Time for Christians to live out their faith without fear — Chief Justice Mogoeng

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng swears in members of the sixth democratically-elected Parliament last week (PHOTO: Daily Maverick).

‘Three minutes in Parliament that God used beyond expectations’

Many Christians in South Africa and beyond were inspired when Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng called for three minutes of meditation or prayer for the nation in parliament last week and then knelt down to pray.

But some South Africans took to social media to express their disapproval of Mogoeng’s prayer before swearing in members of the sixth democratically-elected Parliament — and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s approval of his “unprecedented” prayer — which they saw as inappropriate in a secular state.

In an interview yesterday, the Chief Justice said he did what he did in obedience to God’s direction to him, that he acted strictly according to the parliamentary order of procedure for the day laid down to accommodate people of all faiths and people of no faith, and that he had not prayed for some people to be favoured above others — but for peace, national unity and prosperity, and an end to corruption — “all the good things that South Africa needs”.

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“Now, how somebody gets to criticise that, I don’t understand,” he said.

Before getting back to the interesting story of how the Chief Justice’s three-minute call to prayer or meditation came about, and what followed, let me report on his answer to my asking him what practical response he would like to see from South African believers who were inspired by his example in parliament on Wednesday last week.

Stop being timid
“I say that South Africans must stop being timid when the opportunity arises for them to enjoy or exercise their constitutional right to pray,” he responded.

He said they should feel absolutely free to initiate prayer at their workplace or wherever they were, with fellow believers or with people who were willing to be in the company of praying Christians.

“I’m here at the Constitutional Court and nothing stops me from saying to a number of people who happen to be Christians, let’s come together at lunch hour and pray together. There is no law against that; on the contrary, there is law in support of that practice.

“We must stop feeling guilty for being Christians. We must stop feeling like we are committing a criminal act when we declare who we are and when we practice our faith. And that, by the way, applies to everybody. Everybody has a constitutional right to live out who they are and what they believe in.

“There has been a trend to try and intimidate Christians out of Christianity. There’s a barrage of attacks against Christians when they seek to exercise their right to live out their faith. I think Christians must rise up against this intimidation, against this attack, and assert their right to exercise Christianity as their faith,” he said.

So, returning to the Chief Justice’s call for three minutes of prayer, I asked him how it came about.

He said that while he was meditating at home on Monday, last week, he had a strong impression in his spirit about the significance of silent prayer and meditation. As he sought the Lord for further revelation, God told him that adults should never embark on meaningless exercises and that the meditation or prayer time should be clearly defined. He should tell people what they would meditate or pray about, and for how long.

God also showed him that the prescribed meditation or prayer slot was not a time to impose his faith on others but an opportunity for all to focus on major challenges currently facing the nation.

And finally, he said the Lord specifically gave him the duration of the meditation/prayer slot: three minutes, with a minute to honour each personality in the Trinity — the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Introducing the mediation/prayer time in Parliament last week, Mogoeng stressed that it was a meaningful exercise and not a ritual, and he said members should stand, sit or adopt any other position during the three minutes.

Desperate for solutions
Asked about his decision to kneel in prayer, he said: “You know, I am so desperate for solutions for South Africa, and Africa and the world, and the best way I know to appeal to the Lord and demonstrate my humility towards him is either to kneel or to lie prostrate.

“What came to mind was to kneel down and to really appeal to the Lord to intervene — to unite us as the people of South Africa, to help us reconcile with one another as black and white people because there are elements of division there, to open up our eyes to the reality that we can all prosper if only we could be united as we could be as the broader South African family.”

I asked the Chief Justice how he felt about President Ramaphosa’s positive response to his going down on his knees and praying.

“I really was humbled, because I knew that whenever a public official like me openly declares their Christianity or prays, some people respond to prayer as if it is a terrible thing to do. Some people respond to prayer worse than they do to incidents of murder and rape and corruption.

“So, it was quite encouraging that the number one citizen of the country spent quality time expressing appreciation for prayer, and he even told members of parliament — although his remarks were addressed to Honourable Groenewald — that he really wished the prayer was broadcast.

