10 years of my ministry (1996-2006) were spent at the worldwide epicentre of the HIV/AIDS pandemic ... rural KwaZulu Natal in South Africa ... which had the highest per capita rates of new infections and number of deaths worldwide. That many of those deaths were completely preventable is the well documented story of denialism and quackery that were the institutionalized order of the day. Praise God that His will was eventually done in terms of justice and mercy. I have journeyed professionally and compassionately through the path of this scourge. In my 3rd year as a dental student (1980) our lecture in Virology (which we did together with the medical students) on the subject was a simple 4 or 5 lines of notes on this new disease !!! The rest, of course, is (ongoing) history.
Please pray the prayer below, which I republish from last year, as often as you can:
Gracious God and Father of all comfort, Creator of all life and Purveyor of all creation, Almighty God of the Universe to You belongs all life. Today, on World AIDS Day, we give you thanks and praise for Your mercy, grace, compassion and love which are beyond measure. In You is our Salvation and in You
we find our Provision. Your Name is Holy. And, you are Lord!
Father of compassion, we come humbly to you today, on World AIDS Day, with hearts heavy with what we witness in our world. Lord, there are millions of orphans due to AIDS, and thousands who will be orphaned just today. We are deeply troubled that so many children will go to bed tonight without a parent. But, we thank you that you are the Father to the fatherless. Father have mercy. Show your compassion. Bring hope to the hopeless. And, forgive us for our own shortcomings, complacency, and apathy while so many children became orphaned by AIDS. Help us Lord in our own weaknesses to respond to the needs of these little ones; and, use us as instruments of Your grace.
Father of mercy, today another six thousand people, many living apart from your ways, but many who are innocent, men, women and children, will become infected by HIV. They will join the more than 35.3 million already infected. We give you thanks that you are greater than any disease or plaque; and, now ask, as you have done in times past; heal and comfort those who are suffering. Be with those who just today found out that they were HIV-positive. Our
science has tried for years to bring a remedy to this global pandemic but to no avail. We confess our dependence on you. We also confess that we, your people, have often turned our backs on those with HIV who are sick and dying; and, so we ask you to forgive us for our judgmental attitudes, our lack of concern and response. We ask you to intervene and to bring the healing only You can. And, help us to hear the cries and respond to the needs of the suffering with Your unconditional love.
Father of grace, today another four thousand people will die of AIDS around the world, many without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, joining the nearly 30 million who have already died. Have mercy, oh God, on those who are dying. Reveal your Salvation to the suffering. Prove Your grace once again! We confess that is our own lack of response over the years, while so many died, that we did not demonstrate to the world your great care for mankind. Forgive us Lord, but hear our cry now and rescue the many dying of AIDS into their eternal rest, in your heavenly Kingdom. Use us Lord, as ambassadors of Hope, to reach many with your Good
News, before they succumb to this dreaded disease.
And, finally Father, help us on this World AIDS Day and everyday, to be overcomers, and to become all that You have purposed Your people to be; to witness to the world your compassion, grace, mercy and love. We ask you to move in your sovereignty to remove the AIDS pandemic from the world and to heal the nations. Use us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and help us minister to the orphan and widow, the suffering and dying. Lord, assist us daily as we walk faithful in our calling and discharge our mandate as you would have us to do. We give you praise because we know that there is nothing that is too difficult for you and that you are able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can hope or ask. And, we will be careful to give you the honor and glory for all that You do. We ask this in the Name that is above every name, the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Global AIDS Prayer Partnership
(Figures updated 29 November 2014, I could not find updated figures for 2015) by Holy, Wholly, Holey, Cedric Poole, based on UNAIDS