Today, as every Wednesday, the Church is open from 4:30-6pm for personal prayer (with optional group prayer from 5:30-6pm). What follows is the prayer guide for today. We publish one each week and those who come to pray mostly make use of it.
If you’re in the area at the right time, please do pop in and grab the opportunity to pray for Claremont and South Africa. We sure need it …
Welcome to a time and space in which to breathe deeply, be still, think and pray – a time to connect to God. We invite you to use this guide to help you spend a meaningful time with God. Use all of it, or whichever parts you find helpful. You may wish to “do your own thing” and that is also fine. While you’re here, we ask that you respect the stillness of this space so that others may pray too. You may spend as much or as little time here as you like.
1 Becoming Still
Recall that you are in the presence of God right now. This is the God who created you and gave you life. He is the God who has loved you since before you were born, has loved you every moment of your life, and will continue to love you for all eternity. Here, in the presence of God, you are unconditionally and completely accepted and loved. Become silent. Quiet your thoughts. Focus your mind’s eye on God. If it helps, with your eyes closed, imagine yourself to be sitting in your favourite spot in nature; imagine that God comes silently to sit beside you. With God, reflect on your day.
God’s Presence and Goodness: How did you experience God’s presence during the day? When and where did you realise that God was with you? What good things have happened to you or around you today? Accept them as blessings from God’s hand and thank God for being there.
God’s Forgiveness: Did you fail in any ways today? Did you fail yourself? Your family? Your friends? Your boss? Your clients? God? Ask God’s forgiveness for your failures.
Now pray, asking God to continue being with you and to help you be more aware of His presence right now, when you go home, and tomorrow.
2 – Praying for Claremont
Please join us in praying for God’s blessing on Claremont.
Please pray for all the Christian Churches and ministries in Claremont. Allow God to draw your mind to one of the Churches you’re aware of. Pray for their pastor … their leadership … their members … and their mission … all to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and used by God to extend His Kingdom in Claremont.
Please pray for the vast diversity of human beings who make up the population of Claremont. Allow God to draw your mind to an area of brokenness in the community (e.g. domestic violence, crime, racism, greed, etc.) Pray for God’s healing grace to be at work and for His will to be done in Claremont as it is in heaven.
Please pray for all Matric students who live in Claremont and for their teachers. Please pray for effective studying for all and especially for those who will be attending winter school or extra classes to get ahead with their preparation for the mock/trial exams in the third term.
Please pray for all the Informal traders in Claremont – most of whom are honest, hard-working people trying to eke out a living in very difficult circumstances. For many of them they essentially live from hand to mouth, making just enough money for their daily needs. Please pray for them that the Lord would give them their daily bread and help them to grow their businesses and thrive.
3 – Praying for South Africa – Violence
As Local Government Elections approach, the levels of violence (and violent protests in particular) in South Africa are reaching horrifying proportions.
The following is quoted from the “40 Day Prayer Guide for Reconciliation”
DEVOTION: Bloodguilt on our hands
Some Scriptures to meditate on: Gen.4:10-12; Exo.20:13; Deut.21:1-9; Num.35:33-34; Hos.4:1-7; Matt.5:21-24; Rom.12:17-21.
We live in a violent society. There is no need to refer to statistics or news reports to prove this. We experience it every day. Much of this violence is perpetrated within families: rapes, child abuse, drunkenness, drug abuse, the humiliation of marital partners. And in the streets, in villages and on farms the situation is no better. Violence resulting in bloodshed and murders – sometimes with the weirdest of motives – are daily occurrences. Human life has become cheap, worth no more than a cell phone or a bottle of beer. It is difficult to visit one of these communities and talk about peace and healing. Every family murder, every child that is abducted, every street robbery, every farm attack, calls for a response. People are infuriated, or they lose heart and give up, or they vow retaliation and vengeance.
If we believe that Jesus is the Lord of Peace, our “No!” to violence should resound throughout the country. In the Kingdom of Heaven there is no room for hatred and spite and bloodshed. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord. While contemplating these words, it might be a good idea to confront ourselves in a mirror once again: How much violence and anger still lurk in our own hearts and need to be confessed before God?
Father God, I stand today on behalf of myself, my family, my people and the previous generations in South Africa, to confess that we have caused the land to cry out for revenge because of all the bloodshed of various political, racial and tribal conflicts, wars and murders. We are guilty and we need forgiveness and cleansing. Please forgive us. You are the giver of life, and by taking lives, no matter how we justify it, we have dishonoured You. We pray as David did: We have sinned against You. Please remove the bloodguilt and the call for revenge from the South African soil. May the blood of Jesus speak today of better things than the blood that calls for revenge. Please restore our land and our nation. Amen!
- If you, or your family, or the previous generations of your family, were involved in any conflict or wars where lives were lost, or if someone in your family murdered another person, now is the time to confess it and to receive forgiveness. Ask the Lord to remove the bloodguilt from your family and from the coming generations.
- According to the Bible, bloodguilt is also attached to the city and the nation where people were killed. Ask the Father to forgive and to remove the bloodguilt from your community, town or city.
- Pray that God will help us in South Africa to value and celebrate life, and to restrain ourselves from even cursing someone as in Jesus’ eyes that already amounts to murder.
- Pray that God will raise up a generation in South Africa that will be free from the guilt and burdens of the past. A generation that will honour His name and prepare for Him a dwelling place in their hearts.
4 – Praying for South Africa – Godly Leadership
The following is quoted from the “40 Day Prayer Guide for Reconciliation”
Meditation: To cultivate leaders
Scriptures to meditate on: Gen.50:15-21; Num.27:15-20; 1Sam.3:19-20; 13:14; Isa.44:24-28; Dan.1:2-17; Eph.6:10-20; 2Tim.1:6-12.
To speed up the process of healing and nation building we need strong leaders – men and women who will be willing to stand up and walk in front. We need people with courage, conviction and a vision. People who have a lot of patience and also a good measure of humour, who will be willing to sacrifice to build relationships. God blessed South Africa with people like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Next to them and behind them there were many other leaders – ordinary men and women and young people – who made it possible for them to do their work, who worked with much conviction with them. Our churches have the huge task, not just to call on its members to be peacemakers, but to teach, lead and empower them for their service.
Father God, we pray today for a generation of leaders after your own heart. We pray that You will raise up leaders like Moses, who led a whole nation to freedom. We pray for Joshuas, young men and women who will be vested with authority from trusted fathers in the faith. We pray for Samuels who will hear the Word of the Lord and speak it with authority. We pray for men and women with David’s humility and courage. We pray for young men and women, who like Daniel and his friends, will take a stand for purity and holiness. We pray for men and women like Joseph who rose out of rejection, slavery and oppression, to become leaders of world economies and trusted advisors of presidents. We pray for young men and women who will be clothed in the armour of God, able to resist the forces of the kingdom of darkness. We pray for leaders who do not have a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. Amen!
- Pray for young leaders to emerge out of a broken, racist society, who will be willing to lay the past behind and look with courage and enthusiasm to the future.
- Pray that fathers and mothers of the older generation will invest in young people, stimulate them from childhood to solve problems, teach them to have integrity and be of sober minds.
- Pray for leaders from both the older and younger generation to take a stand against the flood of negativity and incitement to violence.
4. Pray that leaders will learn righteousness and justice, will walk humbly with their God and their fellow humans, and will be shepherds over the people of our nation.