnation and punishment, but forgiveness and salvation to the people of South Sudan,” he said.
He prayed for God to give him a clear mind and an open heart. “Remind me, God, to be who you would want to be –regardless of what I am doing, or whom I am with,” he said.
“Most merciful God, through my shortcomings, I have sinned against you in thoughts, in words, and deeds by what I have done and what I have failed to do,” the President said.
“I humbly repent and ask for your loving mercy and forgiveness. Whatever is in my power to do for the people of South Sudan, please Lord Help me to be your instrument of love, service delivery, peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness,” he said.
Below is an excerpt from his prayer sheet:
“Powerful and ever living God, I thank you, for even though I am a sinner, your unprofitable servant – not because of my worth, but in the kindness of your mercy. You have fed me with the precious body and blood of your son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that you may not bring condemnation and punishment, but forgiveness and salvation to the people of South Sudan.
May you be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will. Holy God, on this day and all the days of my life, I entrust to your merciful heart my body and my soul. All my acts, thoughts, choices, desires, words, deeds, my entire life, so that with your assistance, all may be ordered to the good according to the will of your beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Help me God to seek you always and live righteously, to act courageously and to speak from your wisdom. Give me a clear mind and an open heart, so that I may witness you in our country. Remind me God to be who you would want to be –regardless of what I am doing, or whom I am with.
Grant, oh King of Heaven, that ever in my heart, I may have fear and love –alike for your most sweet son. That I may always give thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon me, not for my merit, but by your loving kindness. And what I may ever make a pure and sincere confession and do true penance for my sins, in order that I might deserve to obtain your mercy and grace.
Most merciful God, through my shortcomings, I have sinned against you in thoughts, in words, and deeds by what I have done and what I have failed to do. I humbly repent and ask for your loving mercy and forgiveness.
Whatever is in my power to do for the people of South Sudan, please Lord Help me to be your instrument of love, service delivery, peace, reconciliation and forgiveness.
Heavenly Father, lead me safely to everlasting happiness with you. I pray that you will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where you with your son and Holy Spirit are true and perfect live, total fulfilments, Holy Spirit, everlasting joy, gladness –without end – and perfect happiness to your saints. Grant this God, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.” END of president Kiir’s prayers.
Bishop Santo— A South Sudanese Catholic bishop has criticised a declaration of National Day of Prayer across the country on March 10 by President Kiir, describing it as “political” to blindfold the international community.
The Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Juba Diocese, Rev. Santo Laku Pio, told the Voice of America (VOA) on Thursday that he will not attend the prayer because the people of South Sudan are not in their homes.
The religious leader rejected President Kiir’s call for prayers, saying citizens in Equatoria and Upper Nile have been displaced from their homes and they are being killed by government army. END