#50Days2BlesstheNation

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16 April – 4 June 2017
(Resurrection Sunday to Pentecost Sunday) 

NATIONAL PRAYER INITIATIVE issued by INTERCESSORS FOR SOUTH AFRICA (A forum of prayer networks and prayer groups in South Africa)

The aim of this national initiative #50DaystoBlesstheNation is for Christians to take responsibility for our Nation by believing that God can and will change the hearts of people in our nation through our prayers. Our first task is to ask Him to change our own hearts from a negative perspective of our Nation to one of faith and trust that He wants to use us to bring about a change.

We are witnessing the powerful effect of the media when the words of leaders are exploited to incite hatred, racism and violence, and eventually the cursing of others; or when one person, with one irresponsible post on the social media, release a similar reaction in our Nation. The words of Christians are to be different – to bless rather than to curse, to heal rather than to wound, to restore rather than to destroy.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue – Prov.18:21”Z
” But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you… – Mat 5:44”

FILL SOUTH AFRICA WITH PRAYER OVER 50 DAYS THROUGH… 

  • 24hour prayer watches in congregations, communities, towns and cities.
  • Prayer-walk, Prayer-drive, Prayer-cycle your neighbourhood, community, town, township, city, farms, countryside, shopping mall and business district.
  • Proclaiming blessings through speaking and praying the Word over the land, streets, businesses, churches, homes, schools, public places and individual people.
  • Interceding for the salvation of those who are lost and without the knowledge of God.
  • Reaching out to people in your area to pray with them for their needs.

PARTICIPATE

  • Download a 50-day prayer guide from www.jwipn.com (Available soon – watch this space!)
  • Receive a daily WhatsApp blessing prompt from +27817161203 with inspirational message on video (please send your name and email to this number).
  • Daily and weekly practical prayer-walk suggestions available in 50-day prayer guide.
  • Invite neighbouring church/cell group/prayer group for united prayer
  • Set up a Prayer Room or Prayer Booth in your school, mall, business, community, gym, public square.

Contact: info@jwipn.com, 012-3653213 for more information.

Call to prayer for the SA Government

Call to prayer for the SA Government
(Issued by Jericho Walls Prayer Network – 6/2/17)

The South African Parliament is due to open this week, beginning with the SONA by the President on 9 February, and followed by the Annual Budget on 22 February. There are bound to be lively debate, controversy, political re-shuffling and the inevitable critique from opposing political parties.

Let us pray:

1.      Bring the President, MP’s and MEC’s before the throne in heaven. Ask the Lord to take hold of their hearts and to direct it to His purposes for peace, stability and the benefit of the whole of South Africa (Pro 21:1 (ESV) The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.)

2.      Pray that the President’s choices for Cabinet ministers and other influential posts will be divinely influenced and controlled by the Holy Spirit, that corrupt and wicked councillors will not get a foothold, and for men and women of peace, integrity and good moral values, to surround our President. Pray for the restoration of a moral conscience in our government, that leaders will be convicted regarding sin, righteousness and judgment, will discern between right and wrong, good and evil and who will acknowledge the sovereignty of God and Lordship of Jesus Christ (Pro 11:14 (ESV) Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety; Pro 25:5 (ESV) take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.)

3.      Pray that every wicked scheme that hinder and resist God’s purposes for South Africa, will fail and that every corrupt and hidden agenda will be exposed and brought to nothing. (Dan 2:21 (ESV) He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; Eph 5:13 (ESV) But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible.)

4.      Pray for bold and godly leaders to arise in the leadership of both the church and our nation, who will speak words of life, peace, wisdom and hope, and so influence the minds and hearts of the citizens of South Africa that we will truly be reconciled to each other, willingly reach out to those in need, and publicly take a stand for righteousness and moral integrity (1Ti 2:1-4 (ESV) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.)

5.      Pray for every Christian in our nation to awaken to the responsibility given to the Body Christ, to selflessly love and serve other, that we will guard our hearts and watch our words and so become an instrument of healing, reconciliation and restoration in the hand of our God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 12:10,12,14 (ESV) Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour. [12] Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. [14] Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.)

