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Day of Humiliation and Prayer

6 Dec 2023

On the motion of Rev D A Ross, the Synod in May 2023 appointed a Day of Humiliation and Prayer to be observed throughout the Church on Wednesday, 6 December 2023, as follows:

We as a Church have always recognized the need to appoint a Day of Humiliation and Prayer. But at this particular time in our history as nations, with the ongoing wickedness of the people in rejecting Christ the King of kings, righteous judgments keep multiplying. One essential response on our part to such dreadful national rejection of God and consequent judgements is to pray more earnestly. We believe this to be the most important and urgent response. Of course, we are to continue using all Biblical means to spread the Word of God; and we are to contend more earnestly for the faith. Indeed, with regard to every other gospel activity, there is no place for indifference but let our leading activity be prayer. There is always a danger that the Lord’s people may be less prayerful than they once were. May the Lord enable us to resist that; prayer is to be the beginning to all our gospel activities.

The Saviour directed the Church to engage in prayer ceaselessly, and reminds us that prayer is one of the distinguishing marks of His Church when he calls His house, “My house of prayer” (Isaiah 56:7). He repeats this in the gospels; “My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer” (Mark 11:17), and deplores the Church being used for some carnal worldly pursuit: “But ye have made it a den of thieves.”

This is woefully true in our day. Indeed, such is the low state of true religion and the rise of false, that unimaginable vile practices have free rein. There is an ever-growing flood of forms of uncleanness and murder of babes in the womb who are not permitted to see the light of day. Such outrageous acts of wickedness, in some cases condoned by the professing Church, leave us afraid that more severe judgements will come upon us. For Israel, in Jeremiah’s day, a time of fearful judgement was on the wing, hence the solemn directive to him, “Pray not for this people for their good” (Jeremiah 14:11). Fearful judgments did indeed come upon Israel. We need as a nation to be greatly afraid of worse judgements than that of two world wars. Therefore, there is all the more the need for a day of humiliation and prayer to be observed throughout the Church. The sinful king of Nineveh, an exceedingly wicked city ripe for judgement, directed his people to “cry mightily unto God,” and to turn from their evil ways, with the hope of staying predicted judgement. Though the king feared the worst, yet he told his people: “Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?” (Jonah 3:9).

Let us likewise humble ourselves before God and cry mightily to Him.”The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy” (Psalm 103:8).

(Rev) Keith M Watkins, Clerk of Synod


6 Dec 2023