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Targeting South Africa
Prayer Target: Healing Of Past Sufferings and Prejudice
I have ministered in Capetown, South Africa on two occasions. I have many powerful memories of incredible things the Lord did there. One incident really stands out in my mind, from my first ministry trip. It was done in a one-on-one ministry session, but it demonstrates a need for healing and releasing forgiveness that touches pretty much every non-white South African, which is 86% of the population.
There were four of us on the team. Two of us stayed at the pastor's house, and two stayed next store with his relatives. One relative, let's call her Sara (not her real name), was a professional seamstress and worked many hours each day to make her living. She was a colored woman and was married to a colored man, and their youngest daughter was college age. She was very sweet and a wonderful hostess to our two team members. She was an intercessor, and she was very hungry for the things of the Lord. But something seemed to hold her back from being able to receive what God had for her.
It was our last day there, and the entire team was having brunch at her house. She disparately wanted us to minister to her propheticly. One team member had a word for her that she was coming to the Lord with a basket that as partially full.. containing things like unforgiveness, resentment, past hurts, etc. God wanted her to empty the basket so that He could fill it with His abundance, with His spirit and with His anointing.
Sara broke down and started crying. She shared how hard it had been for her.. how her mother-in-law (also a colored woman) was prejudiced against her because her skin was dark. (The colored people are their own race, but the origins of that race was from racially mixed offspring of a black and a white. Their skin color ranges from very dark to very pale, almost white.) Her husband was medium dark, and she was only a little bit darker than he was.
Yet her mother-in-law hated her based solely on the color of her skin. This was hard for her. But it was even harder for her to bare how her mother-in-law treated her children. The older children were all about the same complexion as she was.. and her mother-in-law shunned them. She would have nothing to do with them, even though they were her own grandchildren. But the youngest daughter had turned out very fair skinned. And her mother-in-law doted on that child.. again based primarily on the color of her skin.
Sara, had lived for years under apartheid, and had experienced racial prejudice in many forms. All of them hurt her deeply. But the one she found hardest to deal with was from members of her own extended family.
There was an unforgiveness and bitterness that had welled up in her like a cancer. She did not want it.. she knew what the Bible said about forgiveness, and she truly desire to forgive. But she just was not able to do it.. she had tried over and over again. The pain of her experience just cut too deep. She was in tears.. disparate to forgive, and disparate to receive from God and disparate to let go of all that pain.. but unable to.
As she shared all this, my heart was breaking for her. Then the Lord spoke to me and said, "Teresa, I am empowering you to minister to her."
The Lord had given me a special place in Sara's heart.. she really liked me.. we had sort of bonded together a bit in the 10 days I'd been there, living next-door to her.
"Lord, I'm willing. I'd love to help her."
The Lord had me take her hand and begin to speak to her. What He had me to is called identificational repentance. I did not know how to do it, but He put the words in my mouth. Basically I apologized to her for the terrible things the white people had done to her.. for how she had been treated as inferior or unclean because of the color of her skin, for how she'd been held back economically and not allowed to raise her family with the comforts they desired just because of the color of her skin. The Lord allowed me to identify and apologize for many injustices that were done to her and to her people through apartheid. I personally had never done any of them to anyone.. but the horror and injustice of what these people suffered was very real.. very tangible. And I felt great shame and pain that my race had done this to her race. The Lord had me speak for a good 10 minutes.. possibly longer.
As I spoke, we held hands and we both cried. At the end, told her that I was standing in for those who had done these crimes and asked her to forgive me (and them) for the pain and suffering she had been through. For a while she could not speak. I knew she loved me and that for my sake, she would be able to forgive. After a few minutes of crying, she began to release the forgiveness. It was incredibly powerful. It was literally like shackles of pain and oppression were breaking off of her.
I had this ring I wore. It was a covenant ring the Lord had given me years before, when I first became an intercessor. It was a garnet heart with two little diamonds .. on on each side of the heart, set it 14K gold. The ring was my reminder of my covenant with God to always "pray His heart." I thought I'd have that ring forever. God told me to take the off of my finger and place it on hers. I did so. Then He told me to tell her that this ring would be a reminder of how He had healed her heart of that pain and bitterness she'd carried for so long. The ring would be a reminder that it did not have any more power over her and now she was able to freely forgive.
A change came over her.. the heaviness that had been over her broke off. Suddenly it was easy for her to receive from the Lord.
When I came back on my second trip, 5 monthes later, she was still wearing that ring and she was still walking in that freedom.
Many people, like Sara, suffer from an unforgiveness and bitterness that they do not wish to carry but don't know how to release. It was not caused by anything they did wrong, but by unfair oppression of the apartheid system.. the laws have been changed (thank God) but the pain and suffering it caused still run deep in many godly people's hearts.
Please join me in praying for a supernatural breakthrough from that...
Lord, we break the power of suffering off of people's lives. We break the spirit of rejection and the spirit of suffering and the spirit of accusation that was released so freely through the apartheid system. We also break the spirit of poverty that was releaed on them through the apartheid system.
Lord, bind of their wounds.. bring healing for the deep pain. Right the wrongs.. release the finances. Empower them to truly forgive from the bottom of their hearts. Don't let bitterness take any more root in them. Break the power of that pain and suffering off of their lives. Cancel the hurt of the injustices they suffered. Release healing and forgiveness. Bind up their wounds.. make them whole, rebuke the devourer off of their lives.
Lord, we ask that You bring healings and blessings to these people who were once oppressed. Let Your victory and Your perfect liberty come into their lives. Release your joy on them.
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.