Christian communities in towns, cities and neighbourhoods all over South Africa will unite at 2pm on Sunday, February 28, to pray for an hour into critical issues in our country as they participate in a fresh national prayer initiative called up4sa (United Prayer for South Africa).
To date 50 communities have committed to participate says Robbie Black, National Coordinator and initiative visionary. He hopes that many more community leaders will step up and volunteer to co-ordinate a prayer point in their areas: they can do so by registering on the website at http://up4sa.co.za/ or by emailing up4sa at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every community leader that volunteers will receive a resource pack and will be empowered to coordinate the prayer point.
Pre-recordings of 3-minute prayers on key issues by five spiritual leaders and three well-known songs by leading SA artists will be played at each prayer point to provide guidance and prepare the way for corporate prayer. The heart of the initiative is to involve as many communities as possible in acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ as “the only answer and hope” — and to keep the initiative as simple as possible.
Asked about the birth of the initiative, Robbie, who is a pastor in East London, says: “South Africa is such an amazing country, beautiful place, beautiful people! Unfortunately we have influences that leave our nation in a real negative, crippled and critical state. I think that all of us, myself included, many times ponder the fact that there must be something we can do to address the situation. Sitting with quite a desperate feeling in my spirit about six months ago, I just sensed the precious guidance of the Holy Spirit towards the power of prayer with scriptures on prayer flowing through my mind one after the other.
“Our Lord Jesus reminded me over the next couple of weeks that prayer is the basis to all solutions. The scripture that spoke the clearest to me is “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace [the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners], that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good times for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]… Hebrews 4:16 AMP. We have to understand. Firstly, that we as Christians need to turn back to God and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is our only hope and future! We need to confess our sins done towards Him and start to follow in His footsteps. Secondly, Christianity needs to awake and realize that passivity will gain nothing. Faith without action is void! Therefore the call is for us as Christians to rise, take a stand and unite in prayer on the 28th of February, declaring and proclaiming our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ! On this day, we will not march to parliaments and presidents, we wil seek and bow before the King of kings and Lord of lords!”
Robbie says that he initially felt unwilling to respond to the call he sensed to start a national prayer initiative.
“As the call for ‘up4sa’ came I felt inadequate, humbled and ashamed of lack of prayer in my own spiritual life. The scripture in Acts 9:10 came to me, (GNB) There was A BELIEVER in Damascus named Ananias. He had a vision, in which the Lord said to him, “Ananias!” “Here I am, Lord,” he answered. (KJV) And there was A CERTAIN DISCIPLE at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. After reading this scripture I just realised again that the Lord calls us regardless our faults and shortcomings. He already sees us in future adventures with Him, all he needs is a ‘a believer’, ‘a certain disciple’ that says, ‘here I am, Lord!’ This is how I feel about myself and all the up4sa area coordinators, just ‘certain disciples’ being available. I started sharing the ‘up4sa’ call with some of my associate pastors and friends in other towns, sending emails and spreading the word on social networks.”
Robbie says the willingness of area coordinators “truly blesses my heart”. He urges Gateway News readers to keep the coordinators in prayer.
The five spiritual leaders whose pre-recorded prayers will be played at up4sa prayer points on February 28 are Izak Burger, Lindie Strydom, Afrika Mhlophe, Angus Buchan and Zane Meas.
Robbie says that some of the areas that will be covered in prayer are: Moment of thanksgiving for God’s love and grace. Acknowledge that Jesus is our only hope for South Africa – we turn back to God. Government (national and local). Local and National elections 2016/2017. Justice system. Agriculture (rain/ crops/ safety). The Church – Body of Christ. The salvation of lost souls. Honesty, integrity and character in business and workplaces. Prayer for the African continent. Marriages. Men to be good fathers, husbands and priests. The youth of our country. Education (schools and universities). Public services (Hospitals / SAPS / Traffic Departments, etc.) SA to be a God fearing nation. Peace in our country. Unity. Forgiveness. Outpouring of the love of God in our hearts. Crime. Deliverance from spiritual bondages and strongholds. Mothers of our nation. Orphans and the destitute. Immorality. Poverty. Substance abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse.
He says: “The call is still for ministers, intercessors and community leaders to register a prayer point in their community. Community members can volunteer as committee members at the different registered prayer points. Community members can help us to spread the word, mobilising as many Christians as possible to attend up4sa on 28th February. Please share and like the up4sa Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/Up4SA ) and posts.”