When I was a kid my mom’s daily morning schedule included listening to radio preachers while she performed her house duties.
One preacher began his broadcast with the song “Just Keep on Praying”. I can hear the song now, just as if it was yesterday. The chorus lyrics were: “Just keep on praying till the light breaks through. The Lord will answer, will answer you, God keeps His promise, His word is true. Just keep on praying till the light breaks through”.
The reason that song is fresh in my mind is an article I recently read by Lee Grady chronicling his recent visit to Nigeria. The article really got my attention. Below is his account of what happened during a church service he attended.
“Every time I visit this unique country – the most populous in Africa – I fall in love again with the people and their lively passion for God.
Last week, during my visit to Nigeria, I witnessed a special moment and captured it with my camera. I felt I should share the photo with you. If a picture is worth a thousand words, this image of Nigerian Christians lying prostrate on the floor of an auditorium in Port Harcourt could inspire a book. The holy moment occurred on Jan, 10 during the Global PrayerQuake conference, an annual event led by my friends Mosy and Gloria Madugba. That morning, after a visiting British evangelist gave a sobering report on the current spiritual condition of England, Mosy reminded the 5,000 attendees in the auditorium that British missionaries had come to Africa on ships in the 1700’s to bring the gospel. Some of these selfless missionaries, Mosy said, brought their coffins with them because they knew they would never return. Mosy also reminded the audience that Americans had sent both missionaries and money to spread the gospel in Nigeria when it was known for its cannibals and witch doctors rather than its lively churches.
At that point the Holy Spirit took over. The Nigerians ran to the front of the building and got on their faces. Some of them were wailing. Nothing about this prayer meeting was dignified – it was noisy and raw and messy, as if several hundred women were given birth at the same time.
They Nigerians were crying their guts out because they were so grateful for the mercy of God. They could not accept the fact that the two countries that invested so much to bring the salvation of Jesus to Africa are now turning away from the Christian faith. They were weeping over our worldliness, our rebellion and our flagrant rejection of the biblical values that were once our roots. They were mourning our backslidden condition.
The Nigerians stayed on their faces for at least half an hour, asking God to sweep England and the United States with a spiritual awakening. All I could do was lift my hands in gratitude that I could witness this moment.”
This story and photograph touched my heart for several reasons. First, I sensed the deep, heartfelt commitment that the Nigerians had to believing prayer. Secondly, they were moved by what was important to God – repentance of a nation that has turned its back on God. Thirdly, they were simultaneously sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s unction to pray- wow what oneness must exists within that fellowship.
This story brings gladness and conviction to me at the same time. I am profoundly grateful for another nation that loves us enough to cry out to God in our behalf. I pray that our fellow countrymen would become just as zealous and committed to intercede for our nation for another great awakening.
I am deeply moved with conviction when I see how prayer is a key component to these believers, even to the point that they are so sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting that they are willing to publically prostrate themselves before the Lord. I have to ask the question, am I that committed to pray and intercede on behalf of our nation? Am I willing to “keep on praying till the light breaks through?” Does this story and picture also move your heart?
I am convinced that nothing moves the heart of God like the believing, passionate prayers of His children. Will you covenant with me to make 2013 the year of intercessory prayer for our families and for our nation?
"Prayer can do anything that God can do."