Is Prayer Enough for Kenya?
By Allie Pohlmeier
Who is right or wrong is not here or there. I think it is time for all to reconcile and bring back the unity and live together. -Pastor Steve, a Kenyan minister, during the middle of the humanitarian crisis
What happens after the violence? What happens when CNN no longer covers story about Kenya because there are no compelling images? The Kenya that exists today is not the Kenya I once knew. Markets burnt. People missing. Many displaced. The roots of violence are deep, and what becomes of the people now? And how do you continue loving a nation from far away? Is prayer enough?
I interviewed two pastors, one from the Luo tribe and one from the Kikuyu tribe and received fascinating feedback about their take on the violence, what they are doing to help, and what happens now. We as believers aren’t done yet praying for Kenya. This is the time for reconciliation and restoration.
I watched as constant atrocities befell a country across the ocean, which still has my heart. I felt utterly helpless. What I wanted to do more than anything was just hug, sit and drink Chai tea with women like Arada and Consuelta and Charity.
During the peak of violence I received text messages saying, All we can do is pray. Really? Is that all we can do? Is it enough? I was thinking more along the lines of jumping in a plane.
So, obediently and (hopefully reverently) I prayed. The truth was I kept thinking, Man oh man, I know deep down that prayer is powerful. But is it REALLY enough?
How often when you find yourself in the midst of something difficult do you hear prayer is powerful or all you can do is pray? Did that truth offer any comfort or a was it merely a cheer from the Christian pom squad?
I came to a crisis in my faith where I had to choose to believe the truth that prayer is enough. I realized that God did not intend for prayer to be some “mamzy pamzy,” half hearted, half believing utterances to ease our anxiety or guilt or obligation. Prayer is talking to an Almighty God who is eager to redeem the world.
But I still needed to hear that directly from the Lord. I did the classic and slightly desperate, close my eyes, flip open my Bible and point. (Weve all done it!)
I landed on 2 Corinthians 1:10, He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.
I needed the Word of God to speak to me personally and He did. We help those around us by our prayers, even though it may not feel like it.
Prayer is powerful. Prayer is changing Kenya even in the midst of the mess they find themselves in. Prayer lets us drop our “savior of the world” complex and lets God take over and do what He is already intending to accomplish.
Another pastor in Kibera has a church made of tin, plastic and wood located in the middle of a huge market.
This entire huge market was burnt down. I saw pictures on BBC. There wasnt anything left. Yet, he saw what was happened as “the Lord taking over.”
He said, “The church is still standing. They tried to burn it with fire, but fire can’t burn it.”
10 families from the church had their homes and all their possessions burnt or looted, but “no one has lost their life. Even the small children are all safe. Only God we depend on,” he said.
Many of my friends came to a crisis of faith where they really lived the truth that it is only God they had to depend on.
What if our prayers enabled that “building” to remain? What if our prayers encouraged them to stand firm?
Allie has recently returned to the United States from working in Kibera, Kenya. She formerly worked as a teacher and is a graduate of Judson College. She now serves as a missionary with Adventures in Missions and part-time youth leader with a local church in Gainesville, GA. She blogs about her heart for Africa here.
The Kenya relief fund is running low and we want to keep helping and being involved in the aftermath of the elections. If you are interested in giving please click here to donate to the Kenya Relief Fund. You can even pass this link on to friends and invite them to participate in the restoration efforts.