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Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill

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Prayer regarding the Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill

Freedom of Religion in South Africa (FORSA) has issued a call for prayer and action regarding the new proposed Bill on Hate Crimes and Hate Speech. The full proposal for the Bill and the implications can be viewed on www.forsa.org.za. The public is invited to submit comments on the Bill by no later than next week Tuesday, 31 January.  To make it easy, FORSA has prepared a sample submission which can be downloaded HERE. Churches, Christian organisations or individuals can copy/paste the submission, or use it to prepare their own submission, and then e-mail the submission to hatecrimes@justice.gov.za.  Sign the Petition at HERE and share as far and wide as possible!

Prayer points:

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” (2Ti 3:12, ESV)
“So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,” (Act 4:18-19, ESV)
“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”"  (Act 4:29-30, ESV)

  • Let us declare our faith in Jesus Christ and our confidence that He is in control of everything pertaining to the Church and the expansion of His Kingdom in South Africa.
  • Let us as Christians surrender our lives afresh to Jesus Christ, pledge ourselves to His service and determine to preach the Gospel regardless of threats that might be made to silence the message of repentance, that forgiveness, salvation and deliverance are available through Jesus Christ. Let us heed the command to live holy lives and separate ourselves from the spirit of disobedience that is at work in the world.
  • Pray for the Church in South Africa to continue to preach the Word of God truthfully, courageously and without compromise.
  • Ask the Lord Jesus Christ to pour His Spirit upon us, to fill us with power and to cleanse the Church from all false teachers, false prophets and false gospels, that weaken the message of repentance and salvation and mock the true work of the cross and the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray for FORSA, who acts as a representative for the Church, to guard against the abuse of power, and seeks to protect our constitutional right of freedom of religion.
  • Ask the Lord to grant us our request that this Bill, that seems to infringe on the right of the Church to express her beliefs of what is commanded by God’s Word, will be changed to rightly protect people against blatant abuse and misuse of influence by secular and spiritual leaders, but to allow the Church to still freely preach the Gospel without constraints.

Prayer for the fires raging in the Western Cape (Eng & Afr)

Image result for fires in western cape pictures

We join with all the other prayers going up for South Africa. Please continue to pray for the firefighters and others who are working to contain the fires. Pray for their protection and for protection for the rest of our nation.

We pray and proclaim: 

1. Father God let your name be sanctified, may your kingdom come, your will be done in South Africa. We bow low before You. We humble ourselves to take responsibility for the fires in our country. We are guilty, Lord, of allowing emotions and accusations to fester unchecked in our nation. Please forgive us. We acknowledge that the situation is beyond control and ask for your help to confront and restrain those who are responsible for starting the fires. We ask for the culprits to be arrested and for justice to be restored. We ask for help for those who have lost loved ones, lost houses and property, whose farms and lands were destroyed, their livelyhood going up in flames, for those who may lose their jobs and for relief for the suffering of both humans and animals. Have mercy on us!

2. Father we come in the name of Jesus to cancel any and all curses that are spoken over our country, our people and our resources. We cancel every negative word, every ritual, every incantation or secret decree. We ask that You cancel every contract that was made with any spiritual force, principality or power, by the blood of Jesus Christ and His victory over satan and sin.

3. In the name of Jesus Christ and according to Matt 12:29 we bind this spirit that is at work in our county, exacting revenge and retribution, causing resentment and inflicting pain and suffering, opposing the plans and purposes that You have for our nation. We bind it from working through our youth and families, through our educational, political, judicial and economic systems, through our media and entertainment and through any organised or unorganised religion in our country. In the name of Jesus Christ we rebuke this spirit, we disarm it, remove its sword and fiery arrows according to Col 2:15, for Jesus already disarmed it. We command it to release its hold on South Africa as a nation, with all its citizens and foreigners, so that people will have the opportunity to decide and choose between right and wrong, receive salvation from sins and be trained in righteousness.

4. We call upon the name of Jesus Christ: be our refuge and our salvation. You are our King, our Judge, our Advocate, our Savior and our Lord. We submit our nation to You and You alone. Please send us rain to restore our land, and break the hold of the drought that is still lingering.

5. Father in your name we pray a blessing over South Africa and its people. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine over you. May He lift up his countenance over you and give you peace.

Jeremiah 23:29 “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 

Hebrews 11:33-34 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

AFRIKAANS

Brande in die Wes-Kaap (19 Januarie 2017)

Ons vat hande met almal in gebed vir Suid-Afrika. Kom ons hou aan om te bid vir die brandslaners en ander wat so hard werk om die brande onder beheer te bring.  Bid vir hul beskerming, en ook die beskerming van die res van ons land.

