As an evangelist, I will not attend a meeting that has not been soaked in corporate intercession and prayer. First, over many years of preaching, I realize that without prayer nothing happens.
People often ask me what can they do for me, before the buildup of a big Stadium event? My first and most urgent request is "We need prayer, please." Without prayer, I am wasting my time, there is no point in even going. The ceiling becomes like brass and there is absolutely no response whatsoever, but when people pray together then God commands a great blessing. (Psalm 133)
The Lord had called us to hold a 'Sacred Assembly' at the biggest stadium in Sub-Saharan Africa and issue 100,000 free tickets. Some people spoke to me about having their own prayer meetings in their respective churches all over the country and I was quite disappointed in them even asking me if it would be okay. You see, the whole point of a 'Sacred Assembly' is to call God's people together, in one place and He will then command blessings. (Praying together)
There is definitely a place for solitary prayer, but when the Lord gives a directive like we find in Joel 2:15-17 (NKJV), "Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; 16 Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. 17 Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, "Spare Your people, O Lord, And do not give Your heritage to reproach,."
The Lord says that once we have done that then according to Joel 2:18-19 He will, "...be zealous for His land, and pity His people. 19 The Lord will answer and say to His people, "Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied by them; I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations."
We need to continue to come together as a people. We need to pray for our beloved country, South Africa. God has promised us that He will hear our prayers and He will answer them.
I remember as a young believer going through a horrific drought season, just like we have been experiencing. I drove around my maize crop every day, watching it as it started to shrivel up and I cried out to God. I felt Him impressing upon me "Call a prayer meeting in the Greytown town hall." I was not even a man of the cloth (a minister), but the Lord said unless you call that meeting the rain won't come. I want My people to be gathered together, in one neutral place to seek Me, to pray and to repent and I'll send the rain. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
So I went to the Mayor and asked him for the town hall on a Friday lunchtime, and he gave it to me. Then I went to meet all the ministers, of course many of them were not very happy with me, because I was just a farmer. But you see I was the one that was losing my crop and not them. We called the meeting, and as it always happens, the hall was full with farmers, their wives, storekeepers and businessmen, drought affects all people.
We came before the Lord from all different denominations, different persuasions, different areas and groups, different stations in life and we prayed sincerely. When we left, the rain came down in its abundance. However, the sad thing was that couple of weeks after we had beautiful rain, I asked the people to come together to the same town hall and give thanks to God for His goodness. Very disappointedly, not many people attended. But that happened to Jesus when He healed ten lepers - only one came back to say thank you.
I pray that the Lord will give us strength to trust Him, to believe and to be obedient to His calling on our lives. James 5:16 (NKJV), "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."