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Let’s make National Day of Prayer useful

Filed under: Special Comments |
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On this day of National Prayer which Mr Hakainde Hichilema has ordained “Useless Day of National Prayer” it is necessary to reflect and meditate deeply on what it means to be a Christian.

Many people think that going to church occasionally or simply believing in God makes them a Christian. But the Bible presents a different perspective and definition of a Christian. A Christian is someone whose behaviourr and heart reflects Jesus Christ.

Acts 11:26 says, “…for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” They were called “Christians” because their speech and behaviour were like Christ.

As a Christian, someone who has put faith and trust in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ through His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, our behaviour mirrors, reflects and resembles Christ.

Being gracious and merciful to others is behaving like Christ.

Forgiving, loving and praying for our enemies is Christ-like.

Welcoming and serving the marginalised, the “least” among us, is being like Jesus.

Caring for the sick, needy, underprivileged, widowed, orphaned, poor, abused, and vulnerable—those who are last—mirrors and reflects the Son of Man.

Striving for justice resembles Jesus.

But it’s not simply good works that make someone a Christian. Being a follower and disciple of Jesus extends beyond our outward behaviour. It includes the condition of our heart.

When we put our faith and trust in Christ, when we commit our lives to serving Him and serving others as He served us, our behaviour and mindset reflects the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Christ is with us and in us. We are new creations!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” — 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Our old way of thinking is gone. Our motivation, desire, and purpose are replaced with delight in the things of God. The joys and pleasures of our lives are exponentially enhanced through our relationship with Christ. And our selfish and worldly pursuits are exchanged for desire to honour God.

Life in Christ is not a life of “I don’t get to do what I like.” It’s not a life of loss. Instead, it’s a life of abundance, where what I used to like and desire pales in comparison to what my heart now desires. Christians see, feel and experience the world in a different way. A much grander, deeper and meaningful way.

One of the new ways we see the world is through the lens of “others first.” For example, Christians are called to love the orphan and widow and care for those less fortunate.

God’s concern for the vulnerable or marginalised is apparent in his command for us to defend them.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” — James 1:27
A Christian heart living out Christian values results in tangible care and compassion for others. It is characterised by active love for others. That’s the meaning of compassion.

Jesus said, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” — John 13:34-35
What Does it Look Like to Love Others as Jesus Loves Us?
One tangible way, and it is only one, that you can love others as Jesus loves us is by helping save a child who lives in absolute poverty. Often exploited, often oppressed, children living in poverty do not experience the innocence of childhood. Their world is not kind. In their world, they struggle to survive.

Child poverty destroys a child’s emotional and physical well-being. It affects their attitude, outlook and behaviour. Children living in poverty grow up believing the world won’t get better. That their situation will never change.

Poverty didn’t let go of their parents. It wasn’t any different for their grandparents, and it won’t be any different for them or their children. This hopelessness is the great lie of poverty.

Let us make National Day of Prayer useful and give it meaning!

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

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