The place and role of prayer for HIV and AIDS patients in the Vaal Triangle churches
Matthews, Nombulelo Patience
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There are many challenges that are facing the world today. One of those challenges is HIV and AIDS. Thousands of people are infected as well as affected by the HIV and AIDS pandemic in the world. In spite of many efforts that have been done to combat the disease, HIV and AIDS is still claiming lives and leave many without their loved ones. The study of the role and place of prayer for HIV and Aids sick patients in the Vaal Triangle churches is a very important research topic, since the results will not only benefit people in the Vaal Triangle only but all people who are affected as well as infected by the disease in other areas. Churches have been given a command from the Bible to pray for the sick. However there are many misconceptions about praying for the sick especially the HIV and AIDS patients. Some of these misconceptions arise because HIV and AIDS is medically declared as an incurable disease. The effectiveness of prayer on HIV and AIDS to others is therefore questionable. Unfortunately these questions and doubts make many some people doubt the power of prayer and its effectiveness for HIV and AIDS patients. People who pray for HIV and AIDS sick persons are faced with many questions. Some of them sometimes wonder if God will answer their prayers or whether the person being prayed for will be healed or not. Others think that HIV and AIDS disease is a punishment from God and praying for the infected will be a waste of time. Some even question God’s ability to cure this disease. It is because of such questions that many avoid praying for HIV and AIDS patients. Others simply avoid praying for HIV and AIDS patients because it might reflect on them by others as lack of faith. Jesus prayed for the sick and also told the church to pray and to ask of the Father. He prayed for the sick regardless of their kind of sicknesses and as well as the causes of those sickness. He accepted those who were outcasts of society and prayed for those whose sicknesses were considered a shame in public. The church has to pray for HIV and AIDS infected people. They are not to be controlled to pray by the results of prayer or the kind and the cause of the sickness. And, issues such as whether HIV and AIDS is a punishment from God or not. Just like Jesus, the church should pray for HIV and AIDS sick people without ceasing.
- Theology