(Washington, D.C.) January 7, 2014 — Fr. Kevin White S.J. invites all to pray this prayer for South Sudan at this difficult moment. The prayer was part of the preparations for the South Sudan’s Independence Day on July 9, 2011, when it became the world’s newest nation.It was prayed daily in many churches then, and though written with Independence in mind, its plea for grace and call for peace and unity has an urgent relevance today. The prayer comes from Solidarity with South Sudan, a consortium of more than 200 religious congregations. Solidarity trains teachers, nurses and pastoral personnel in several locations throughout South Sudan.
Fr. White is the Mission & Identity Coordinator for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, and accompanied the people of South Sudan while serving for three years as the Pastoral Coordinator at the former Jesuit Refugee Service project in Yei.
The project in Yei, along with the three other projects in South Sudan — Kajo Keji, Nimule, and Lobone — were turned over to local communities by December 2012 after many years of service and in keeping with our JRS exit strategies. After closing these four projects, JRS South Sudan opened two new projects which are currently operating in Yambio, Western Equatoria, and in Maban in Upper Nile State.
This prayer for South Sudan was first offered by the South Sudanese in preparation for their Independence on July 9, 2012.
It is needed today as well.
God of Mercies, we thank you for your great love for us. We ask you to guide our leaders in the process of nation building. Grant them wisdom, compassion and fortitude. Loving God, give us courage to reject ethnic resentment as well as ethnic conflicts. Through the intercession of St. Josephine Bakhita, help us to overcome hurt, hostility and bitterness in our hearts so that we become reconciled citizens in our new nation.
Renew in us the will for honest and hard work, and bring us closer to you in the spirit of service, unity and lasting peace. Lord, we pray for our heroes, our martyrs and all innocent people who died during the long years of war. We pray in thanksgiving for all those who stood by us in solidarity to bring about peace. Unite us from every tribe, tongue and people. Send your Holy Spirit upon us and may your Will be done in us. God bless our new nation; bless the Republic of South Sudan.
In Jesus' name, Amen