“I was humbled. I really appreciate divine intervention for causing the head of state to express that appreciation. You can just imagine what would have become of that moment of prayer had the president poured cold water on it or treated it as if it was never said.”

Mogoeng added that he was also deeply humbled by the impact that God has caused through his simple obedience to His instructions on how to administer the meditation/prayer time.

“I had messages from men of God from as far as the United States of America — at least three — who had access to the clips and some articles that were written about it and they sent me words of encouragement.

“I had a message, also, from the former vice president of Zambia. He said, you know, tears welled down his face when he saw what the Lord did through me in Parliament. So it looks like God has really used this three-minute incident in a way that none of us could ever have imagined when he instructed me to do it.”

Book of the Law
Questioned about his gift of a Bible to Ramaphosa at his presidential inauguration at Loftus Versfeld stadium last Saturday, he said before Joshua assumed his governmental duties, God gave him guidelines for success — Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful — Joshuah 1:8

“You can never oppress anybody, you can never be unjust to anybody, you can never corrupt the system, if you follow the principles in the Bible as instructed by God,” he said.

Mogoeng said he was blessed to hear that Ramaphosa had tweeted in appreciation of the Bible gift.

I asked Mogoeng what he felt about expectations being expressed in some Christian circles, that despite the absence of dramatic visible changes after the elections, the nation was entering a prophesied time in which the Church would rise and corrupt leaders would be removed.

He said: “I think people must know that a thousand years is equal to one day in the eyes of God. Christians must know that God can give birth to a new nation at once, people must never forget that all creation — the heavens, the earth, the seas and all that is in them, were created in six days. So, there is nothing too hard for God.

“And therefore, we must stop trying to answer our own prayer. We must trust God at all times and depend only on Him and not on our intellect, not on our logic. We must depend absolutely on God and hold onto His promises.

“So once God has released a prophetic word, our responsibility is to hold onto it and pray it into manifestation relentlessly. Remember the story in the book of Luke of that widow, who had to deal with an evil judge. It is an example to all of us, that you need to keep on insisting on this which the Lord says He wants to do until it manifests.

“Pray, fast, link up with other brethren so that the will of God can find practical expression in our lives. So, I am confident that God is about to do what He has always wanted to do. Christians must key into the revival that has permeated South Africa and Africa and never give up, no matter the opposition, no matter the attacks.”


  1. Celani Mhlanga Pastor

    Glory to Yahweh in the highest for raising Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as a Joseph of our time, full of boldness to use his position for the advancement of the kingdom of God. I am personally so proud of you sir and pray that we see more and more leaders like you occupying the all seats of authority in so the nations of Africa

    • Thank you God for using your sevent to spread the gospel of Peace, Democracy and prosperous South Africa
      He just need only Faith on Him. God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. South Africans let us be one both Blacks and whites. Let the spirit of Reconciliation prevail, thank our Chief Jugde Justice. M. M.

      • Amein

        Praying for everyone of our brothers and Sisters everywhere, I pray you are blessed in all you do for the glory of God

        • I get so excited whenever i see or hear things like this.that joy that the kingdome is spreading every were is my happiness.Thank you sir for allowing yourself be a vessel unto honour may keep you in all yourdayz in parliament Amen.God bless the Nation of South Africa, God bless Nigeria and God bless the Continent of Africa Amen

    • Thank you for your obedience to the Holy Spirit.What an awesome example.May Father God Continue to use you judge Mogoeng, to extend His kingdom. All honour to God.

    • The Lord will prevail

  2. Albert Mamabolo

    I am proud of cj mogoeng mogoeng. It is inspiring to us children of God to stand and be counted. Thou crl is against the church the truth lights of Vod will in the midst of aadversity and rule. No gates of hell will prevail against the church of Jesus Christ. He will built it and He will use pwople luke CJ to do soo.

  3. Chief Justice you have made us so proud and restored hope in the hearts of many. Thank you Sir for your obedience. I pray God’s favour and blessing over you.

