Saturday, February 13, 2010

Langkloof Prayers

I am a prayerful person. I have to be. But I am not a peaceful pray- er. My prayers are often desperate, angry and even raging. I rage at God - quite often. I do also have prayers of thanks (what would I do without Him?), happy prayers and quite regularly, chatty prayers. I have been known to talk to God, when alone, whilst sweeping, above the heavy beat of Jimi Hendrix in the background. Then there are those contemplative moments, blissful silence with His presence so real, so marvellous, that I never want to leave...

I have been blessed often by the Twee Riviere womens prayers. Tuesday mornings, chatting and praying, singing (off key) Bible reading. Tea and yummies for afters, sitting in our bellies like comfort, together with our shared prayers.

In my life here I have been prayed for by those who are more charismatic, my eyes flying open, startled sometimes by a particularly empassioned plea, for me, for mine.
I have been prayed for over the phone many times, while I shed tears into the handset, and peace settled apon me. I have received prayer emails, notes and cards. People have prayed for me in broken English, lyrical prose, Afrikaans (like a warm duvet covering..) and languages I don't understand.
Blessings, blessings, all.

But recently I have found myself part of Community prayers, here in Joubertina.
I was invited, because of the CPF to come to the police station for their prayer day. There were the police, all in blue, the new lady Superintendent ( she needs prayer - what a job!) and an assortment of community players. There was the table, set with blue and gold, and two carefully placed, one male, one female, uniform hats of the police.

A candle was lit, a minutes silence for all those fallen police - I focused on the hats.
Some prayers were said, before the singers for the event were ushered in. All in black the men stood before us. Brown, elderly faces, tight curls of grey. Unaccompanied they sang, their hands glasped before them. Workers hands , almost grey in places, gnarled like wood with clean hard nails. The songs were hymns and they stood there and sang, their eyes looking at us, me looking at them.
One old man, as he sang 'He touched me' openly wept, removing his spectacles and wiping his face with a large blue hankerchief. I felt deeply moved then, sparing a moment to wander what his life might have been. His hands alone told a story , of hard work, his lined face, sparse teeth, thin frame. But he sang on, allowing his emotions, unashamedly to spill over. It touched me. He touched me. Then, there was the message, given by a policeman/pastor. He spoke of HOPE and I took it as a word for me, and not only for the belleaguered police station of Joubertina. He quoted Martin Luther King - a lesser known quote - along the lines that 'everything that mattered to me I have lost, except those things which I have put into the hands of Jesus'. There is a new beginning happening in the police in the Langkloof - I really do try to remember them in my prayers.

And then, a few days ago there was a Biduur at the NG Kerk. The whole school was invited to attend. The church was full, we sat in one of the balconies, surrounded on all sides by school children. They squirmed a little as the prayers went on, giggling at times, but mostly very good, little brown heads lowered, ribbed with plaits, huge shiny ribbons, and blonde heads beside them, high ponytailed and freckle cheeked.

There were prayers by a Dominee, an English lady who said a very lyrical prayer, and there were many prayers by farm workers, calling on the Lord for mercy. All of the prayers were for rain. The reason for the prayer meeting was for rain. And there they all were, the farmers, sitting high and dry in the pews, wives beside them, children beside them, all with heads bowed, praying for rain.

Its not often that I have been in such a meeting, when a community comes together, and acknowledges that they are powerless. Powerful people, money, possessions, land, all dependent now, on a force beyond their control. Make it rain. Please make it rain. The fruit is on the trees, not quite ready for harvest, and we need you God - please make it rain.

Personally, I was praying for Pula, in Botswana the word is used for rain and for money. Pula Lord, said I, covering two bases, being pretty skint, and acknowledging the need of the community I find myself in.
We all filed out into the sweltering Langkloof sun, onto the dead, dry, prickly church yard grass.

Its true that most prayers are rather desperate, pleading, asking for rain type prayers. But I did remember to also thank God then, for this Langkloof life. So real , so without pretense.
That was a few days ago. We are awaiting rain.


  1. Beautifully written ~ it moved me deeply ~ and it echoes our prayers for rain as we watch and wait as fires burn on mountains adjoining our farm. Yet, God is good, steadfast and faithful, all the time! Blessings.

  2. Thanks

    This makes prayer something real. Soemthing all of us should partcipate in