History was made and a miracle happened in South Africa when a close to two million people gathered from different areas of South Africa last April 22, 2017 to pray. The gathering took place at a farm in Bloemfontein, a place located in central South Africa. It was the largest prayer gathering ever in the history of South Africa. Nobody expected it to happen and some even thought it was impossible to gather that much people in just six weeks, but it happened.
A total of 1.7 million people were registered online and several thousands were added on the day. The crowd covered a kilometer of space, which was surrounded by several huge screens with long cable wires for the sound systems. The crowd was composed of a multiple of races. The Prayer Gathering was spearheaded by South African farmer-evangelist Angus Buchan. Buchan is the subject of the book “Faith Like Potatoes”. The prayer was called for in light of the decline in the sociopolitical and spiritual condition of the country. The gathering was themed, ” It’s Time”.
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One of the reasons why Buchan really made sure that the prayer gathering would push through was because of the people who have been taking the law into their own hands. There has been so much chaos in South Africa and there was simply no solution except to call on the Lord for help through prayer. The evangelist believes that God will bring justice, hope and peace.
A huge crowd was streaming to Wilde Als farm near Bloemfontein. The program was consequently delayed for an hour because of the huge crowd streaming to the venue. The prayer time in South Africa was not limited to Bloemfontein alone. People all over the nation who couldn’t make it to the It’s Time venue organized their prayer meetings in rented places, homes and churches all over the country. The event was not televised but Christians were updated through social networking sites. Transportations like airplanes and buses were chartered for the said event.
No advertising was made on television nor any news coverage. Farmlands were opened to campers for free. Flocks of people covered up to 40 kilometers or 25 miles of the area. People who reside in Bloemfontein or near it started making their way to the venue as early as after midnight to make sure they get a spot and avoid the traffic. A group of friends were able to arrive at the venue by 4:00am. Three hundred people were also already at the venue with their chairs. Some people used their flashlights to secure a seat.
Traffic was already heavily congested early Saturday morning because huge crowds of people are constantly coming in. People who reside locally came walking, cycling and riding motorcycles to avoid traffic. Many planes flew in to nearby airports bringing crowds of people. Some were brought in by helicopters which arrive every ten minutes. People were that eager to attend the service. There were even some remarkable personalities like the brother of the late cricket captain Hansie Cronjé, film producer Frans Cronjé. Frans arrived with fellow cyclist who went cycling for six days to attend the service. They came all the way from Cape Point and arrived at Bloemfontein last Friday.
Angus Buchan, the evangelist, started exhorting and teaching the crowd about the importance of prayer. He focused on a Bible passage where Jesus was praying at the Garden of Gethsemane just before he was about to go to the cross. This passage narrates about how Jesus was talking to the crowd, reminding them about Moses words before the Red Sea was divided. Afterwards, Buchan led the crowd of 1.7 million people in prayer. Several points were brought up and were prayed for while people agreed with “Amen”. Buchan and whole crowd prayed for the Word of God to be taken seriously; that people will start to live according to what the Word of God says. Several morality issues were also prayed for including sexual immorality like sex before marriage, pornography and rape. The people in that crowd prayed for sexual immorality to be wiped out.
Several other issues were also prayed for like drug addiction, racialism, and murder. The crowd led by Angus Buchan prayed against these things in the name of Jesus. The crowd did not only pray for morality issues but also for the security of the nation. They also prayed for the nation’s armed forces to bring stability back to the nation.
Aside from the nation’s condition, families were also part of the prayer items. Prayers were also uttered for the restoration of every family in the country so that broken marriages will be restored as well as broken families. There was also a prayer for the relationship of the children and their parents to be restored. Buchan also prayed for the respect for old people to be restored in the nation. All walks of life were being prayed for, the poor, and the rich.
Buchan also led the crowd to ask forgiveness for the compromise that the nation has committed. There was a call for truth and righteousness to prevail all over the nation. They also spoke against bankruptcy, AIDS and HIV. The crowd prayed also for the youth, that each young person will be preserved until their wedding day.
People from different parts of the world were all-eyes on South Africa that day. Angus Buchan also had a strong desire for the power to overflow to neighboring countries. The gathering received several reactions. Many leaders from local churches also commented about the said event. Moderator of Dutch Reformed Church in the Free State, Rev. Helgard Janse van Rensburg, that this kind of prayer gathering was what the country needs. The nation is sick and there no magic can set things right. People first have to come to God in humility and pray and ask for forgiveness.
Another reverend from Reformed Churches in South Africa by the name of Cassie Aucamp said the size of the gathering is not important. What is more important is the sincerity of the one who prays. Other pastors including Pastor At Boshoff of the Christian Revival Church said that he is eager to see results because of the prayer including peace, reconciliation and economic prosperity for the nation as well as all people including and most especially those who are less privileged.
Notable politicians grace the event but Buchan stressed that the gathering is evidently spiritual. It is not motivated by any political issue, nor is it for political change. It was simply a desperate act to call for change which can only come from God. While the crowd prayed together for the nation, Angus Buchan also encouraged each individual to pray for themselves and on their own. Some people prayed loudly while others prayed with a whisper. There were some people who prayed kneeling, others were holding hands together and several more prayed with their hands lifted high.
To Evangelist Angus Buchan, the gathering in itself was a Jesus miracle.
Have you ever been desperate enough for change that all you could think of was pray?
Do you believe in the power of prayer?
Have you tried calling for change in your life through prayer?