I have just returned from a prayer conference in the city of Polokwane, Limpopo Province, which was hosted by the South African Prayer Movement for Change (SAPMC). Conferences like these remind me of my obligation to pray for my country and indeed a lot of praying was done on the 27-29 November 2014. In between the praying there were also teaching sessions focusing on theme of the conference which was “Raising a Godly Priesthood.”
Pastor Wanka Mogale spoke on the subject of sexual immorality and placed special focus on how this issue is affecting ministers of the Gospel. He outlined practical steps that every minister should take in order to avoid falling into this sin. He was followed by Pastor Vincent Loate who spoke on ‘Greed.’ Greed is another issue which is sadly becoming synonymous with ministers. Pastor Linda Gobodo spoke on ‘Taking Dominion’ and reminded the delegates that God’s original plan in creating us was that we would rule the earth on his behalf.
Pastors Gerda Leithgöb and Victor Mokgotlhoa took turns dealing with the subject of Deception. It is no secret that the Church in South Africa does not sing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to matters of doctrine and spiritual practices. Many of us are aware of a church that makes its members eat grass and drink petrol while claiming that these instructions emanate from the Holy Spirit. There are also stories of ministers who sell oil and anointed water for healing and other miracles.
Clearly the Church cannot be the light in the country while it is engulfed in darkness and issues that bring questions to her moral authority. Pastor Mangaliso Matshobane ended the conference by looking at the book of Ezra. Ezra was an Old Testament priest who was called by God for the rebuilding of the temple. Most of us are aware that Nehemiah was called to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Well Ezra is Nehemiah’s counterpart whose focus was on the spiritual walls of the nation.
The delegates, drawn from various parts of South Africa, felt that the physical walls of the nation cannot be built while the spiritual walls lie in ruins. The delegates were drawn together by a shared burden to pray that God would establish righteousness and justice in our country. Psalms 89:14 says that righteousness and justice are the foundations of God’s throne. I imagine that many South Africans, wearied by lawlessness and injustice, can easily identify with this burden.
We are constantly bombarded with stories that show that lawlessness has become normalised in our country. With high levels of corruption, killings and sexual violence we are indeed embarrassed by the actions of our compatriots. Proverbs 13:14 says that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (NIV). I believe that with initiatives like these the reproach that is over the nation will be removed.