This is the call to prayer for our brothers and sisters in South Africa. Please join us! See below:
Yesterday I was overcome with a horrible sense of grief. I couldn’t stop myself from crying uncontrollably for about an hour. I didn’t know why. When I asked God what this was about, I was impressed that He was showing me a picture of His grieving heart. I assumed this was His grieving heart in general, for there is much to grieve in the world today. But this morning, as I was praying for the problems in South Africa right now, God impressed upon me that the grief I experienced yesterday was His grieving heart for the pain and fear and hurt His children in South Africa are having to endure right now.
I have a request for all of you today. It is multi-faceted. Let’s remember there is power in corporate prayer!
- Please dedicate today to prayer for South Africa.
- You all have your own concerns, some of them even as big as this. I ask you for just this one day to set those prayer concerns aside, leave them in God’s hands, who you devote your prayer time to the people of South Africa.
- Forward this mail to everyone on your social media contacts and email contacts.
During this prayer time, I urge you to follow the model set out for us in the book of 2 Chron.
2 Chron. 20 tells the story of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and what happened when he was attacked by a coalition of armies. Jehosphaphat’s response gives us a guideline for our prayer today. Here is, step-by-step, what he did.
Step 1: “Jehoshaphat … begged the Lord for guidance.” (2 Chron. 20:3b NLT).
Now, most of you are not actually in South Africa (SA), but some are.
For those IN SA: The advice is clear: Beg the Lord for guidance!
For those outside of SA: Beg the Lord to give the SA people guidance, and to also give you guidance as to what you can do and how you can pray.
Step 2: “He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting.” (2 Chron. 20:3c NLT). And the people responded. They gladly rallied with their king: “So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.” (2 Chron. 20:4 NLT).
This step is the reason for this call to prayer today. Jehoshaphat didn’t try to do this on his own! He asked everyone to fast. And they did. They rallied with him in Jerusalem.
The mandate for us is clear: We must fast and pray. We must call those around us to do the same, rallying with our brothers and sisters in SA.
Some of you can’t do a full fast, and that’s okay. I’m in that category. Then do a Daniel fast. Give up “every good thing”. I personally leave off deserts, sauces, spices, etc., I bring my food down to the bare minimums. But as we all commit to a 24-hour Daniel fast, we are rallying with our SA brothers and sisters!
Step 3: “Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord. He prayed…” (Vs. 5, 6a NLT).
Jehoshaphat prayed. And not in his prayer closet, either! He went to the house of the Lord, he stood in front of the people and prayed!
Our mandate is again clear: We must not keep these prayers to ourselves. Have your families/friends join in the prayers. Forward this to all of your praying friends on social media and email!
Step 4: Jehoshaphat’s prayer
Part A: “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven…You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived?…Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name….” (vs. 5-9 NLT).
Jehoshaphat opened his prayer with praise and worship, reminding himself and everyone of God’s love and mercies of the past!
This must also be the first part of our prayers for SA! We must praise our God, we must worship His holy name, and we must remember His mercies and love and His past miracles!
Part B: “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing….” (vs. 10 NLT).
Jehoshaphat presented the problem. Of course, God already knows the problem, but in articulating it to Him, we are, in essence, declaring our faith that the problem isn’t too big for Him!
Part C: “O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” (Vs. 12 NLT).
Here we see Jehoshaphat humbling himself enough to admit he needs help. And this is the place we must come to as well! We must humble ourselves and admit that there’s nothing we can do to stop this. Only God can do this! We don’t even know the words to say!
For those who have not received the gift of tongues, open your heart and ask God’s Spirit to pray through you. You will be amazed at the difference in the words you will pray.
For those of you who have received the gift of praying in tongues, devote an hour to praying in tongues! If you find yourself saying the same bunches of syllables over and over like I did, ask God to tell you what they mean!
Part 5: After this, Jehoshaphat gathered Judah’s army and went to meet their foe: “Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa.” (vs. 20 NLT)
We must prepare ourselves for battle. We need to be prepared.
For those in SA, this means that we must be ready with bags of essentials packed, to move out, to have a plan where to go for safety, should the need arise.
Part 6: “On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, ‘Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.’ After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor.” (vs. 20b, 21 NLT)
Jehoshaphat organized a praise and worship session! As they were marching into battle!
This is what I challenge each of us to do as well! Rather than begging God for deliverance, praise Him for what He is about to do! Worship Him! Thank Him for His intervention!
Step 7: Watch what God does here: “At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.” (vs. 22-24 NLT)
As I was praying in tongues this morning, I kept hearing the same syllables over and over again. I asked God why that was, and He impressed upon my mind that my words were commanding the evil forces that are surrounding and attacking SA to .. turn against each other!
Step 8: We know the end of Jehoshaphat’s story. We know it ended in the Judah plundering the attacking armies, and there was so much plunder it took them 3 days to collect it (See vs. 25). We don’t know the end of the SA story. However, I believe God is telling us here that if we are faithful, if we humble ourselves and pray, if we adopt God’s heart of grief for what is happening in SA, if we remember His mercies of the past, if we worship Him and praise Him and thank Him for what He is about to do, this senseless attack in SA can and will be stopped! And in the end, there will be blessing for the innocent people of SA!
People of God, please join me in fasting and praying over SA, following the example laid out for us in Scripture by Jehoshaphat! Let’s love them enough to give them this today!