I am still trying to process the experience of praying with a 1 000 000 plus people in Bloemfontein. This time in God's presence will forever be etched in my mind as one of the spiritual highlights of my Christian walk. Times like this in God's presence bring a heightened awareness not only of what God is doing, but of the promises that God has given to us over the years and also of the ways that God has blessed us over the years.
Over the past week I have intentionally taken some time to reflect on the promises that God has given us, as a church through His word, over the years. Some of these have been fulfilled, but we have not even begun to accomplish what God has promised that we as a community of faith will accomplish. I have purposefully made these promises the focus of my personal prayers.
As I drove away from Bloemfontein on April 22nd I felt so grateful that God allowed me to be part of this awesome moment in the history of our country. So I am making time to give thanks for all of the good things that God has done, not just for us as a church, but also for us as a family.
This was no ordinary prayer meeting. When prayer becomes this intentional a renewed sense of call emerges. Over the last few weeks I have once again felt afresh the unique calling that God has placed on us as a church, that of introducing the many people in our community, who do not go to church, to the Jesus story.
That God the father loved us so much that he gave His son to save us and to transform our complicated lives.
Why not make some time to ponder the promises that God made to you about your life for you as a family? Pray them back to God. Take time to think about and give thanks for what he has done. In prayer, let God touch your heart for those who do not have the privilege of knowing Him as Lord of their lives.
This Sunday we are going to kick start a season of reaching out to those who do not go to church, so don't miss it. We're launching our holiday club material this week, and it is the first of four Sundays where we unite with many other churches to reach our whole city for Christ.
See you then.
You can keep up to date with what's happening around the city during "One Life" by following them on Facebook here.
You can also get prayer points for the city by following the "Pray Tshwane"page on Facebook here.
Speaking of Prayer...
It’s Time Prayer Meeting
We set off from Irene at the bitterly cold hour of 3am. Racing through the highways and byways of the West Rand, the line of cars behind us grew longer and longer as more people hit the road. 40km from our destination, we hit the real traffic, and began to realise that perhaps the rumours of a million people all heading for the same field outside Bloemfontein were true.
After 7 hours on the road, we walked kilometres through ploughed fields, past soaring towers of speakers and screens, the size of the venue dawning on us. It felt like the set of the next Mad Max movie. It was dusty and dry, noisy and chaotic trying to find the rest of the Eastside group. The sun beat down, but as Angus Buchan stepped up on stage, the lightest wind began to blow. Despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of people surrounded me, I felt like he was speaking directly to me. The wind rose, hats and umbrellas lifted above our heads, balloons whipped up into the sky, and the Holy Spirit moved across the stage.
The message from Angus was clear; Don’t give up on our country. God is not done with South Africa – pray for South Africa; Don’t give up on our politicians, even if all we seem to hear lately is bad news – pray for our leaders; Be better people, better mothers and fathers, neighbours and colleagues because a nation is only as good as the people that live in it. We can change the way things are going, one thing at a time. If each person who was present at the meeting changed one thing for the better, there would be a million positive changes in our country.
When Angus shouted his legendary “Amen”, the response from the crowd echoed for 10 seconds through the kilometres of people. I felt that anyone who arrived doubting our God, left believing in Him. You could not but be in awe of the magnitude of the crowd, and the power of God moving through it.
Despite the incredibly long day, hundreds of kilometres of traffic snaking back to Gauteng, the 45-minute wait for a coffee at the One Stop, and the next 45-minute wait for the toilet, this prayer meeting was one of the highlights of my walk with God.
On Saturday evening, an excited group of 43 arrived at ORT airport to check-in for our flight to Tel Aviv. There are a few things you should know about a tour to Israel:
Firstly, flying with El Al is no ‘normal’ experience, and it took our group of 43 three and a half hours to get past the security interrogations before being allowed to go through passport control. After a nerve wrecking start for first timers, we boarded and were off!
The second thing you should know is that an Israel Tour makes use of every bit of time we have, so we landed and got straight on the bus for our tour. In the first few days some of our highlights have been visiting Mount Carmel where Elijah defeated the Prophets of Baal and worshipping in the chapel there, declaring that “[God] has no rival, [God] has no equal”; Visiting Cana where Jesus performed His first miracle (a number of couples renewed their marriage vows); Praying together on the Mount of Olives where Jesus preached His famous sermon in Matt 5; Sailing on the Sea of Galillee; baptising many in the Jordan River; floating in the Dead Sea at our incredible resort hotel; spending time on top of Masada - the most breath taking Roman Fortress; and visiting Bethlehem where we are currently staying.