Ons bid en proklameer:

1. Vader God, laat U naam geheilig word, mag U koninkryk kom, U wil geskied in SA.  Ons buig laag voor U.  Ons verootmoedig onsself en neem verantwoordelikheid vir die brande in ons land. Ons is skuldig o Heer, deurdat ons onbeheersd uitging gee aan al ons emosies en beskuldigings maak. Vergewe ons asseblief. Ons erken dat die omstandighede nou buite beheer is, en bid vir U hulp om diegene wat verantwoordelik is vir die brandstigting tot verantwoording te roep en in te perk.  Ons bid vir die skuldiges om arresteer te word en vir geregtigheid om herstel te word. Ons bid vir elkeen wat geliefdes verloor het, wat huise en eiendom verloor het, wie se plase en landerye vernietig is, wat hulle hele lewe in flamme sien opgaan het. Ons bid vir diegene wat nou hul werk gaan verloor, en ook vir genade vir die swaarkry van mens en dier. Wees ons genadig!

2. Vader ons kom nou in die naam van Jesus voor U en kanselleer elke vloek wat oor ons land, ons mense en ons bronne uitgespreek is.  Ons kanselleer elke negatiewe woord, elke ritueel, elke inperking of geheime bose verklaring in Jesus naam.  Ons bid dat elke kontrak wat gemaak is met enige geestelike krag, mag of gesag, gekanselleer sal word deur die bloed van Jesus Christus en Sy oorwinning aan die kruis oor satan en sonde.

3. In die naam van Jesus Christus, en volgens Matteus 12:29, bind ons hierdie bose gees wat werk in ons land, wat heeltyd wil wraak neem, wat wil ‘terugbetaal’, wat argwaan, pyn en swaarkry veroorsaak en U plan en doel vir ons land teenstaan. Ons bind die werking van hierdie gees wat werk deur ons jeug en gesinne, wat werk in en deur ons opvoedingstelsel, politieke stelsel, regstelsel, ekonomie, ons media en ontspanningsplatvorms, en deur georganiseerde en ongeorganiseerde godsdienstige stelsels in ons land. In die naam van Jesus Christus bestraf ons hierdie gees, ontwapen hom, en verwyder sy swaard en vurige pyle volgens Kol.2:15, want Jesus het hom reeds ontwapen en oorwin.  Ons beveel hom om sy houvas op SA as ‘n nasie te laat los, asook elke inwoner en buitelander, sodat mense ‘n geleentheid sal kry om te besluit en te kies tussen wat reg en verkeerd is, om redding van sonde te ontvang en vaardig in geregtigheid te raak.

4. Ons roep die naam van Jesus Christus aan, wees ons beskutting en redding. U is ons Koning, ons Regter, ons Advokaat, ons Redder en ons Here.  Ons onderwerp ons nasie aan U en U alleen.  Stuur asb reën en herstel ons land. Breek die houvas van die voortslepende droogte.

5. Vader in U naam bid ons ‘n seën oor SA en sy mense: Mag die Here jou seën en jou bewaar. Mag die Here Sy aangesig oor jou laat skyn. Mag Hy Sy aangesig oor jou oplig en aan jou vrede gee.

6. Ons verklaar: Jeremia 23:29: My woord is soos vuur, sê die Here, soos ‘n hamer waarmee klippe stukkend gebreek word.

7. Ons verklaar ook oor die kerk: Heb 11:33  Deur die geloof het hulle koninkryke verower, die reg van God gehandhaaf en verkry wat God beloof het; hulle het leeus se bekke toegestop,  Heb 11:34  gloeiende vuur geblus en aan die swaard ontkom; hulle het in swakheid krag ontvang, was sterk in oorlog en het die leërs van vreemdes op die vlug gejaag.

 

JERICHO WALLS INTERNATIONAL PRAYER NETWORK
www.jwipn.com

 

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The heart of prayer is praying back to God His own Word. (Isaiah 55:11). Learn to pray Scripture over your heart, mind, soul, thoughts, the work of your hands, marriage and much more. Click on the picture to start the audio file.

Halloween

Halloween

Halloween is celebrated on the 31st October.  It is the night when most pagans honour the spirits of the dead, offer human sacrifices and make pacts and covenants with the demonic forces. Please pray that the Lord will silence the voices of the underworld so that witches, wizards, shamans, etc. will be unable to make contact with the spirit world.

