African Prayer

This was shared as a call and response prayer to start a beautiful presentation on Thursday about non-profit work in the Congo. As the words were read I found tears and laughter and gentle smiles of recognition and connection.  I share it here for all who love Africa.

An African Canticle adapted from a prayer of Kilakala Girls School in Morogoro, Tanzania

Africa…. Bless the One
And al you people and places,
From Cairo to Cape Town all,
From Dar es Salaam to Lagos all.
Here let all the works of the Lord…… Bless the One
Praise and extol God forever and even.

All you BIG things…. Bless the One
Mount Kilimanjaro and the River Nial,
The Rift Valley and the Serengeti Plain,
Fat baobabs and shady mango trees,
All eucalyptus and tamarind trees,
You hippos and giraffes and elephants……. Bless the One
Praise and extol God forever and ever.

All you TINY things…… Bless the One
Busy black ants and hopping fleas,
Wriggling tadpoles and mosquito larvae,
Flying locusts and water drops,
Pollen dust and tsete flies,
Millet seeds and dried dagaa….. Bless the One
Praise and extol God forever and ever.

All you SHARP things….. Bless the One
Sisal plant tips and tall lake reeds,
Maasai spears and Turkana hunting arrows,
A rhino’s horn and crocodile teeth…. Bless the One
Praise and extol God forever and even.

All you SWEET things….. Bless the One
Wild honey and papaws and coconut milk,
Pineapples and sugar cane and sun-dried dates,
Slow roasted yams and banana juice…. Bless the One
Praise and extol God forever and ever.

All you BITTER things…. Bless the One
Quinine and blue soap,
Sour milk and maize beer…… Bless the One
Praise and extol God forever and ever.

All you SWIFT things…. Bless the One
Wild goats and honking matatus,
Frightened centipedes and lightning flashes…. Bless the One
Praise and extol God forever and ever.

All you SLOW things…. Bless the One
Curious giraffes and old bony cows,
Brown humped camels, grass munching sheep….. Bless the One
Praise and extol God forever and ever.

All you LOUD things…… Bless the One
Monsoon rains on aluminum roofs,
Midnight hyenas and feast day drums,
Train stations and busy bus stops…… Bless the One
Praise and extol God forever and ever.

All you QUIET things…. Bless the One
Candle flames and just sown furrow,
Heaps of clouds and sunny libraries,
The Pyramids and Sahara Desert
Land snails and crawling turtles,
Grazing zebras and stalking lions….Bless the One
Praise and extol God forever and ever.

All you creatures that never talk,
Still bless you the Lord.
Praise and extol God forever and ever.

One thought on “African Prayer

  1. Anna, have you been to Africa? I went to the Congo at age 19. Now I have a cousin who is there and have her letters, if you are interested. My uncle was a missionary Dr. for over 30 yrs; his children are volunteering their time/expertise to get a hospital/training center up & running in the town they used to live in and serve. Great blog!!! Becca

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