A Facebook prayer

Henry

It is early on a Thursday morning and like every day I open my laptop in my office at Solidarity Helping Hand. With a cup of coffee in hand, I start to open the links I work with every day. I am part of a dynamic communication team here at our institution and it is therefore part of my work package to also keep an eye on our social media every day.

That’s why Facebook is also always open on my computer.

On this Thursday morning I click on one of the messages sent to me personally. This message is from a young woman who asks me to pray for her sick grandmother and to pray for her mother who has to take care of her sick grandmother. Just to give background, usually when I receive private messages 99% of the time it has to do with Solidarity Helping Hand. It’s usually our community that privately reaches out to me for help.

But I have never received a request like this.

I have many partners with whom I pray weekly, people who support us here at Helping Hand and who join us in prayer. One prayer that remains precious to me was with one of our partners at our Women’s Projects who just came and sat in my office one day, took my hands and prayed for me for 20 minutes, prayed for Helping Hand.

But this Thursday’s request for prayer hits me unexpectedly. It stirs a chord in my heart that takes me to the feet of Jesus. The request asks that I pray, but that I also write down the prayer and forward it so that she can read it to her mother and grandmother. She tells me it will “mean so much” to them if they receive the prayer.

Of course I let her know that I will put her and her mother and grandmother on my prayer list, but also send her the prayer I prayed.

One of my biggest tasks in my position as managing director for media at Solidarity Helping Hand is to speak for our institution. So I get requests from our people to come and give motivational speeches, speeches where I tell more about how our organization works.

One is invited to the radio as a spokesperson and must also regularly write about what we do as Helping Hand and what the impact of community development by social workers is. I’m used to this type of request because it’s my job.

But this message, this request – this is deeper than just words. Inside, I immediately first feel the need to pray, then I feel the trust that a foreign woman has in the power of prayer that comes from a Christian Afrikaans institution like Helpende Hand.

Isn’t this the type of speaking that one should do – people and communities speak with the word of God? Fortunately, I get to do that. Fortunately, we are not shy about doing so. Fortunately, faith has been identified as one of Helping Hand’s values ​​that work. I have the boldness to bring faith into my work. Fortunately, we have the boldness to pray – not only for my institution, but for others who need it. I have the boldness to testify that our faith and vocation work hand in hand.

Just the night before, I read her Children’s Bible to my eight-year-old. We read where Jesus taught His disciples to pray, we read the Lord’s Prayer. A request like this proves to me once again that there is a place for prayer in each of us, regardless of what our job description is. A request like this proves to me that people still believe in the power of prayer. Even if the prayer was done for you by someone you saw on Facebook and who is actually just a stranger to you.

Acts 4:31 says: “And when they prayed, the place where they were together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God with boldness.”

May we also pray that our places where we are placed, and even our workplaces, are shaken by the power of God. May our South Africa be shaken by the power of prayer. And may we never stop praying for each other.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; let your kingdom come; let your will be done, as in heaven so also on earth; Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Because to You belongs the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. – Matthew 6:9-13.