We find ourselves in an uncomfortable time in South Africa. Lockdown hasn't worked and is not working.

The coronavirus is on the rampage in SA which is now the worst affected country on the continent, whilst certain communities within the country have been hit far harder than others, leaving the authorities with little choice but to take some fairly drastic action.

This time they've opted to reintroduce a curfew and re-banned the sale of alcoholic drinks, arguing that this will ease pressure on ICU wards which had experienced a dramatic rise in admissions since the previous alcohol ban had been rescinded.

It all sounds very commendable, but in reality it's little more than papering over cracks that are getting wider and deeper by the day, and none of this is helped by the ineptitude of corrupt officials. However, I have ranted more than enough about them and how they had dragged this country to its knees long before the coronavirus struck, so I won't go any further on that right now, suffice to say that SA's lockdown is not working!

What is sad is the reality of the human suffering that is being wrought on the country through seemingly good intentions to control the escalating rise of the pandemic. There is always going to have to be a balancing game between allowing people to live and earn a wage in order to put food on the table versus the very real risks of the virus to the most vulnerable in society.

I realise it's all too easy to sit at a keyboard and bemoan the government's handling of things thus far, but I also spend quite a bit of time out and about and chatting with friends, and what I'm hearing and seeing is truly appalling bordering on desperate. Unemployment has rocketed and the number of people begging at robots (traffic lights) is getting out of hand. The numbers of people asking for food hampers remains high and the numbers of local businesses folding is truly awful, especially when the offers of help from govt are as paltry as they are. Sadly there appears to be little in the way of balancing the needs of those who are seriously struggling with the needs of those who are most at risk from the virus.

Lockdown hasn't worked and isn't working so it's time to get on our knees and pray!

We need to pray for and end to the coronavirus, we need to pray for an end to lockdown, and we need to pray for an end to corrupt and ineffective government. But more than all of this, we need to pray for revival, that the nation may come to repent and know Jesus.

As a church, these are the things we're praying for for our nation, won't you stand with SA and pray for her too?

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