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The Church united in prayer for all pastors and society
Church in the Bay - Media Release in the Herald: 8 February 2021
This column is written to strengthen all faith-based leaders, the churches and society during this time of ravaging coronavirus. Back to News Index
As soldiers of the cross, we fear not, even when this coronavirus is so unrelentingly devastating.
This is the time we all must lift our prayers to the Lord who undoubtedly hears us even though He sometimes seems to us to take His time answering us.
We call for continued prayers because we know that the ripple effects of a spiritually fatigued community are more dangerous to the livelihood than just closing the churches.
The contribution made by the faith-based body far outweighs the generalisation of pious requirement.
A spiritually balanced community is a foundation of balanced society, without which all nature of evil abounds.
God orders and heals the society and its people in the altar of prayer.
Our prayers, no matter how short, or how fatigued we may appear to be, if offered in sincerity, are like an incense rising, a pleasing aroma to Him. They can be likened to a burnt offering of worship to the Lord.
We must call on all people, wherever they may be, to ceaseless prayer by all children of God.
The church united in prayer changes the world into an environment of goodwill, where health, peace and love are a lifestyle.
In the words of author Erik Pevernagie, “let us reach out to the people and show them an abundance of goodwill. We must, however, learn to identify manipulations as well as uncover manoeuvres in the dark if we do not want to be tricked by lying eyes.”
The church may appear pushed to the periphery by shallow secular leaders who only come close to it when they want to benefit from its solid Godly constituent.
In fact, it is the nature and character of our call to serve that we should not help beat the preposterous drums of those who desire to be great.
Indeed, the church may be seen as an object of ridicule, where God’s messengers and His word are despised and His prophets are scoffed until the wrath of the Lord is aroused with no remedy (2 Chronicles 36; 16).
The truth is, a healthy and emotionally balanced society owes its source of life to its spiritual leaders.
One pastor is worth the joy of the Lord.
How true are St Paul’s words, that each and every child of God is a vessel of the divine treasury albeit in jars of clay. We need to acknowledge that this all-surpassing power we humbly have is from God and not from us.
At this time of rampant coronavirus, and in whatever variant name it is described, it cannot be the cause of our inactivity through fear.
Please leaders, do not lose strength. Not at this time.
We may feel helpless while witnessing congregants, friends, siblings, parents, colleagues, and many others painfully falling victim to the virus, but we know our God hears us.
Whilst we should take extreme care not to do anything beyond our means, we need to stay strong and know that people of God are praying for you as well.
The battle we are facing is not ours, but God's. Let us not lose sight of the strength of prayer.
God has raised you to leadership in times like these for a particular reason.
It was contexts like these when God said, "Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing." (1Timothy 2:8).
Faith people before us survived horrendous pandemics. They never gave up, but stood in the gap in prayer, and God heard their earnest supplications.
The society is deeply traumatised. One can truly feel the fatigue and disengagement even at pastoral level, more especially at the resurgence of second wave of variant 501Y.V2.
Signs that society is traumatised include the break-up of families, the rise of gender-based violence, and negative inhumane un-African behaviour.
Our people are fatigued by social distancing, the death of professionals across the spectrum, the economic down turn with ripple effects of job closures and the resulting hunger and crime born of desperation.
We continue to pray, and are thankful that the government has done the best it can to secure vaccines.
We also pray that the community will not easily fall prey to mischievous misleading myths about vaccination, but that they will grab the opportunity given to get vaccinated.
While praying, we must equally encourage people of God to creatively utilise their land for agricultural purpose so as to curb the looming hunger and starvation.
The church can lead the families in food security projects.
Our homes must therefore be sanctuaries of prayer in the name of Jesus! He is our Lord who holds the keys to a normal society.
As we pray, we must hear His comforting word, “Then he placed his right hand on me and said; Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Revelations 1; 17-18).
Strength to all Church Leadership!
Bishop Dr J.B. Freemantle
MCSA Grahamstown Synod
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