This is the fourteenth day we've been outdoors with the cross, in Johannesburg and here and it's only been peace and love and it's so sad that the world news isn't interested in the good news of all the beautiful people gathered together in love. If we were all out here fighting we'd be on the front pages everywhere, but God hears, and He is listening and that's whom we're talking to. As we pray you're welcome to pray out loud, but when we pray let's pray to God and don't preach a sermon. Sometimes, some people are tempted to take a prayer and use it for a means of preaching a half hour sermon to US. Well we don't need to hear your sermon, talk to God. If we preach a sermon, let's preach a sermon, if we talk to God, let's talk to God. So pray and we'll join in together with you.
You don't have to feel inadequate when you pray; God knows your heart beyond your words to express! He understands what you feel, perhaps the best prayer you will ever pray is beyond words, 'but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. ' (Romans 8:26)
"Dear heavenly Father, we just thank You that we have the opportunity of prayer, we have that opportunity because of Calgary because of the righteous life of Jesus, because of the divinity of Christ, because of Your sinless life and Your death upon the cross and Your resurrection and Your ascension. You've paid for our sins, You're the intercessor that is our advocate before the Father and we can come boldly before the throne of God because of Jesus. We thank You for Your promises that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. We thank You Lord that You said that if any two shall agree on earth as touching anything for Your glory, it shall be done. We thank You Lord for Your promise to open up the windows of heaven and pour out Your healing upon a nation if we will repent and humble ourselves and pray, then You will hear from heaven and forgive our sins and heal our land. So we pray Father right now for the outpouring of Your Spirit across this I nation and all over the world, because we know that the earth is the Lordly and the fullness thereof. We just refuse to allow the devil to take over the territory of God. We know Your promises where You said that You would I spare Sodom and Gomorrah even if there were twenty people and then if there were ten, then if there were five, and Lord, we know if You'd be that merciful to I Sodom and Gomorrah and those wicked cities, that You would heal this land because the people are standing in faith. Hundreds of thousands of people are praying and many are fasting and we're putting our lives into Your hands to ask Lord Jesus that You restrain the forces of I Satan and loose the Holy Spirit and pour out Your Glory over the land. We've seen all the races, coming together around the cross and we pray dear God that would be a reality. We can see in our mind all the leaders meeting together in the name of Jesus, in reconciliation and love to work out the needs of the land.
We pray dear Father, that those whose lives are filled with hatred and with hurt, and even tonight those who may be plotting death and contemplating killing people, we pray that their hearts would be changed, that You would bind the work of Satan because we know that Jesus said that Satan has come to steal, to kill and to destroy but You have come that we might have life and have it more abundantly. So Lord, we just pray for that abundant life to be poured out upon every person and in every life. We pray, dear Lord, in the name of Jesus for You to bless churches as they meet and worship You. Bless the pastors, dear Father, that they would preach in power. Bless the beautiful people that are gathering together in prayer groups to uphold Thy name. Bless the people as they go to work. We just thank You for the beautiful privilege that we have to pray here, openly and freely. We thank You Lord, that the people are excited for us to gather to pray for the nation and we know that in the name of Jesus we pronounce blessings and goodness upon this land. And we pray, dear Father, that it would be a lighthouse to the world of the glory and the blessings of God. We thank You for all the good news that comes to my ear every day as people are telling me what's happening in their towns, and in their homes, and in their office buildings. So Father, with this confidence we declare that this is Your land and these are Your people and You will save our land and release the blessings of Your glory. We pray God for the economics. We stand Lord against the forces that would destroy the peoples jobs because, Lord, we know that people need work and are coming here everyday asking, "pray for me a job, pray for me a job." We rejoice because we've seen so many getting jobs. But Lord we pray for more: we pray for prosperity, we pray that tomorrow factory managers would say, "Let's expand, let's start a new building, let's go forward and put more people to work so people can have homes, dignity, food, health, education and the best of life," because we know God that You want every family to have a good home, You want every stomach fed, You want every person to be happy. We come before You with the assurance that You hear our prayers, and You answer them.
Father glorify Yourself. We just thank You for these beautiful people. Bless them as they gather with us. We pray, God, for anybody that may not know You, that they'll be converted this evening in Jesus' name. Lord, we pray for these precious children, right at the front. In the name of Jesus we pray, God, that they'll have a beautiful land to grow up in, with peace, and without fear, with blessings and not terror. That every child will have nourishment and health and education, and most of all, the blessings of the knowledge of God within their lives that they may have equality, justice and opportunity. We thank You, Lord, that we can pray out here in Your beautiful church, with the stars, moon, trees, birds, wind, grass and the cool breeze.
