Prayer networks healing communities

Prayer networks healing communities

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Between 1 and 7 September, 28 schools in Stellenbosch and surrounds participated in the 7 days on the wall prayer week, each establishing prayer spaces on their property and maintaining a prayer network.

“What goes on in my heart is really that the Father is busy to equip children to be world changers,” Stellenbosch Prayer Network co-ordinator Alba Steenkamp said.

Even though there were masses of schools involved during the previous year, they experienced less, but more kids ready to be equipped and become role models to others  involved this year.

Prayer spaces were each uniquely created according to community need. Schools were given examples of ‘getting quiet’ areas where there can be anything from maps to newspaper articles to pray over.

Whereas last year’s focus was on forgiveness, this year affirming identity stood out as a recurring theme. Getting practical with mirrors and truths from the Word, children were built up by who God defines them, rather than their circumstances.

“A lot of the children has a problem because they get feedback from parents in difficult circumstances which makes them feel they are actually worth nothing and a burden. Often there is no food and their dads are absent or in jail.

“The most beautiful thing was to see people’s hearts…especially in women’s hearts, to embrace children from other communities with love, to really be in pain with them,” Alba shared.

Facilitated by Jericho walls, the 7 days prayer week is set to run for seven years as from 2012, trusting for healing, revival and social justice to prevail.

The establishing of prayer spaces at schools is also trending in Europe where approximately 900 schools are part of this movement.

“It is also about the healing of communities,” Alba explained. “We are not trying to achieve anything, there is no production line to make something work. An opportunity is created and that is what a prayer space is. Children can decide out of free will what they want to communicate and what they are open to. Because God is faithful, and loves children, He meets them and children and adults testify of the precious experiences they had in such as space.”

Some of the schools have decided to keep their prayer spaces permanently. Others have joined in with the municipality’s Plant One Million Trees project, where the trees are also planted as signposts of God’s protection according to Genesis 21:33, as well as a possible prayer space.

Apart from the school participation, university lecturers, students, farmers and old age homes all had opportunities to become involved.

The prayer movement sees old age homes as recycling ground. They discard the idea of elderly having nothing further to give to communities. Rather, they see them as experienced citizens, able to powerfully impact sectors with their prayers.

With regards to further improvements, being more connected to remote communities, such as farms, and recruiting more volunteers to assist with prayer areas are goals towards next year.

Anyone who has a relationship with God and can be a good example to school children is eligible to volunteer. To get involved, send an email to albasteenkamp@gmail.com, or call 084 261 7914. 

“It is important to know the whole 7 days is not denomination or culture-aimed. It is one heart of healing in our land, interdenominational and cross-cultural,” she said.

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