ORIGIN:

Halloween originated among the ancient Celts of Europe and was called the festival of “Samhain” or “All Hallowtide”. It was a feast of the dead and started the evening of 31 October, signaling the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. 1 November was All Soul’s Day. It began on 31 October because in ancient times days were reckoned from evening to evening, rather than midnight-to-midnight as we do. This also signaled the beginning of the New Year for the Celts.

During the “turning” of the year, the “veil between the worlds” is believed to be at it thinnest and the living could communicate with the dead in their dwelling place. It is a time when deceased ancestors and other “friendly” spirits are invited to join in Sabbath festivals and be reunited with loved ones. The celebration of the dead honoured the god of the dead on this particular night.

It was also a time when faeries were active. Faeries were seen as those angels who did not side with either God or Lucifer and were condemned to walk the earth until judgment day. The Celtic people believed that chaos reigned during this night since it was neither one year, nor the other. It was a night of magic charms and divinations, reading the future and other rites.

“TRICK OR TREAT”:  People would imitate the faeries and go from house to house begging for treats since the belief is that spirits had to be appeased by giving them a type of worship and offering (food or milk). Failure to provide the treats would result in practical jokes being visited on the owner of the house such as: blocking the chimney, leading off cattle, throwing cabbages, etc. Another way to fool or scare away the evil spirits was to dress up to look like them. It was believed the spirits would bring them no harm then.

“JACK-O-LANTERN”:  Jack was an Irish scoundrel who liked to eat big red turnips. On Halloween day he trapped the devil in a tree and would not let him down until the devil promised Jack he would never live in Hell. The devil agreed. A year later Jack died. Because he did not believe in God, he did not go to heaven. The devil did not allow him in hell. To help Jack find his way back to earth, the devil gave him a fiery coal. Jack put this fiery coal in the lantern he carved from his big turnip. This first “Jack-o-Lantern” helped Jack find his way back to Ireland but never found it, forever roaming the earth with his lantern.

FIRE CEREMONIES: Halloween was one of the four great “Fire Festivals” of the Celts. All the fires in hearths were extinguished and then re-kindled from a central bonfire started ceremoniously by the druids. During this time the druids would wear animal skins and heads to disguise them from the spirits. The extinguishing of the fires symbolized the “dark half” of the year and the rekindling symbolized the return of hope. Fires or candles are left burning all night to honour and welcome the dead. The “Jack-o-lanterns”, gourds, cider, incense and gemstones are used as altar decorations. The candles are black and orange. Black cats were considered to be reincarnated beings with the ability to divine the future.

Druids (priests of the Celts) held the ceremonies of the feast in sacred places, such as forests, rivers, lakes and streams. Human sacrifices were part of the ceremonies.

SATANISTS HAS ADOPTED THE DRUID HIGH DAYS AND CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN AS FOLLOWS: 22-29 October – Satanists start Sacrifice preparations, 30 October – Satanic High Day – related to Halloween with human sacrifice, 31 October – All Hallow’s Eve – Blood and sex rituals with demons; animal or human sacrifices.

The early Christian Church tried to eliminate the Druid celebration by offering All Saint’s Day as a substitute. It was of no avail. Although the outward forms of such worship disappeared, the belief in these gods did not. In the Middle Ages open practices of witchcraft flourished. In the mid 1900′s paganism returned to the western world and the pagan feasts were re-introduced. The uninformed Christian has no idea that demonic spirits that are actually contacted and activated as people call out to them in jest or in seriousness. Every act around Halloween is in honour of false gods and spirits. To pray for the dead is totally against Scripture.

SCRIPTURAL PRAYER GUIDELINES:

2 Tim 1:7 – God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.  Resist the spirit of fear that seems to surface in the time of Halloween and is enhanced by movies portraying either the occult or extreme situations of fear.

Deuteronomy 18:9-14: Do not imitate the detestable ways of the nations through sacrifice, divination, omens, witchcraft, casting of spells, mediums or consulting the dead. Resist the temptation to be drawn into seemingly harmless celebrations of this ancient demonic feast. If you were involved in the past, confess it. Ask the Lord for a revelation of His ways to people around you. Ask the Lord for forgiveness for the countless ways your town will be involved in this practice. Speak up and warn people of the danger of getting involved in any kind of occult practices. “Father God, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I renounce any involvement my family, forefathers and I had with this practice of Halloween. I now cancel any covenants made with the spirit world and any worship we have given to Satan and his demons. I turn my back on this practice and ask you to cleanse me and my family with the blood of Jesus Christ Your Son.”