    • Sibongile Sibamba

      I am very proud of you Sir Justice Mogoeng.The gates of hell shall not prevail in our beloved country.I thank God for using you in a tremendous way.It is not by might or by power,but by the spirit of God

  4. So encouraging. Praise be to God. May He place a hedge of protection over our Christian leaders and keep them faithful to His Word. Praying for our country. Amen.

  5. Petrus Malingisa

    Thank you very much Chief Justice. This is the kind of leader South Africa needs. Your deeds will never be forgotten. Mr President, may God give you wisdom and knowledge to lead you so that you can lead the Country South Africa.


  6. Thank you for you obedience and example. May God bless you.

  7. Thank You finally there is someone who prioritise God,Without Acknowledging God SA have no success,We need such people in parliament thank you chief Justice God bless you

  8. Margarete Benjamin

    Praise God for our Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng . You are a example for our whole Nation . Thank you for your prayers . We all need to pray as Christians for our leaders . Pirase God many do . You are encouragment for all people in this beloved country . God bless all of you who pray for our Government .

  9. We really thank God for wise man like you sir in our country, this brings back hope to us, May the Lord add more wisdom in you.

  10. Thank you chief justice, Moses of our time

  11. Thank you CJ for your obedience to the Holy Spirit. As you were praying tears flowed down my cheeks and I knew this can only be God. Because of that 3 minute prayer, there was a shift in the spirit. As a Christian, it takes courage to make that call. We thank God for leaders of your calibre. I am a proud, born again attorney, I know exactly what you are talking about. Better obey God than man. Bless you man of God, may God grant you the wisdom he gave to Solomon, courage and extend your territory.

  12. Elsa Van Der Westhuizen

    Awesome. Praise the Lord and God bless Mr Mogoeng

  13. For people who know their God shall be strong and great exploits. Everyone is ashamed of their believe, it is time even for Chriestians to stand for what they believe in. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is power unto salvation

  14. Chief Justice Mongoeng, I salute you sir…. Time to turn this country from CRY my beloved country to Faith my beloved country…. Rise up SA and take a stand.

    • Praise the Lord, eventually a light at the tunnel. Thank you Chief Justice Mongoeng,for being true to yourself and God.

  15. Glory be to God! For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God @ work, saving everyone who believes……
    Thank you CJ Mogoeng for adhering to God’s instructions. God bless, strengthen and uphold you.

  16. At last a leader stands up for Christ! Keep praying!

  17. We thank the Lord for giving CJ Mogoeng Mogoeng such a great wisdom and acknowledge the rulership of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank CJ for imparting wisdom to our President through the book of life Bible. All Praises and Glory to Almighty God Lord Jesus Christ.

  18. What a awesome man of God !! PRAISE THE LORD !! GOD BLESS YOU !!

  19. This is awesome, the divine spirit is sweeping arround SA in south african.

  20. This is awesome, the divine spirit is sweeping arround SA in south african.

    From Namibia

  21. Let everything that has breath praise the
    Lord 🙌.

  22. To God be the Glory and we love you Baba wam and I will pray for you that God should keep you safe and fight your battles and protect your family thanks so much

  23. Thank you Justice we are fully behind you “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,says the Lord Almighty and in this place i will grant peace,declares the Lord Almighty” Haggai 2:9

  24. May God Bless. In Jesus name.

  25. Praise God. Chief Justice you have just initiated the revival many have prayed for, for years. God bless Africa.

  26. My God be the Alpha and Omega of our country.

  27. Glory be to God. There is hope for our country. The prayers of many Christians have come to fruition.

  28. God sent you and South Africa need you God is going to restore our nation.

  29. Spiritually encouraging….never ceases praying!

  30. What first came to mind is Matt 5,that the meek will inherit the earth. God’s timing is perfect. May we be reminded of THIS MOMENT when we suffer hardships. May we also be reminded what happens when we obey. When our hearts beat in our ears, but we still go ahead… And the shift happens and God starts to move! All glory to God. Nothing can stop Him now, because of one man’s obedience. Let us be encouraged to do the same in Jesus name amen!

