The awesome presence of God
When Christian leaders, clergy and people from many denominations and fellowships come together for an appointment with God, He pours His Spirit upon their worship and intercession. This was the awesome reality of what took place in the NMMU Goldfield’s Auditorium on Sunday night 23 October as students, concerned Christians and their leaders worshipped together and interceded for God to come into, and take control of, the unrest in the universities in our land.
Afrika Mhlophe, who had been one of the team of Christian leaders negotiating peace on the NMMU campus for over two weeks, had arranged the service and had asked for as many clergy as possible to be present. The service began with a time of deep worship anointed by the Holy Spirit. Then a time of powerful intercession was led by some of the leaders –
- Using 2 Ch 7:14ff Alidi Mpateya brought us to repentance. He said a demonic presence is trying to stop our future leaders and our war is against these principalities;
- Patrick Douglas-Henry reminded us that ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ and prayed that we all be given the gift of wisdom;
- Joan Keeling prayed for the church to be the peacemakers we are meant to be, reminding us that in Eph 2:14 we are told that ‘He himself is our peace’;
- Wellington Jansen prayed for the Lord to demolish the forces of darkness which are at work in bringing about the chaos that has been taking over the protests. He prayed for divine confusion in the camp of the enemy;
- Khaya Sondladla prayed for safety over all the students - that no lives will be lost during this time of Spiritual warfare;
- Rory Spence used our Lord’s prayer for unity, ‘that they may be one,’ in the church and among all Christians on campus and their leaders. He also reminded us that Paul wrote to the Ephesians exhorting them to ‘make every effort to keep unity’ within the Body.
Where are ‘the church’?
However, the cry from the heart of a student was a real wake-up call to the church. He called on the members to be the salt Christ speaks of and be on campus at all times – like salt sprinkled on manure helps it stay hot for longer – so we need to stay ‘hot’ for the Lord among the marginalised in their time of need. He challenged the church to step out of our boundaries and be the light of the Lord - to be among the students as the voice of reason, to bail them out of jail, to help them when they are hurt and to stand with them during their protests. He said that a large majority of the country call themselves Christians but they are not here when needed.
No justification for violence
Afrika Mhlophe spoke of what he had experienced during his ministry on campus over the past days – such as teargas, watching the media only filming the small ‘sensational’ incidents, young Christians singing racist songs and throwing stones because they’re influenced by the wrong people … but, he said, Christians are personally answerable to God for their actions and they must stop blaming others. “There is no justification for violence – never – at no time at all! Violence puts you in a bad place with God.” He said that those of us who were caught in the violence of the 1980’s don’t want to be there again. This group of students have been hijacked because there is no justification for violence – your cause is legitimate but violence is illegitimate. He reminded the church that we are called to disciple people, not to build buildings, and disciples will know how to react in any circumstance.
More about this event on Gateway News:
Rainbow nation shows up at campus prayer service