Prayer to End Femicide, Rape and Abuse of Women & Children in South Africa TEASA
16 Days of ACTIVISM 2020, 10 December 2020.
A hope filled story
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
I worked with a lady by the name of Shelley who has headed up Heartreach in Gauteng for over 20 years. Heartreach goes into Primary and High schools with a few talks, one of them being, ‘Sex is a big deal’, talking through healthy sexual choices while being very aware and sensitive to the fact that there are those in the audience who have walked the road of abuse. Heartreach volunteers meet regularly to pray for their ministry to young people. This is a great testimony to the power of prayer.
Shelley has also counseled many young people through pregnancy crises, rape, abortion, suicide and sexual abuse.
In this field we often don’t see the impact until years later.
She recently received correspondence from a young lady :
“I was a student years ago and you came to our school for a talk and ever since I have followed your page. We once met for counseling and you talked me out of suicide. I am now a psychology student and have started an NGO in Zimbabwe to help young girls with information on sexual health. Please would you mentor me. You helped me and now I’m trying to help other people like me who life hasn’t been so nice to them because of sexual abuse. “
” Lord we thank you for the many people who have given of themselves to invest in the lives of young people in our schools and universities. For helping some young people through very difficult times and for educating and empowering our youth for life. Please encourage and give them the strength to continue to be safe spaces for our young people. And may the young people that they have influenced continue to soar to great heights in their lives.” Amen
Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
16 Days of ACTIVISM 2020, 09December 2020.
Prayer: God, we thank you for women and the blessing that they are to our nation. You, oh God saw that a man was missing something (Genesis 2) and you said that it is not good for a man to be alone and you created a woman. God, restore the dignity that you originally destined for women on this earth. You called her man’s suitable helper and so much more, you use woman to bear your children and also to advance your kingdom in many other ways. Heal our land Lord. Restore and heal women who have been violated. Renew their purpose for them and keep them encouraged. Show them your love and care, heal them Father I pray. Change the hearts of men towards women. I lift up the men and leaders that are after your own heart to stand up for women and correct their peers. Give them the courage to stand against this violation. Lord, you are our only hope. We know that you are capable of doing exceedingly more. We love you Lord and will forever praise your Holy name.
Refiloe Thekiso, Randburg,
Following Jesus Vineyard Church
16 Days of ACTIVISM 2020, 08 December 2020.
A Story We Need To Hear
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the broken hearted and to proclaim that Captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. – Isaiah 61:1
I was molested by a family member as a child and I was gang raped as a teenager. In the 80s you were not allowed to be outspoken about some bad things that have happened to you. You had to act as if nothing has happened. That made me rebellious towards adults. I would even do the opposite of what I was told not to do. I did not know the meaning of love. Love was sex. It took God saving me in 1991. After many years of burying stuff, God brought out my past to the open and began to heal me from my brokenness. I would be lying if I said it was easy. It took many many years. I was very good at shutting down the moment someone tried to get close to me because I always thought people are there for something and then they leave you. I thank God who pursued me and never let go of me even when I was rebellious and angry for not protecting me from the pain of GBV and allowing me to go through pain for so many years. I can say now I am in a space where I am able to offer the help of giving others hope who have gone the road I have gone. I learnt that God uses people to heal other people. Sharing our stories brings healing and hope that one day you will be able to stand on your own and share your own testimony. As the word says we overcome by the blood of the lamb and words of our testimonies.
I am here to encourage someone to look to God who has come to set us free, to heal, restore us. Your past, present and future will never define you but God is the one who gives us our destiny. Daughter of God don’t hold back, share your story and heal others who have endured the shame, disgrace and being labelled because of what they have gone through.
My prayer is that God can give every person who has been victimized by people who where supposed to protect them to find in them ways to forgive themselves, perpetrators and even God.
Surrender the pain, anger, frustration and receive the love God promised us. To be so whole that we can pray for those who hurt us and stand for the truth that set us free from the bondage of the enemy. Read John 10:10
What can you do to help others who are affected by GBV?
How can you support them in their healing journey?
Support and love those who have suffered and do not reject them
Cebisa Mtsi, Cape Town
16 Days of ACTIVISM 2020, 07 December 2020.
Exodus 22:22-23 “You must not mistreat any widow or orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.”
