Christians from different denominations and groupings participating in a National Day of Prayer on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, gathered in the Soshanguve TUT Stadium, Pretoria, the Good Hope Centre, Cape Town and in churches and homes around the country.
At the Soshanguve gathering church leaders repented of their personal sin and the church’s failure to contribute meaningfully to moral renewal and nation building.
“We prayed that the Holy Spirit empowers the church to kneel down and take our rightful place serving the nation,” said the Reverend Moss Ntlha, General-Secretary of TEASA and the Chairman of the South African Christian Leadership Initiative (SACLI).
“This was not just another event. We are asking God to give us the unity, wisdom and courage to engage in at least a 30 year process of sustainable and united Christian engagement with the nation.”
The event was organised under the umbrella of SACLI, a coming together of the major Christian denominations and unity bodies including the South African Council of Churches (SACC), the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA), Kairos South Africa and African Enterprise. SACLI came together in January 2013 in order to start planning a long-term programme of action to address issues of importance in the country. The National Day of Prayer was hosted jointly with City of Tshwane and The National Department of Social Development.
“Prayer can become a dangerous business,” said Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, one of the participating senior church leaders. “Because genuine prayer does indeed change us. Prayer is a means of aligning ourselves with God – and if we align our heads, hearts and souls, then inevitably our words, actions and attitudes will also change.”
“If you look at successful spiritual movements in history they were all begun and sustained by a movement of prayer,” said SACLI coordinator Marcus van Wyk. “There have been several powerful prayer movements in this country over the past decade and we believe this moment of unity is the answer to those prayers and the beginning of a new season of cooperation”.
“Every Christian should personally repent of their sin and failure to stand for ethics and morals in the nation,” said Charles Robertson, a businessman in the construction industry. “Business people and those who work ordinary jobs are those who will change the nation. We need to demonstrate Christ’s teachings and live moral lives every day of the week and not just on Sundays.”
The Soshanguve stadium event was led by senior church leaders from a variety of denominations and included representatives from government, business and other key sectors of the nation. Prayers for the nation included for family, government, justice, business, education, arts and culture, science and technology and media. There was also a focus on gender based violence and human trafficking.
Those interested in engaging with the SACLI movement can contact Marcus van Wyk on 083 471 1021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.