Many people fast for personal reasons, but Assemblies of God in Malawi Ndirande Bethel Temple looks at fasting from another perspective. The church has organised 40 days of fasting to glorify God for the country and the church. JAMES CHIMPWEYA had a chat with resident reverend of the church, LUCKSON MAKANJE, to learn more about fasting and prayer.
We have heard that you have organised 40 days of prayer and fasting, why is it so?
Indeed, we have organised a 40-day prayer and fasting session from January 2 to February 12 as a church. This is an event the church holds every year. God instructed us to be having this because of the challenges the country faces every year. During this period we look at three aspects; praying for the nation, praying for the church’s revival and praying for the three arms of government which are the Executive, Judiciary and Parliament.
What really do you do when holding prayers and fasting for these three aspects?
When praying for the Executive, we consider the President, Cabinet ministers and civil servants. You know, for example, that our country has been rocked by Cashgate that needs the hand of the Lord to intervene. Many resources are being plundered resulting in no drugs in hospitals, lack of teaching and learning materials in schools and delays in paying salaries for civil servants, among other problems. As for the Judiciary, we look at the state of affairs regarding justice delivery in our courts because there are some cases that are dragging, denying poor people justice and while praying for Parliament, we consider the good working relationship between government and the opposition for the betterment of all Malawians.
Apart from what you have already said, what other areas do you focus on during your prayers?
We also pray for national economic challenges, political squabbles rocking the country and what we do is asking God to provide solutions for such challenges. The opposition is government in waiting and for this reason it has to provide solutions to some of the challenges we are facing and government is supposed to listen and act accordingly. We are also praying for good rains that will not destroy crops and property, including lives of people.
After praying for the country, what do you have on the menu regarding prayers for the church?
We will be praying for the revival of the church. When we say for the church we do not mean Assemblies of God only, but also all other churches that acknowledge Jesus Christ as Saviour of our lives. People are facing various challenges which require God’s solutions. In this regard we mean revival of lives of people. As a church, we have to go back to the basics.
What time are the prayers starting and who will be preaching?
Prayers will be starting in the morning from 4.30am to 6am then from 4.30pm to 7.30pm every day. Our preachers during this 40-day period include Reverend Donex Mwenesungu from Mzuzu, Reverend Reuben Mndala from Lilongwe and Reverend Henry Moyo from Zomba. From Blantyre, we have Reverend Billy Banda, Reverend Vincent Ndovi, Reverend Julius Phiri and myself. The prayers are open to all members of different churches. n