The Prayers of a Thousand Africans

You can hear the pitta patter of your feet as you walk along the
Dusty road.
It seems as though the road itself is mad at you how it burns your feet.
Your bag is heavy shoulder; your burdens are heavy in your heart
How you’ve come to hate school because they laugh and ridicule
Since you don’t have shoes. So you weep.
You weep because; shadow patches on the ground feel like a glimpse of heaven,
Because the moment you step in them, the burn on your feet begins to cool, you weep.
Children your age want iPhones and Tablets, but every time you kneel…
You say Lord…. if I could…
You see, these are the prayers of a thousand Africans.

You keep getting up every now and then to stir the pot that simmers on your stove.
Your kids ask when the food will be ready, and you say in an hour,
And then that hour becomes two, and that two becomes three
And then they finally fall asleep, and you weep
Because you couldn’t bring yourself to tell them,
There was nothing for them eat.
You weep because their father walked out, and the welfare stopped paying. You weep.
Women your age want handbags and heels,
But every time you kneel, you say Lord,
If I could just.get.Food…..
You see these, are the prayers of a thousand Africans.

You grab a bucket and hold it up as the rain comes in through the tin that’s called your roof.
Your shack quakes and quivers at the onslaught of the storm, and at any minute you fear that it’ll fall..
And when the storm comes to an end, you sit down and you weep.
You weep because you want a house but you’re unemployed, so you weep.
You weep because your wife wants leave you, and your children have lost respect for you, so you weep.
Men your age want flat screens and Play Stations,
But every time you kneel you say
Lord, if I could just.get.a.Job….
You see These…are the prayers a thousand Africans.

You left home seven years ago, and everyone celebrated.
The first child in the neighborhood to go to college,
They dubbed you “the special one”,
The one who would break the shackles of poverty,
They were so proud.
But then you got to the city, and it’s lights and it’s people ,
They, they confused you,
And you traded in studying for partying, and they kicked you
Out of college and now you weep.
You weep because you’ve been gone seven years, they think you’re studying your doctorate
meanwhile you’re selling your body for a few pennies so you weep.
Girls your age want twitter followers and boyfriends,
But every time you kneel you say,
Lord, if could you could…
You see these, are the prayers of a thousand Africans.

You used to be a worshiper…
But you wanted to be part of the popular kids, so you
Got girlfriends by the dozen, changing women like you change socks,
So you got high on leaves, way up above the clouds,
They used to call you the man, but now you weep.
You weep because you gave up the covenant of the grace,
For the pleasures of the flesh, you weep.
You weep because you’ve got H.I.V and now you face certain death, you weep.
Boys your age, they want Jordans and fly chicks..
But you every time you kneel,
You say Lord, if I could just.get.healed….
You see these, these are the prayers of a thousand Africans.

You see, the purpose of this poem is to get you out your comfort zone.
You’ve been stuck in it too long, making a mockery of the Grace,
You claim you understand the Cross, but every time you walk out of church you bring shame to the Gospel.
Understand this- everything you have, is because of the grace,
Don’t wait until you have to weep,
To respect the Covenant that Jesus made on the cross,
The day he died for you and me.
And now he sits at the right hand of the Father….
Listening. Every Morning. Every Day. Every Evening.
Every Night, Listening…
To the prayers of a thousand Africans.

Sdumisile Mbambo

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