Lord I thank You for the night, I thank You that You made the day and the night. There's something so special about the night. We know that You love the night. Many nights You went away to pray all night, and You spent forty days and forty nights praying and fasting and the night before the crucifixion You went out to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane and You prayed there so often, when Judas brought the soldiers, he knew where to come. You loved to pray at night, looking out over the city of Jerusalem and also the Sea of Galilee. Jesus, You love the night, and we love this night. It's a beautiful place here, the sound of the traffic, the bells that ring from the building, the sound of people talking, the sound of drunks sometimes screaming, the sound of laughter, the sounds of the city. We thank You Lord, that You came to save the cities, You came to save the countries, that You love the people in the cities, the lonely people, the hurting people, the sad people. Holy Spirit, if somebody is suicidal or depressed, we pray that You'll wake them up or just bring them out of their apartment and bring them here, that they might meet Jesus Christ. We thank You that You've called us to be prepared, You said Your coming is like a thief in the night.
Just as I was trying to get to sleep, about 1:00am, over twenty young people arrived. They had driven more than a hundred kilometers. They wanted to see me and pray with me. I was so exhausted, but looking into their eyes, I knew I had to stay awake and be with them. We finally finished at 3:00 a.m., and I crawled into my sleeping bag to sleep. I slept about three hours, up at 6:30 a.m. Felt like I'd been run over by a train. Ha! Witnessed all day, one after another saved. People were crowding around.
One lovely lady, her name is Erni Moller, who came to the park very often and shared the love of Christ with many, brought a friends daughter. The girl was thirteen years old. (She had been crippled by polio in her right arm and hand, which was immobile.) We went to the side, sat down and began to pray together. The power of God moved upon her arm and hand, she was healed. Yet her arm was somewhat weak since it had not been moved for over seven years. I instructed her in exercise. She could raise her hand above her head, open and close her hand, and move her arm out. The girl was almost in a complete state of shock. I'll never forget one thing. I said, "Do you feel fine?" She said, "Yes, except my thumb. It won't move." I couldn't help but laugh. Her arm was fine, her hand, she could move her fingers and yet her thumb was frozen hard like her arm and hand had been. I took her hand in my hand. A small crowd had gathered around. I prayed for her thumb and suddenly, she could move it perfectly. She kept wiggling her thumb, and seemed more excited about that thumb working than anything.
I felt stronger tonight than I did today, but the days seem to run into the nights and the nights seem to run into the days with no let up. As I was sitting down to write in my diary, I noticed a man and woman. She wore a beautiful wedding dress and he was dressed for marriage. I walked over to them. They had been married that afternoon at three o'clock, had the reception and then came to the cross for prayer. This was so powerful and was quite a celebration of joy for us as I remembered how Jesus turned the water into wine at a wedding banquet.
Tonight as we were praying, a lady burst through the crowd and grabbed me. She was weeping, shaking, and she said, 'I've come by five times this week but I never had the courage to speak to you. Now I must. I want to be reborn." And she wept her way into the kingdoms of God. The stories are endless. I have so many friends here in South Africa that it has become like home. All the people, black, white, Indian, colored, they're all the same to me, such love, oh so lovely. The glory of God covers this place and it's such a wonderful feeling it's impossible to describe. There is such peace sad love here. I feel so overcome with glory. God help me.
Sunday, July 13, 1986
God protect me from promotion, organization and an ego. Just keep me in the streets. It's so beautiful here, and the needs are so great.
Here, where the cross is, crowds gather more than we can handle, eager, full of questions, full of needs, absolutely overcoming us with the desire to pray, wanting us to pray for them, wanting to find Christ. As I see what is happening here, I look at the world and think, why aren't the ministers in the streets and the parks, exposed to the real people of need and desperation without a shield? For many in the ministry, it's a one-hour worship service. Then they greet everyone after and go to dinner. Much of the time, when I preach in a church, as I stay to counsel the people, (one hour, two hours, three hours) I notice the pastor is already gone. If it's a night meeting, the janitor is flashing the light to drive the people out of the building. Time is up. It's over.
Being out here in South Africa, exposes the weakness of the church, of evangelism, and so on. You only have to go and sit in a park in the city and pray and the people come by the hundreds and then by the thousands. You pray for them. They tell others, "Go there, someone will pray for you." They come and it grows.