Independence Prayer – Zambia

The Zambian Independence Prayer was written alongside the celebration of independence on 24 October 1964.

 

Contemporary version

Almighty and Eternal God,
Creator and Protector of all people,
into your hands we commend our land of Zambia.
Draw into closer unity the people of all races who dwell here.
Send out your light and your truth that they may lead us into paths of community and peace.
Deliver us from the pride that fears not God and the selfishness that disregards humanity.
And grant that political freedom may, by your blessings, be an instrument for good to us and to the nations of the world.
Strengthen us, we beseech you, that we may fulfil the Law of Love and so continue, as a place and a people, to serve you to the end of time.
Through Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.

Original Version*

Almighty and eternal God,
Father of all men,
into thy hands we commend our land of Zambia.
Draw into closer unity the people of all races who dwell here.
Send out thy light and thy truth that they may lead us into paths of fellowship and peace.
Deliver us from the pride that fears not God and the selfishness that regards not man.
And grant that political freedom may, by thy blessings, be an instrument for good to us and to the nations of the world.
Strengthen us we beseech thee, that we may fulfil the law of Christ and so continue a place and a people to do thee service to the end of time.
Through Jesus Christ, our only Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.

*Reprinted from ‘Zambia’s National Development Plan: A Christian View,’ a series of broadcasts by Mr Wilfrid Grenville-Grey, Principal, Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation, 1967

History and Context

With the introduction of taxes in the early 20th century, local Zambians were forced into the cash economy which led many to work in the mines. The plight of the Zambian people was bleak under white British rule, and miners held strikes in reaction to the situation. Attempts to gain the vote were basically suppressed.

On 24 October 1964, Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia, and held the first election to be based on universal adult suffrage. The United National Independence Party received the majority of the votes and Mr Kenneth Kaunda became the first President of the new Zambia.

What has Independence meant for Zambia?

Freedom is often understood as release or liberation from a controlling power or powers, a movement into independence (sometimes interdependence), opportunity and equality.

For Zambia, freedom has meant not only release from colonial rule but, also, freedom from racial segregation, disempowerment and exploitation.

Yet at the time of political freedom, the new Zambia…

‘inherited a 50 million kwacha national debt from the colonial era and a populace largely unskilled and uneducated (At independence, there were fewer than 100 Zambians with university degree, and fewer than a thousand who had completed secondary school.)’ ( Zambia Bradt Travel Guide by Chris McIntyre, 2016)