  31. Blessed shall be the nation whose leaders acknowledge the Authority and leadership of God. Believers must not be ashamed to live their professed faith in a creator-God who hears and answers prayer. May God heal and prosper the nation.

  32. Thandiwe Dintwe

    May God protect and bless you Mightily as you are the first person to stand up and do what is right for His kingdom Amen.

  33. May the Lord almighty continue to use you man of God.

  34. Jandré Dippenaar

    I don’t think we should “stop trying to answer our own prayer”. We work and God works (Phil 2:12-13).

    Surely, as we pray for the lost to be saved, we go out and try to save the lost?

    • I get you Jandré. I don’t think the Chief Justice would disagree with you on the importance of being willing and available to be the agents of the good things that we pray for. I believe he was speaking in the context of waiting on prophetic words — saying that we must not miss God’ promises by impatiently acting in the flesh. We must not birth Ishmaels. Even with the salvation of the lost which we know is always God’s will, we have the biblical example of Paul’s willingness to be redirected by the Holy Spirit from his plan of going to Asia, to God’s plan of sending him to Macedonia.

  35. Thanking you for your boldness and obedience to Our Lord and King the Triune God. Praying God’s love and protection over you and your loved ones Chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

  36. I appreciate immensely what our Chief Justice did at the swearing in ceremony. This was unprecedented. In a way, it freed me to meaningfully call upon God to intervene in the affairs of country. Wayne Thring. MP. ACDP Deputy President

  37. Sandra Hansrajh

    I thank God for our Chief Justice, a man chosen to lead SA in this hour. I pray that the Church will also arise in truth and power and shine God’s love and light on this nation and continent 🙏

  38. Let no one think that the exercise of the truth must be seperated from the running of a Government.

  39. We give God all the glory for our Judge who is fearless and stood up for what God is ordained him with he is a leader and we vote him to be the next president of our beloved country.

  40. If only more men like yourself realized the power of prayer, this country and even the world can be changed through prayer to the one living God Yahweh, this single act of obedience by one man of God has the power to transform this country, we should all as Christians stand up and take example and pray, for the chief justice,for our country and for our government. Though the devil has dominion on this earth we should not be afraid, for his time is short and all shall see the lord Jesus Christ high and lifted up, praise Jesus.

  41. Blown away but what our Chief Justice did in Parliament last week. Thank you for your obedience, your courage, your example. Trusting God for great things. Exciting times.

  42. We praise,God for CJ,you left a mark and legacy

  43. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng,May the Almighty Creator,Jehovah our all in all continue to use you in the mighty divine way.The step you took in the South African Parliament before the President’s inauguartion and the soaning in of the MPS, is truly God’s Divine Intervention. This is a New Beginning – The Fresh Anointing which all South Africans have to embrace.
    “What is agreed upon on earth shall be agreed upon in Heaven. What we loose on earth shall be loosen in Heaven,” so says the Book of the Laws of God.

    Be increased my Chief Justice.

    • Love your heart for the lord but just a small word missing from you interpretations
      Shall “have” been, you see only God can bind and loose and agree, glory to God.

  44. I thank God for every Christian leader and will continue to pray for their protection. To God all honour and glory.

  45. Glory to the almighty his appointed solders to serve in dignity and wisdom. It is indeed a good thing to start with God as by the end when there are problems facing the country then prayers are done.

  46. Cometh the hour, cometh the man
    Thank you CJ that you were obedient when God called you to do this momentous thing for our beloved country.

  47. To God be the glory. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom! May God bless you chief justice, may God bless the nation of South Africa.

  48. “…as you let your light shine you give others permission to do the same…” Indeed thank u for your bold obedience Most Honorable CJ. May God increase your boldness without measure!

  49. Yes today you brought light into darkness. God looked for a man, and today he found you. God bless our country South Africa

  50. This is the beginning of the great things, God bless Afrika!!