Isaiah 8:19 Should a people not consult their God? Why speak to the dead on behalf of the living? Call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to His ways, and ask for a deeper revelation of His love. Ask Him to reveal to you His plan and purpose for your town and pray until He manifests His power in your area.

1 Chron 10:13-14.  

Consulting the dead is being unfaithful to God, and can result in judgment. Commit yourself and your family once again to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone.

Ask the Lord to expose all evil, especially on the night of Halloween, so that works of the kingdom of darkness will weaken.

Ask for protection for those targeted for human sacrifices.

Pray for all Christians to be protected against curses directed at them; pray especially for pastors, ministers and Christian leaders.

Pray for the salvation of many who practice the occult, that they will be confronted with the love, purity and holiness of God the Father through Jesus Christ.

Petition the Lord against the resurgence of serial killers, escalation of crime, especially violent crimes against children and women, tribal disputes, increased trade in narcotics and pornography, increased abortion, drought and spoilt harvests, financial destruction to the Church, calling up of spiritual forces to begin mass bloodshed and war in countries all over the world, evil forces meeting together to generate power to deceive the masses and the revival of the practice of magic, especially by teenagers and pre-teens.

Ask God to reveal HIMSELF TO THOSE WHO DO THESE EVIL DEEDS. Jesus also died for them on the cross!

Education Crisis and accompanied Violence on campuses

 

Prayer for the education crisis and accompanied violence on campuses

1.      South Africa’s history if filled with incidents where grievances were settled by violence, revolution, riots and strikes. The result of such behaviour though, is that it continues to be the way we handle conflict, resulting in even more grievances and problems. Let us pray for this cycle to be broken in our nation.

2.      The reality is that there are very real and difficult issues students face in many aspects within the sphere of education. Pray for these issues to be addressed in meaningful ways which will result in long term solutions, and to the benefit of future generations.

3.      There is a big need for student leaders that can bring the grievances and problems of the students to the negotiation table. There is too much “mob-pressure” and illogical demands. There is also a need for government leaders with integrity that can meet with the students to work on solutions. In the light of widespread corruption in government circles (starting in the highest offices), students are not convinced that there is not money for free education.

4.      Many of the present demands of students are unrealistic. Free education without an increase of fees is impossible. The solution is not as simple as just for government to find and allocate the money to make up for the shortfall. Pray for God’s Spirit of wisdom and revelation to reveal practical solutions in order to deal with these issues in a way that also glorify God.

5.      One major reason for the current crisis on campuses are unmet and unfulfilled election promises by politicians. Students now demand for these promises be kept. Pray for government to admit to their failures where applicable, and to really take responsibility and address these matters without shifting blame.

6.      While it is true that the history of the nation benefitted some people and others were neglected, the problem cannot be rectified by violence and unreasonable demands.  Pray for true forgiveness to settle these unresolved matters in the hearts and minds of people, and pray for God’s grace to strengthen them in moving forward and build, rather than continue to demoralize those around them who really are positive and moving on.

7.      Once violence and riots start, emotional and non-rational actions cause much harm. People are often then forced to participate in these demonstrations which normally result in unreasonable and unacceptable behaviour. Pray for all mass demonstrations to be in peace, to show reasonable and realistic demands, and not to explode in violence or other forms of anarchy.  Pray to God and resist the demonic forces which often lay hold of individuals during demonstrations or marches, so no destruction will take place.

8.      Pray for God’s intervention in the hearts and minds of all those responsible to find solutions and also for favour to steer the crowds into a place of acceptance and peace.  Pray for students to return to their classes and continue the last quarter of their studies for this year.

9.      Pray for students who are not part of these riots at all, and who wants to peacefully continue their studies, write their exams and find a job to take care of their families.  Pray that their positive heart and mind will cause others to do the same.

Prayers from Ps.85:10-13

The mind of Christ

Psalm 85:10 - Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed.

Lift up in prayer every person involved in violence and destruction on campuses across our nation.  Pray for truth to unveil eyes, for right and wrong to be clear, and reason to return to every heart and mind in Jesus name.

