The success of the United Prayer for South Africa (up4sa) event on February 28 is best measured by the unity it promoted — the working together of different communities, denominations, races and people of diverse political persuasions, according to Robbie Black, coordinator of the event.
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“The focus of all the people at more than 160 venues across South Africa was on coming together, humbling ourselves, and focussing on turning back to God, proclaiming that He is our only hope and future and asking Him to reignite the flame of intercessory prayer in South Africa.
Amazing network of intercessors across SA
“South Africa has such an amazing existing network of intercessors across the country, that up4sa merely linked in to it and supported communities combining in prayer.
“I believe that it was successful, because communities across the country, from Klawer to uMzimkhulu gathered together, humbled themselves before the Lord and acknowledged our dependence on Him.
“People forgot about their differences and united in prayer for South Africa standing in agreement with the prepared prayers,” says Black.
He says the prerecorded prayers by Isak Burger, Angus Buchan, Lindie Strydom, Zane Meas and Afrika Mhlophe facilitated successful prayer at the gatherings by providing a guideline for people to pray around and add to.
Black says he is still receiving enquiries form communities and some even had their prayer meeting after the main event during the following week.
“Up4sa would like to serve as an instrument to link people who would like to become involved with prayer and prayer groups to the existing network of intercessor and prayer groups.
“We are mobilising churches in different communities to form prayer groups in their towns; whether they are in schools, businesses or municipalities.
Aiming for 26-7 prayer 365-days-a-year
“We are working towards having people in prayer 24-7 365-days-a-year.”
Black says although prayer 24-7 365 days-a-year sounds like a difficult goal, if communities and churches across the country unite it is achievable and would be powerful.
“Imagine the effect of hundreds or thousands of people across the country praying for South Africa in any specific hour of the day or night.
“The first up4sa event two weeks ago was the planting of a prayer seed, which we need to nurture and grow.
“Although it was never the plan to set-up a prayer network when we were promoting the national hour of prayer, the preparations for the event have resulted in up4sa connecting with prayer networks across the country.
“Up4sa is merely a channel to mobilise a national prayer altar across South Africa by taking hands with all the existing different prayer initiatives and networks.
“We merely want to mobilise people to commit to time in prayer each day or week, we do not want to replace or duplicate existing structures, but want to take hands with them in developing a national altar of prayer,” says Black.
He says the up4sa website will have links to existing prayer networks and organisations that individuals can link up with.
Likewise the strategy for the 24-7-365 days-a-year continual prayer will be on the website to download.
“The effect and impact of individual local churches instituting 24-7 prayer rooms, even if the entire roster is not filled, will be huge, especially if churches across denominations take hands with each other.
“Imagine the impact on the community of people across the population praying together in agreement and what an important indication it would be of our humbling ourselves before God and of our dependency on Him.
“Prayer is a relationship language with God and it is a discipline, both of which we need to focus on.
“We need to develop our prayer time. Smith Wigglesworth said that he never prayed for longer than 30 minutes, but that 30 minutes never passed without him praying.
“Prayer is vital to our Christian lives, because it is both a spiritual language and a spiritual discipline that we cannot do without,” says Black.