A South African church leader is confident that God answers prayer, and he has a statistic to prove it: 840,000.
That’s the number of people Peter Sekhonyane says have
come to Christ in the six years since churches in his area began leading 24-7
“Our aim is that before the end of the year we will be crossing the
1 million mark of people giving themselves over [to] the Lordship of Jesus
Christ,” Sekhonyane said in an interview with Britain-based 24-7 Prayer
International during last month’s Global Day of Prayer, which was hosted from
an evangelist and church planter based in Orange Farm, located roughly 30 miles
south of Johannesburg, said 7,800 prayer watches have
been started in local churches since 2004, with the congregations covering each
hour of the day in prayer. As a result, he said, 246 marriages have been
restored, and 190 witch doctors have come to faith in Jesus.
Two years ago the
ministry started teaching children about intercession, and now he says there
are 62 youth prayer centers in five South African provinces. In Orange Farm
alone, he reports that there are 18 centers with 5,400 children praying.
“Through the prayers of
those children, we have seen elderly people, widows, orphans, the needy and the
poor receiving food parcels,” Sekhonyane said. “When children pray, God answers
in a very special way.”
mobilizing pastors to embrace night-and-day prayer after reaching a crisis in
his ministry that caused him to question his calling, 24-7 Prayer leader Scott Bower reported earlier this year. Sekhonyane was almost ready to go back
to being a concrete engineer when he checked into a hotel and spent three
nights in prayer.
He said God rebuked
him, saying he was doing His work but not spending enough time with Him. He
told him that prayerless pastors were producing prayerless congregations and
that evangelism is weakened when new disciples are not taught how to pray.
As he left the hotel,
he said God told him: “Go now and call my church back to prayer. Go back and
restore the foundations of my church. Prayer is the foundation of the
church.” Sekhonyane then began
teaching Christians to pray night and day, training teams to instruct others
and plant “prayer tents” in their townships.
The evangelist said
people who have been praying and haven’t received answers should persevere.
“Take your Bible, find
the promises and read those promises,” he said. “Meditate on them, confess them
over and over again and pray to God, reminding Him of His promises, and you
will see exactly what we are seeing through the prayers, through the Word of
Without prayer, he said, “You’re never going to see
any direct result. It’s the people that are praying that are able to witness
for God and to testify that this God is the living God and this God answers
every prayer that we have said.”