Godly order

Psalm 85:11  - Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Ask for Godly truth and reason to come to the minds of people on every campus and across the nation, also for God Himself to intervene from heaven and rain down righteousness.

End to violence

Psalm 85:12  - Yes, the LORD will give what is good; and our land will yield its increase.

Declare that God is good, and gives what is good, so this nation may also yield its increase of graduates this year. Ask for peace to return to every campus, so examinations may continue normally and students may study without stress.

Right and wrong discerned

Psalm 85:13 - Righteousness will go before Him, and shall make His footsteps our pathway.

Pray for, declare and trust the Lord, to pour out His righteousness and peace into every conflict situation on campuses across this nation. Pray for an end to all violence, that it will not by any means spread or interfere with educational goals for 2016.

 

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Knowing and discerning the will of God

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Excerpt:

Knowing and discerning the will of God

This is a simple way to pray about the will of God in any situation. It is not a method or strategy of prayer, since we live in a personal relation with the living God, and our prayers come from that relationship.

As you apply these principles to different situations, it will help you come into a place where you will more easily discern God’s will. It is important to understand that we need to live by this spiritual habit day by day. It is not something you do once and then you know the will of God. It is accompanied with much patience, perseverance, faith and to a place where we believe and trust God, again and again.

To read more DOWNLOAD the file at the top of this page.

PRAYING FOR THE SICK

Praying for the sick is actually very simple, yet many people are afraid to pray for a sick person because they fear the person will not be healed or they simply don’t know what or how to pray. The only way to escape these fears is to deal with them head-on! If you have a deep desire to pray for the sick, this desire was most probably put in your heart by the Holy Spirit, and all you need to do is to avail yourself of Him.

Here are a few thoughts on how to pray for the sick on a regular basis for anything from a cold or headache to someone who is battling with cancer or in a wheel chair. You don’t need to do anything fancy, just pray! It is God who does the work we need only be obedient. If nothing happens, it is not your fault. You are venturing out in faith and learning the ways of God. Be bold!

Where to start

1. Listen. People always speak about what is bothering them. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you attentive to clues like; “I have such a bad headache today; my back is so painful, or my nose has been running for three days”. Now is the time to be bold! Ask the person, ”Why don’t we pray together now for that pain/ache?” If it the person is not a believer, you might say, “Do you mind if I pray for you?” Wait for their answer. People seldom decline prayer. Pray simple prayers: “Father, Your Word says that we should pray for one another when we are sick (James 5:16). Right now, I pray for my friend who has a cold. Please touch her with Your healing. In the name of Jesus, remove this cold from her body and let all the symptoms end. In Jesus’ name, amen.” If possible, send them a message an hour or two later to ask how they are feeling. When they are well again, be sure to give God the glory with them, and tell them to testify to others of their healing.

2. Sign up. Become a member of the prayer team at your church, and then you will have the opportunity to pray for people on request. When you are more relaxed in praying for people’s needs, whether face-to-face or from a prayer request list, ask the Lord to take you to the next level of confidence in Him.

3. Read Scripture about healing. Study the Word. Scripture is very clear that we should pray for people’s healing and therefore we must. Be selective in what you read. There are many books out there on healing which only focus on the healing aspect and not on our relationship with God also. Read books of people who had healing ministries and learn from them. Read with discernment and with your Bible alongside you. It is usually better to read what Scripture has to say on a matter first before you read what others have to say.

Some golden rules to remember

If possible, don’t minister to someone of the opposite sex without a third person being present (for example, a spouse).

If this is not possible, explain that it is not how you prefer to pray for people. However, still trust the Lord together for healing. Don’t turn someone away quickly; it has taken courage for them to ask for help. Counselling offices often have a glass window in the door, so the integrity of the counsellor/minister is protected.

In addition to praying for someone on the spot when prompted by the Holy Spirit, also set times to meet people for prayer with a friend present. Few crises are ever so bad that they can’t wait until the next day. Beware not to be drawn into midnight hour counselling, except when someone’s life is at risk.

Don’t promise people that they will be healed. Instead, bring their prayer request to the Lord, and make sure they understand that together you are asking God to intervene in the situation.

It is very important to get the sick person to pray with you for their healing. Afterwards they will not remember your prayer as much as the fact that they prayed and God answered!