A grandmother was recently raped and murdered by a rapist in Soweto. Her granddaughter was also raped. In another story in KZN, a grandmother died after her 3 granddaughters were raped before her eyes. Many girl children have to walk past groups of boys and men while they cat call them, objectifying them at a young age. In universities and schools, sometimes teachers and lecturers pressure girls to have sex with them if they want to pass. In some universities, girls are raped and the university protects the rapists and expels the girls who reported the rape case. Our government justice systems often release rapists. Women and children then have to face their abusers again in their homes.
Lord, we confess as government that we have placed women and children in jeopardy often leading to murder. We confess that we have failed to protect women and children in South Africa so that they are not safe outside of their homes and especially inside their homes. We have enabled abuse by not attending to women and children who report rape cases. We have released rapists back to the communities where they return to do more rape.
We confess that universities have not protected young ladies from being raped, instead, university structures have protected rapists. We confess to the sexual exploitation of ladies and girls in learning institutions.
What is God showing you?
Siki Dlanga, East London (EC)
16 Days of ACTIVISM 2020, 05 December 2020.
Lament of A South African Teenager:
The weight of being a young girl child is really dark in these times. Your existence automatically makes you a prey and every day you pray that your breath won’t be raped away.
What is it that that men want from us?
We gave them life and now they want to take ours from us.
Surely this cannot be. It’s as though someone will pinch me and say: “Relax Obuhle, this is just a dream.”
But how when I can’t leave my house without sending my location?
Because I might not make it to my destination.
Nowadays it seems that my destination is them ending up between my legs and my life brutally murdered in a man’s hands.
A notion is raised *men are trash*
Nywe nywe “Not all men” “Not all men”
Sure. Maybe. But guess what?
*Women are scared.* All women are scared.
Because men kill us.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Heavenly father, we come before you giving you all that we are, as we are. Women of our nation are suffering. We are hurting and worn out Lord. We have been crying for the past many years for our existence, but never like this before Father. We have seen it all Lord, we are weary now. Hear the cries of our heart Father. We would like you to turn our situation around. I am asking for your intervention. Remind men of the goodness that lies within their core that they may tap into it. Fuel a desire deep inside them to seek after Your goodness and turn from their own wicked ways. Amen.
Except for telling women to take it to the Lord in prayer, what other assistance is being offered by the church to victims of GBV? As the church what are we doing about GBV besides talking about it amongst ourselves as believers? Are we using the platforms at our disposal to call out GBV and stop it short in our immediate circles? Let us be more vocal about gender based violence, in our immediate circles and in all spaces and platforms within our means.
Baby Obuhle Sihu, 17 years old, Mdantsane (EL), Eastern Cape
16 Days of ACTIVISM 2020, 04 December 2020.
Prayer: A prayer for God to touch the ailing and hurting hearts of victims of Gender Based Violence (i.e. rape, domestic violence, intimate partner violence etc.)
Scripture: Psalm 34:18, Psalm 147:3
Story: I work with survivors of rape, domestic violence and families of women who have been killed by their partners (Femicide). What touches me is how most of them have given up on God, are hurt and are really bitter. The main question they keep on asking is “where was God when this terrible thing was happening to me”. It is very difficult to minister to them because their hearts are really hurting. Some survivors try to commit suicide and some have succeeded.
Prayer: Lord, we present all the victims of GBV and children who have suffered abuse, to you. Heal their ailing and hurting hearts with your loving touch.
We pray that they may regain their sense of worth, self esteem that you gave them.
I pray that you may bring them closer to you as you heal their hearts so that they may experience the abundance of your love.
Reflection: There are many of these hurting people in our communities. How are you contributing towards taking care of these people and bringing them back to their Father, Matthew 9:36
Nomsa Nabo, Johannesburg
16 Days of ACTIVISM 2020, 03 December 2020.
Praying Against Patriarchal system that silences the “Voice of Women”
Scripture: He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and desposes them, He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to discerning (Dan 2: 21)
The socio-culture research show that South Africa is still a patriarchal society. This creates high pressure and inequality between sexes. This is one of the reason that many offences are not even reported to the church leadership but kept in secret.
Can you think of situations in your life or that of women who are close to you who have always been silenced, who could not speak for herself but spoken on behalf of, who has been excluded from decision making in social structures of society?
