All followers of Jesus Christ in South Africa should humble themselves and join together in prayer and fasting on Freedom Day before the Lord, according to Pastor Elisee Yao, founder and senior pastor of Divine Restoration Ministries in Bloemfontein.
He says in light of recent events, we need to ask ourselves if righteousness is prevailing in South Africa and if the answer is no, then we should turn to the Lord in prayer and fasting in order to see our nation healed and transformed.
Yao’s appeal supports the call by the Karoo Mighty Men Conference (KMMC 2016) that is partnering with a variety of Christian and media organisations to call for the ‘National Day of Prayer & Fasting for Freedom’ on Wednesday April 27, which is the Freedom Day public holiday just two days before the start of KMMC 2016.
“In the time of Jonah, when God purposed to destroy Nineveh, the whole nation was spared because of their willingness to yield to the word of the prophet by humbling themselves through prayer and fasting,” says Yao.
“South Africans should be motivated and encouraged to pray and fast for their country, because of God’s promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land,” he adds.
KMMC’s call for prayer and fasting corresponds with the sentiment that has come out of intercession for the conference, which has not been limited to the event, but extended to include issues affecting the nation, according to Dave Turner, one of the local organisers of the KMMC who co-ordinates prayer and intercession for the conference.
“This year, as the final day of the 40 Days of Prayer coincides with the country’s Freedom Day public holiday, it was on our hearts to extend the intercession for the conference to partner with others in a ‘National Day of Prayer and Fasting for Freedom’, because we know that KMMC is only one small aspect of what God wants to do in the nation,” says Turner.
“Through being involved with KMMC, whether it be interceding for the event or attending the conference, they gain a wider vision of what God wants to do in the country. Our heart is for God to heal the nation and to see our nation turned around for God.
“Let’s unite in prayer and pray that every negative situation in our nation, will be looked at through prophetic eyes, and that Christians will rise up with boldness and faith and declare life over these situations – turning them around for the Kingdom of God,” he adds.
Prayer walking vision
Turner encourages all South Africa’s Christians to pray for an outbreak of prayer walking in our nation like has never happened before – every street, every neighbourhood, every school, every police station – that every place where the Christians set their feet, will become consecrated, dedicated and holy; and the Kingdom of God will advance.
“God told Moses to take off his shoes because it was holy ground (Exo 3:5). God promised Joshua that He would give him every place where he set his foot in the land of Canaan (Jos 1:3).
“The enemy has no right over any place or object that is consecrated to God – it becomes holy, set apart for God.
“Let us all be inspired to prayer walk on a regular basis as a result of doing it on the ‘National Day of Prayer and Fasting for Freedom on Freedom Day,” says Turner.
The ‘National Day of Prayer and Fasting for Freedom’ on Freedom Day will follow on the heels of two recent prayer gatherings that took place in the US — the United Cry in Washington DC and Azusa Now, in Los Angeles.
The US prayer gatherings focused on repentance, spiritual revival, empowerment and prayer that God would cleanse the nation of its past transgressions of dehumanisation and racism, which is not dissimilar to what we need to pray for in South Africa.
Yao says there is urgency in the spirit for Jesus to be proclaimed Lord of South Africa. For true freedom only comes through Jesus Christ.
“South Africa is in the process of a rebirth, which is why we are busy experiencing birthing pains. There are prophetic contractions happening in South Africa.
Birthing of revival
“In prayer and fasting we will usher South Africa into the birth of the greatest revival of its history. There is hope and a bright future for South Africa as we humble ourselves and proclaim Jesus Lord of our nation.
“As South Africans, it is our duty to join hands in prayer and fasting to achieve that purpose. Something good is about to happen in South Africa but we must be willing to respond to God’s call.
“Prayer and fasting is a key component of a spiritual birthing in the nation, in the Church and in the lives of individual followers of Christ,” says Yao.
He says revival in South Africa will come when the nation repents, for revival is directly related to repentance – an acknowledgement that we have strayed from God’s ways with a deep, heart-rending desire to return to His ways.
