It was an epic experience of biblical proportions — now it’s time to pray to God

It's time aerial
It’s Time gathering in Bloemfontein, April 22 2017 with an estimated 1 000 000 people. (PHOTO: @DrMichaelMol)

The experience of attending the “It’s Time National Day of Prayer”, on the farm Wilde Als, outside Bloemfontein was truly epic and of Biblical proportions, but an article, now, immediately after the event cannot really do it justice, because its facilitation of the transformation of the lives of the people who attended and the life of the nation needs to be taken into account.

That is what we went for; one million people united as one in prayer to our Holy Father in supplication for the transformation of South Africa into a righteous nation that stands as a beacon of His kingdom’s light in a dark world of self-interest, crime, murder, unfaithfulness, greed, rebelliousness and disobedience.

God’s kingdom values should reign in all
However, for “It’s Time” to truly be reckoned as successful God’s kingdom values of love for Him, love for our neighbours, selflessness, self-sacrifice, kindness, obedience, respect for authority, and generosity should reign in each of us that attended the gathering, through His Holy Spirit using us as instruments to extend those kingdom values to South Africa in Jesus Christ’s name.

As I wrote last week, “We are to be channels through which the Lord’s giving and South Africa’s receiving takes place and His kingdom is extended across the width and breadth of the nation wherever we plant our feet, wherever we look, speak and act in our daily lives”.

Nevertheless, the experience of the “It’s Time National Day of Prayer” being of “epic and Biblical proportions” describes:

  • waking in the dark of night at 3am to gather together as a group of 21 souls journeying in a hired taxi and knowing the vehicle in which we were travelling was one of tens of thousands converging on the Free State capital from all corners of the nation;
  • arriving in the bright light of day at the “It’s Time National Day of Prayer” and being united as a body of a million members praying in agreement for the salvation of the nation;
  • feeling the coolness of a gentle breeze on a hot autumn day blow over the gathering as Uncle Angus prayed for the Holy Spirit to fill us and have His way with us;
  • hearing the “Amen! . . . Amen! . . . Amen!” of a million voices roll, reverberate and echoing over the Free State vlaktes;
  • sitting in the taxi for four-and-a-half hours after the event, stuck among the tens of thousands of vehicles without moving more than 300 metres while friends had already travelled the 300 kilometres home; and
  • finally getting back home at 2.30am on Sunday morning, almost 24 hours after our journey had started the morning before.

“Epic and Biblical proportions” also describes:

  • the immensity of organising a venue for the meeting of a million people in only six weeks and the miraculous preparation of the terrain on which the prayer gathering was held, which saw 17 farmers come forward and make their land available to be used for the prayer day with 2 000 hectares of land prepared by 25 tractors that baled 450 hectares;
  • the massive reaction the event attracted with 18 million posts on social media platforms only seven days after the launch of the media campaign for the event and 24 million posts seven days before it started; and
  • the enormity of the sound and visual system that stretched over a crowd seated on an area covering 1,4 kilometres of South African veld.

The list could go on and on and on, which brings us to the main risk of such an event — that the event itself takes away from the reason for the gathering, that the magnitude of the event distracts from focussing on the need to humble ourselves before the Lord in repentance, acknowledging our dependence on Him, praying for our nation to be reconciled with Him in His Son’s name, and for the country to come back into His ways through His Holy Spirit.

Waking up at home the next morning, my first thoughts and feelings were that It’s Time for action. The time for speaking is over!

It's time crosses
The three crosses that were erected for the It’s Time National Day of Prayer. (PHOTO: Riaan Janse van Vuuren)

Actions speak louder than words
After all, we all know actions speak louder than words.

The need for acting rather than speaking was confirmed when reading the daily devotion for April 23 from the God Calling journal by Two Listeners: “Be not too ready to speak to others. Never make yourselves do this. Pray always that the need may be apparent, if you are to do this, and the guidance very plain”.

“My Spirit has been driven out by the words of men. Words, words, words. Many have called Me Lord, Lord, who have not done the things that I said.

“Discourage too much talk. Deeds live, and re-echo down the ages — words perish. As Paul: Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy … And have not charity, I am nothing….

“Remember that rarely to the human heart do I speak in words. Man will see Me in My works done through you, meet Me in the atmosphere of Love and self-effacement. Do not feel that you have to speak.

“When man ceased to commune with his God simply and naturally, he took refuge in words — words. Babel resulted. Then God wanted to do away with man from the earth. Rely less on words. Always remember that speech is of the senses. So make it your servant, never your Master.”

It’s Time for us to pray to God rather than to speak to men.

It's time masses
The crowds getting ready to leave It’s Time. (PHOTO: Riaan Janse van Vuuren)

Time to be obedient to God’s commands
It’s Time to become soldiers in God’s army in the battle for our nation; to become obedient to His every command in absolute faith, which echoes Uncle Angus’ call on all gathered at the “It’s Time National Day of Prayer” to become prayer warriors for our country and was further confirmed reading the “Bless the Nation 50 Days of Prayer” devotion for Day 08, April 23.

In his devotional for the day Pastor Olusegun Olanipek said the church is called to the duty, the responsibility of upholding our political leaders in prayer.

He described how Paul in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 said that prayer for all who are in authority is a priority.

“Paul said that if we pray and cover leaders, then we can lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. What I believe Paul is saying here is that the prayer of the church for government leaders will produce quietness, peace and it will increase godliness in the land.

“What happens when the church fails to pray, to bring a covering of light and of glory to bring the light of Jesus over the government, the government becomes increasingly corrupt, inept, they fail in service delivery and the occult begins to influence the government and to corrupt them increasingly.”

It's time crowd
Crowds gathered for a prayer meeting in Bloemfontein to pray for the country on Saturday, April 22 2017. (PHOTO: Eyewitness News)

According to Pastor Olanipek, when government fails it is primarily because people failed to cover the government in prayer.

“The church has failed to produce righteous Godly leaders because no matter how smart or intelligent government leaders are, they need to know and to learn the righteousness of God. The church is mandated to produce righteous godly leaders so that we can have a government that can be a blessing and not a burden to its people,” wrote Pastor Olanipek.

In short, the time for our words is over.

It’s Time to pray and act on the Lord’s Word if we desire His change to manifest in our country, but It’s Time to pray and act with hope renewed, faith rejuvenated, obedience revived, power recharged, and love for our nation and our neighbours restored.

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