The largest prayer gathering in South African history (called “It’s Time”) was held on April 22, 2017, on a farm just north of Bloemfontein, which is centrally located in South Africa. Some 1.7 million people registered online to attend this historic occasion, and thousands more arrived on the day. The multi-racial crowd was spread over more than a kilometer with sound and video relayed onto multiple large screens. Popular South African farmer/evangelist Angus Buchan (also the subject of the book and film Faith Like Potatoes) called for a nationwide prayer meeting in the light of the spiritual and socio-political decline evident in the nation. “We are tired of people taking the law into their own hands. We are going to call upon the Lord to bring justice, peace, and hope to our beloved South Africa,” he said. Buchan led the crowd in prayer, stopping at various points while they shouted “Amen” or repeated parts of his prayer: “I am praying that South Africa will become a country that takes the Word of God literally as it is written. We say no to immorality. We say no to sex before marriage. We say no to pornography and drug addiction in Jesus’ name. We say no to racialism in this country. We say no to senseless murder and rape in this country. We ask you, Lord, to give our armed forces the power to bring stability back to this nation. . . . We ask, Lord, for restoration. . . . We say there is no other God save Jesus Christ and Him alone.” The prayer time was also duplicated in hundreds of towns and suburbs around the nation. For those who couldn’t get to Bloemfontein, prayer meetings were held in churches, rented halls, and homes around South Africa. No television broadcasts were allowed, but Christians around the country followed the event from the social media posts of their friends. Despite the magnitude of the event, there was no television advertising and little news coverage beforehand. Farmers in the area opened their farms to hundreds of thousands of campers at no cost. Gridlock was reported for up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) away and the event was delayed for an hour and a half to allow more to arrive. Several prominent politicians attended the gathering, but Buchan made it clear that the motivation for the event was clearly spiritual. “This is not a political change. This is a Jesus change, because we need a Christian government. Today we pray to Him, because He will heal South Africa,” he said. – Nico Bougas, special to ASSIST News Service.
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