• Pray that there will be a change in societal, family, church, political structures to allow women to receive the liberty that the Son of God died to make available to everyone
• Pray that Women will rise to leadership positions without fear of prejudice
• Pray for restoration of sense of worth, healing from chronic feeling of guilt, distorted image of God in all of us
• Pray that women will see themselves as strong and independent human beings
• In the early church women occupied number of roles. How has patriarchal system affected women’s sense of worth?
Sylvia Thantsha, Limpopo, Polokwane
16 Days of ACTIVISM 2020, 02 December 2020.
Romans 1:32 “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do these things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
“My cousin and I recently reminisced about our colorful upbringing in our grandmother’s house. We couldn’t end the conversation without recalling the bleak memories of how long it took the family to believe and act on molestation accusations I brought against one of my uncles. By the time the unemployed perpetrator was chased out of the family home, I was a young bright girl with no confidence in authority. “
Father in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, we lift before you today victims of abuse who have had to suffer a double blow of not only being violated but also having their truth rejected by those who are meant to use their power to preserve their dignity. The righteous have concerned themselves with preserving the reputation of the abuser at the expense of their concern for the abused. May sobriety prevail in the corridors of power even in homes behind closed doors (Proverbs 29:7 The Righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern)
Your 1st reaction to a victim can break the victim further than where the perpetrator left off. Families must always involve authorities because all forms of abuse are a crime.
Pastor Matshepo Mokobake, Vlakfontein Jhb South
16 Days of ACTIVISM 2020, 1 December 2020.
Lamenting for the Country
Scripture: Ezra 10:1 While Ezra prayed and confessed, weeping and falling facedown before the house of God, a very large assembly of Israelites–men, women, and children–gathered around him, and the people wept bitterly as well.
Can you think of the ways that police and government have failed to create safe environments for women? How has government failure to create jobs endangered women? What about human trafficking? Have you heard about the “sex for jobs” injustice? Are there any teachings in our school curriculum and in our justice system that enable the sexual violation of women? What cultural ways do you know of that glorify the oppression of women?
We also confess that our police and government have failed to create safe environments for women and children. We confess that women at times are reduced to prostitutes through joblessness, human trafficking, cultural materialism and other systematic injustices.
In what ways is God calling us to lament? Is there anything else God is speaking to you about today?
Siki Dlanga, Eastern Cape
16 Days of ACTIVISM 2020, 30 November 2020
Praying for Rape and Abuse of Women and Children
Remember those in prison as though you were their fellow prisoners, and those who re mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering (Heb 13: 3
Imagine this situation
Women who are affected by Gender based violence live in fear of secondary victimization, their morality is affected. They lose their self-confidence and self-worth, they fear for their safety every day of their lives.
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we bow our knees before You (Eph. 3:14-15), We confess that we have not lived according to your standards in our marriages. We acknowledge that most of the pain that families suffer is because of our own sinful ways. Lord may your arise and your enemies be scattered (Ps. 68:1).
Abuse is not welcomed in our nation. Let your fire minister destruction to all destroyers of families in Jesus name. We ask for grace to fight a good battle (1 Tim. 6: 12). Lord let help come for those who are violated, let justice prevails for the perpetrators.
Think of families you know that are suffering this pandemic and pray for them.
Sylvia Thantsha, Limpopo Polokwane, Seshego
16 Days of ACTIVISM 2020, 27 November 2020
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.- James 5:16
Countless children and women have confessed to having experienced rape and sexual violation in the church. Do you know anyone who was raped by a pastor? Do you know any church or worship leaders who have been suspected of sexual violations of women or minors?
Lord, I confess that as believers we have not believed the stories of those who have confessed to being sexually violated. Lord, we confess that we have been part of the problem that has enabled abusers in our churches to abuse women and children. We confess that sexual abuse and gender-based violence is a work of darkness and not of God. We confess that we have not created safe places for sexually violated people in the church. We confess that we have not made our churches places of healing for the sexually violated as you did for Mary Magdalene. We confess that we have instead made our churches safe for abusers. We have failed to confront them but instead we have covered for them and exposed the vulnerable because we wanted to keep the good name of our churches.
Are you a church leader, worship leader or congregant who has enabled abuse or been an abuser? What is the Holy Spirit revealing to you now? Who are you going to confess to so that you will face what you have done and be healed?
TEASA GBV Prayer Coordinator, Mdantsane, Eastern Cape