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Seeking God for peace in the Sahel

Gaston Slanwa, who leads Tearfund’s work in Burkina Faso, shares how we can use the Bible to guide our prayers for peace in the Sahel.

Gaston Slanwa | 07 May 2021

Credit: Alice Keen/Tearfund

Credit: Alice Keen/Tearfund

The Bible is clear that God hears our prayers. We have a responsibility to ‘stand in the gap’ as we pray for our nations. The Sahel region of west Africa is facing growing violence and instability, with fighting between government forces and armed groups in Niger, Mali and Chad, as well as in Burkina Faso.

One of the Bible passages we often look to in praying for the Sahel is from the book of 2 Chronicles.

‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’ (2 Chronicles 7:14)

I take from this passage that we (God’s people) are concerned by what is happening in the Sahel (our lands) because our lives are directly affected by all the atrocities happening there. The violence also impacts the ministry God has put into our hands as Tearfund, to stand with poor and vulnerable communities.

To sincerely call on God in prayer is a sign that we recognise his unlimited power to solve the ugly situations going on in the Sahel. We need to clothe ourselves with humility – such as identifying with the sins of our leaders/people and seeking forgiveness – which is necessary to praying with sincerity.

We know God hears the prayers of the righteous and he is ready to answer them (by granting forgiveness and healing to our land). We want to trust God and believe his word concerning forgiveness and healing in the Sahel.

Pray with us

Father God,

As hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes after attacks from armed groups in Niger, Lord, bring peace.

As violence and insecurity in Mali means less food is available in markets, many people are losing their businesses and going hungry, Lord, bring peace.

As Chad begins a transition to new leadership after the death of their President, violence continues. Fighting has contributed to 1.8 million people lacking drinking water, along with hygiene and sanitation facilities. Lord, bring peace.

As threats and attacks have led to the closure of more than 600 schools in Burkina Faso, and thousands of children are missing out on their education, Lord, bring peace.

In all these nations of the Sahel, where violence and conflict are destroying lives and pushing people further into poverty, Lord, bring peace.

Amen.

Gaston Slanwa

Tearfund Country Director for Burkina Faso

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