What to do when someone is sitting right in front of you:

Remember, they are often more scared than you are! It took a lot of courage for them to come for prayer.

a. Above all else, be compassionate. Ask the Lord to show you His compassion towards the person you will pray for, and put them at ease. (Luke 7:13-14).

b. Introduce yourself. After you have introduced yourself, ask where they have pain or what they would like you to pray for. It may be something visible, but if it is something unseen, you will need to wait upon the Lord for discernment – a Scripture or word of knowledge, which is how the Holy Spirit speaks to us. (1 Corinthians 12:8). If you receive an impression, test it by asking the person about it.

c. Find out facts. For example, how the condition did come about? Is it through natural causes, a disease in the family, or from an accident? Was something done to them (a sin against them) or by them (they sinned and now suffer this condition)? Don’t just get the person’s feelings; get the facts. Has the illness something to do with relationship problems, for example a lack of forgiveness? Ask direct questions, but use wisdom and ask in love. Ask if it is possible that the illness was caused supernaturally through being involved with occult games and activities. Keep asking for God’s help and guidance in your heart all the while you are praying.

d. Pray. From the facts that you have gathered, and with the leading of the Holy Spirit, decide how you will pray. Always ask if you may lay your hand upon them and never do so without their consent. And even then you have to observe the rule to ONLY do it with people of the same sex. Victims of physical abuse may not be able to focus on Jesus if you have your hand on them. Never lay your hand on someone of the opposite sex unless someone else is present.

e. Prayer may include asking the Lord’s healing to come, or just praying softly while waiting on the Lord. (Acts 3:6).

f. Enquire. After you have prayed, ask the person how they feel and keep watching them. Ask if he/she senses something specific that they would like to share. This may indicate how you are to continue in prayer, or if you should conclude.

g. Give thanks. If healing has begun, you can be certain it will continue after your time of prayer. Sometimes healing is instant, but whatever the situation, pray with thanksgiving to the Lord, honouring Him for what He has done.

h. Encourage. If you will not see the person again, encourage them to stop sinning (John 5:14), read their Bible, spend time with God in prayer and to get involved in a local church, if they aren’t already.

i. Testify. When healing is complete, encourage them to testify of it to others, and to begin praying for others’ healing also, as soon as possible. They now have a testimony to share! Remarkable things happen when young Christians and people who have been healed pray for the sick!

What if nothing happens?

It is surprising how many times we pray for the sick, but never ask how they feel because of fear. If they say nothing has happened, you can suggest, “Let’s continue to pray about it tomorrow, and not give up until there is breakthrough or until we hear God speaking directly to us about it.” Then, make sure you do just that!

A pastor’s wife was once under heavy spiritual attack physically after a very blessed week of prayer in the community. She experienced some breakthrough after prayer, but the heaviness would return. A number of people prayed for her for over a week before the situation cleared completely. Don’t assume something’s wrong with you if nothing happens immediately. Something will happen every time if you persevere in prayer.

What causes revivals to run out over time?

This question can be answered through what happened with the revival in Wales (1904– 1905). People often ask why the Welsh revival ended. In one sense, the revival did not stop after 2 years; the strong emotional phase of the revival may have disappeared, but 80% of the converts from this revival still stood firm in their faith 5 years later. Notwithstanding, the revival did lose its momentum, and it is not due to Welsh people having immigrated to other countries or moved to other parts of Britain.

Various reasons for the loss of momentum may be suggested, and in light of the church today, it is important that we pay special attention to these reasons.

Work of the Holy Spirit. There was an over-emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit at the expense of instruction regarding Jesus and His glorification. Whilst it is of utmost importance for believers to be baptized, filled and anointed with the Holy Spirit, people often go to extremes and focus on the gifts of the Spirit (especially the unusual ones) whilst neglecting the everyday things. When this happens, Jesus disappears from view. He declared the work of the Holy Spirit very clearly in His Word. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. (John 16:8). Emphasis on the Holy Spirit alone precludes the role of a relationship with God the Father and with Jesus the Son. These relationships are not emphasized and explained. The Holy Spirit never focuses on Himself; He exalts and glorify the Lord Jesus.

Sin conscience. The acknowledgement of sin, the need for a Saviour, and the cross of Jesus are sometimes only emphasized in the beginning at one’s conversion and the focus is then shifted to other matters. When this happens, the core of Jesus’ purpose on earth fades. Without a thorough knowledge of the cross, death to self (the old man) and the daily crucifixion of self, the temptation to rely on our own insight and strength will infiltrate the church unnoticed, and eventually pride and division will take root in the church.

