As thousands of Christians prayed together in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday (October 22) God showed his approval through dramatic signs in the sky above Port Elizabeth.
At least that is the view of some observers who were struck by unusual cloud and light displays that were seen over the stadium and other parts of the city after the prayer day closed with a mighty faith declaration into the heavenlies by Christians from many different churches and communities who had gathered to pray for the Nelson Mandela Bay metro.
Indeed many people who participated in the prayer day commented on the remarkable cloud formation that appeared over the stadium as the event drew to a close. Many also commented on the exceptional atmosphere of unity at the prayer day and their sense of spiritual breakthrough as a result of repentance for the division and rebellion which had been blocking God’s good purposes for the city.
Retired Anglican priest Rev Lawrie Wilmot writes: “Four of us came together to be at the prayer meeting, and all of us saw so clearly in the sky above us two unmistakeable signs of the Lord’s blessing upon the afternoon’s events.
“As we drove away from the stadium towards the freeway we were facing the sea: small scattered clouds like balls of cotton wool filled the sky. Suddenly we all noticed a shaft of light coming through the clouds in the late afternoon sun and shining directly onto the stadium and the bay area between it and the sea. It was a fairly narrow, straight shaft and at its foot was a pool of the most lovely, gentle and hazy light that enveloped all the buildings and everything around them and turned them shining white.
“We were all entranced and all spontaneously said, ‘Look at what the Lord is doing!’. As we drove on we simply just took it all in in silent wonder.
“And it wasn’t over yet, either: as we turned westwards towards Lorraine we saw another sign, truly magnificent to behold. The Lord had parted the clouds in the most unusual way any of us had yet seen: all these small fluffy clouds had been arranged to form the outline of an eagle, so that the eagle was a startlingly blue and bold shape against the mottled background of the clouds- if you know what ‘reverse printing’ is you will understand.
“It’s shape, in silhouette, was of an eagle descending and about to alight: facing us with its head forward and the wings outstretched. There were no ‘feet’: just this magnificent shape. To us three it was not only another sign of the Lord’s blessing but of all that the image of an eagle stands for in Scripture: protection, rescue, shelter, and the soaring to new heights on the ‘thermals’ of the Holy Spirit. Awesome, in the truest sense of the word!”
The remarkable late afternoon sky also caught the attention of keen photographer Dendon Hall, who was at his home in Kabega. He noticed a thin blue line of sky splitting the dappled blanket of clouds from east to west as far as the eye could see.
“I have never seen anything like it before,” said Hall who captured the phenomenon with his digital camera.
He said the clouds then transformed into a V-shape that stretched across the sky. “It was like heaven opening,” he said. The sight brought to mind a programme he had seen on God TV about the meaning of the ‘third heaven’ referred to by Paul in the Bible. It was like seeing a revelation of God’s blessing, he said. It was not until the next day that he realised that the prayer day had been taking place as he took his photos.
And so as heaven literally and spiritually opened above the stadium, the assembled prayers spoke out the following proclamation: We declare and we decree that Port Elizabeth and the surrounding area will never return back to a heart of iniquity. We uproot any stronghold that would hinder Gods purpose.
“We humble ourselves and repent so that our city may be healed. We believe we will see the transformation of every heart to turn to God. We believe that our promise of purpose has been given by God and cannot be stopped. We take our responsibility to reach out in love to every person that God has placed in our lives. We arise as the united body of Christ to be a demonstration of the power of the holy spirit as a witness. Nelson Mandela bay will never be the same in Jesus name.”
The steering committee that organised the prayer day decided today to meet again on November 29 to prayer together and listen to what God wants them to do next in the aftermath of the October 22 Prayer Day.