“A revival is about bringing to life that which is seen to be dead. The Bible calls sin dead works, so for revival to occur we need to repent and turn from our ways that are not glorifying God.
“Repentance means to change your mind, turn from your ways and choose a righteous direction that will show the world we are children of God by our way of life, by standing against corruption, by treating our family and neighbours with love, and by making a positive difference to the life of the nation, that will only happen when we change our mind and follow Christ.
“Standing outside of falsehoods, standing in truthfulness and declaring that Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, which will lead the nation into revival,” says Yao.
Turner agrees saying we first need to repent before God (Acts 3:19) and be reconciled with Him (2Cor 5:18-20), then we will be capable of repenting before each other (Gal 5:16, Eph 4:32), and revival will follow, together with being reconciled to our fellow South Africans (Mat 5:24).
Yao believes we should all use prayer and fasting on Freedom Day as an opportunity to examine our hearts before the Lord and come clean, so that we are able to lead the country in righteousness as children of God.
“While many people point a finger at government, we should first look at ourselves and repent as children of God and as the Church, so that we can lead by example and petition the Lord to change that which is unrighteous in the country.
“Every believer should first seek the Lord through prayer and fasting for that which is not glorifying God to be changed in their own lives, before praying for the nation,” says Yao.
He says South Africa has tried to bring about peace and reconciliation in the country through political policies, social engineering, government programmes, and legislation, but we have not turned to the Lord and relied on His grace for His peace and reconciliation, nor have we as a country followed Jesus Christ’s example of forgiveness.
“We have tried transformation through our human strengths and efforts and we have relied on Parliament and government, but it is time for the Church to lead the country in turning to the Lord, because true reconciliation and peace can only be achieved through the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Psalm 33:12 says ‘blessed is the nation whose God is Yahweh, the people whom he has chosen for his own inheritance’.
“So, the moment we proclaim God as Lord of this nation, He will cause the hearts of His people to change, because peace and reconciliation are not just words, they are actions that can only happen through the leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ whose nature is forgiveness.
“For us to forgive, we first need to seek forgiveness from God. Once we are secure in God’s forgiveness our spiritual eyes will be opened and we will realise that we have received forgiveness by grace for so much, without having earned it, that it will be a small thing to extend that forgiveness to those who have offended us,” says Yao.
He says other important aspects to pray for during the ‘National Day of Prayer & Fasting for Freedom’ on Freedom Day are:
• Integrity and insight for those in authority. Pray that those in authority have an encounter with God; for there is no heart that is so hard that He cannot change and give wisdom and understanding to lead the nation righteously.
• For individual Christians at the grassroots level to rise up and lead by applying their Kingdom values in whatever sphere they find themselves at any particular time; from their homes to their workplaces, social circumstances, institutions of education, and sports clubs.
• Unity in the country and among the churches. Unity will open up the way for revival, however, this does not mean uniformity; we might not belong to the same denomination, but we can all act in unity of the Spirit that glorifies the Lord. We can all respect each other for what they are doing for the Lord and celebrate the way God is using each of us without being jealous – that is unity.
“I want to encourage the nation of South Africa. We are on the brink of a great move of God and it is up to us to join the flow of His Spirit by the attitude of our hearts. It is up to us to fulfil our God-given roles through being led by His Holy Spirit.
“Furthermore, we call on South Africa to stand in peace with the nation of Israel. South Africa will benefit by blessing Israel, for God still loves Israel. Amen!”
KMMC 2016 invites all Christians to unite in this prayer initiative and to participate in this National Day of Prayer & Fasting for Freedom on Freedom Day.
• A Call to every Christian – to pray with other Christians!
• A Call to every Husband – to pray with his Wife!
• A Call to every Father – to pray with his Family!
• A Call to every Small Group Leader – to organise your Small Group to participate!
• A Call to every Pastor or Reverend – to facilitate your church to participate!
• A Call to every leader of a church Grouping – to encourage your entire church Grouping to participate!