Word based teaching. In the Welsh revival of 1904, not enough emphasis was placed on a concrete foundation and balanced instruction from the Word. Whilst there is place for praise, testimony and prayer, young converts need instruction in the basic truths found in Scripture. They need to get to know the Word of God and continue studying it as the living Word. Practical teaching about basic principles found in Scripture is often neglected during revivals. Sadly, there was no effort focused on making disciples of the new converts.

Different manifestations. There is also commonly a lack of instruction on how to understand manifestations, differentiate them and handle them – especially physical, emotional and spiritual manifestations. As Christians, we have the responsibility to discern and act wisely. Often fleshly or demonic manifestations occur. In such cases, those mature in the faith should teach and equip younger believers with practical instruction on how to handle the situation. When a mixture of truth and falsehood is allowed unrestricted access to the church, believers are weakened in living out their faith practically. Revivals must be judged according to the fruit they bear. According to John 16:8, specific fruit should be visible. When revival leaves people feeling confused and dejected, investigation must determine what went wrong.

Perhaps the awakening came through the working of the Holy Spirit, but mature believers were not faithful in persistent prayer over this miracle of God. If we do not keep ourselves before the Lord in prayer, incorrect teaching, control, and excessive freedom can cool the hearts of many over time, and we learn ways not in line with Scripture. It is important to be watchful in prayer over the working of the Holy Spirit at any stage, whether in our own lives, our church, town, city or in our country.

Other factors that cause revivals to be extinguished are:

Doctrinal differences. Arguments and division extinguish revival. The role of a relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is not always pertinently explained. As a result, some believers only connect to the Spirit, and do not develop a relationship with God the Father and Jesus the Son.

Greed. When Christians become greedy, they forget God’s blessings and do not contribute financially to the working of the Holy Spirit. There is usually an increase in giving, offerings, property and material goods when people are saved out of the world. It is very important to include teaching on kingdom principles about financial giving to remind people of God’s blessing that comes through giving. It often happen that greed starts to set in after some time and it always kill revival.

Lack of confession. Revival dissipates when Christians stop confessing their sins before God in humility. Though we all sin, it is easy to become complacent in our standing before God. Attention must be given to important basic spiritual disciplines, such as regular times spent in prayer and reading the Word. Such practices are non-negotiable and should be emphasized as part of life for every believer. Through the Word of God, we are spiritually washed clean of wrong thinking, and it is through prayer that we are convicted to confess sin on a continual basis, even when revival has not yet occurred or has stopped.

Neglect of duty. When the church neglects, scales down or forsakes the commission to reach out to the lost and make disciples of all men and to care for the poor and needy, revival ceases, or if it has not begun it fails to get off the ground. New believers must be equipped with practical guidelines for reaching others, such as Muslims, for example. They must be equipped for Bible translation work or other important mission opportunities, locally or internationally.

A shift in focus. Too often, we get excited about big numbers, miracles and mass conversions and take our focus off of God, the Source of these events. This diminishes our dependence on Him: We begin to imagine we can do it ourselves, that it is our preaching, our anointing, our name, our church, or our specific program. This grieves the Spirit of God.

Neglecting intimacy with God. Leaders may lose their hunger for God and their focus on Jesus and an intimate relationship with Him when the hours of the day are consumed with preaching, prayer, counselling, and developing programmes for equipping believers. When they no longer spend quality time with God, their spouses and their families, they will quickly lose insight, spiritual power which will lead to burn out.

Neglect of prayer. This always summons an end to revival. It is prayer that fuels revival. Prayer must be thoroughly maintained at all levels: the level of the individual, the marriage and the family. Thereafter, it must be maintained in the sphere of influence of each believer: ministry, work or missions. Scripture is clear: The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16).

Splinter groups. Sometimes, Christians who were saved or who experienced renewal during a revival form a select group. This leads to spiritual pride – a feeling of ‘we have something that others don’t possess’. They will view their standards and “type” of Christianity as the norm and may judge others who live their faith differently. The existing church may reject such judgment, haughtiness and criticism, and conflict and discord will result in time. The possible outcome is that the “revival group” becomes a splinter group, prey to extremism and being a fringe group.

(Much of the information of this article is drawn from Transformed; 10 Principles for Sustaining Genuine Revival, by Alistair Petri).