In South Africa, there are specific challenges facing the farming communities. The most pressing ones are: the severity of the continuing drought, confusion regarding land re-distribution and farm attacks. The Lord is the One who can help and intervene in situations which might seem hopeless and overwhelming in these communities.
The Lord has provided a prayer watch strategy as part of securing farms in South Africa, but the strategy can also be adapted for other areas. The main focus is not to set up physical farm watches which are often already in place, but to add a prayer watch or “shield” as it is the Lord’s desire that every farm and its people in the nation should be saturated by name with intentional, focused and persevering prayer. We should not only pray for protection, but also for the advancing of the kingdom of God.
Physical farm watches as well as Farm Prayer Watches
As in the time of Nehemiah when they rebuilt the walls with one hand while holding their weapons in the other hand, in the same way we are in a process of building the walls of prayer around our farms and farming communities, while simultaneously keeping the physical watch against any possible intrusion (Neh.4:16-23). Physical farm watches are often already in place on most access roads, with people patrolling them. The goal is to also establish Farm Prayer Watches along each road in every farming district.
This may seem like a very daunting task, but our God made the strategy very simple as you will see in the “How you can participate” section below. Prayer guidelines are also provided in this article to make it easy for anyone to know what to pray for.
THE PRAYER FOCUS
The focus for each Farm Prayer Watch is as follows:
- Every farm to be prayed for by name (uninhabited farms as well)
- Every farmer and family to be prayed for by name
- All employees and families to be covered in prayer
- All farming activities to be covered in prayer, e.g. harvest, day-to-day management etc.
The most important thing is just for one person to start.
HOW TO GET STARTED
- Do you live on a farm? If you live on a farm, then your farm would be situated on a farm road, consisting of a few neighbouring farms on that same farm road.
- Responding to the call: One person living on a farm which is situated on their particular farm road, responds to the call to become a watchman for the road.
- 10-15 Minutes: He/she commits to pray 10-15 minutes per day for every farm and farmer by name and to cover all staff and activities on the farms in prayer, according to the prayer focus above (Ps.5:1-3). Please also see the prayer guidelines below.
- Approach others: If you know of one or two more Christians on your farm road, approach them prayerfully and invite them to join the Farm Prayer Watch for your farm road.
- 8-10 Farms: Should a farm road have more than 10 farms, it is best to divide the road in two and for someone else to raise the prayer watch on the second portion of your farm road.
- Farm Road Coordinator: One of the people that are part of the Prayer Watch on the farm road, could agree to be the Farm Watch Coordinator.
- Keeping Contact: The Farm Road coordinator sets up a Whatsapp group to share relevant information, Word prayers, warnings or prayer requests received from the physical farm patrols (the police or others). A regular prayer time e.g. monthly, could be arranged with all those who are part of the Farm Road Watch.
- Growing the District Farm Watch: Pray and ask the Lord whom to approach on other farm roads within the town district in order to introduce the strategy to them, so that they are able to start a farm watch on their own farm roads.
- District Watch Coordinator: Trust the Lord for someone to emerge to become the coordinator for the whole town district in order to encourage everyone involved and to keep contact.
- Combined Prayer Time: The District Watch coordinator could organise a monthly or bi-monthly prayer meeting with all the Farm Prayer Watches within that district, to encourage one another and to pray together.
- Urban Areas: In urban areas where farms are situated around big cities and/or towns, it may be necessary to establish farm sectors, with a sector coordinator who is responsible to see that Farm Prayer Watches are established and prayer mobilised for each farm road within their district/sector.
- Town residents: Residents of towns and cities should be welcomed to be part of Farm Prayer Watches to support and join in prayer. Someone living in a town and with a heart for farms, could adopt a farm road, provided they can find the names and get to know the seasonal activities on those farms.
The most important and crucial thing is just for one person to start. The Lord is faithful to help, to give wisdom and to provide guidance on how to connect with more people. Be bold, be strong, for the Lord your God is with you.
The focus of the WhatsApp group should not be to pray “against anyone”. The focus is to set your eyes and hearts towards the Lord and to bring your petitions before His throne of grace where you may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb.4:18).
- Humble yourselves: Humble yourselves before the Lord, allowing the Holy Spirit to search your hearts and minds to see if there is any bitterness, anger, pride, rebellion, resentment, dishonesty etc. in your hearts (John 16:8).
- Repentance: Repent of any convicted sins so you may stand before Him with clean hands and a pure heart (Neh. 1:4-11; Ps.24:3-4; Ps.51:10).
- Dedicate the land to Him: The Word teaches that the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof and the land belongs to the Lord first. Daily re-dedicate your farms back to the Lord (Ps.24:1; Lev.25:23-24).
- Stewards of the land: Pray for the Lord to teach you to be good stewards of the land that He has entrusted to you (Luke12:42-44; Gen.2:15).
- Salvation of the lost: Pray for the salvation of everyone on every farm (Matt.9:13). Pray for farmers to develop as pastors on their farms.
- Pray for families: For strong family ties and good interpersonal relationships. Pray for marriages to endure challenges. Times of hardship can take its toll on families. Pray that times of hardship will cause them to draw together.
- Restoration of relationships: There is much mistrust between people groups that is incited by political parties. Pray for restoration and reconciliation in relationships between farmers and staff; for trust to be restored where it has been broken. Praying together will cause mistrust to fade as you pray and begin to hear one another’s hearts. (James 5:16; Acts 17:30; Acts 3:19).
- Serving one another: Pray that you will learn to serve one another in love. No-one is elevated above the other in God’s sight. Repent of all pride and misunderstanding that has kept you divided (James 4:10).
- Praying Word prayers: Share Scripture prayers that exalt the Lord. Declare His Word over the farms and on every road. His Word is Spirit and life and has creative power when we pray and declare it (John 6:63).
- Rain: Pray for rain in its season on each farm so that the nation may have food in abundance (Lev. 26:3-4).
- Protection: Pray for protection over farms against attacks, fires, calamities, pestilences, health etc. (Ps. 27)
- Infiltration of evil: Pray against the intrusion of individuals with evil intent who want to draw the hearts of innocent people into rebellion and witchcraft (Ps. 91).
- Those standing guard/patrolling: It is very important to pray for the physical farm watch individuals. It can become a wearying and stressful task. Pray that they will be alert to discern when there is danger; for their personal lives and families; for emotional healing where they may have had to face difficult situations and trauma.
- Prayer groups: Once a week or bi-weekly when possible, those praying daily can gather for a short time of prayer on one of the farms, rotating as weeks go by.
- Involving farmers in prayer: After having prayed for a few weeks, farmers can be invited to gather for a time of prayer and to share a meal on a regular basis at a time convenient for them.
- Scripture reading and prayer with employees: Farmers can be encouraged to start sharing a daily Scripture reading and to pray with their employees. A simple guideline to assist them, can be to start by praying the Lord’s Prayer together, or other well-known Scriptures like: Psalm 23; Psalm 121 etc. Scripture prayers posted on the WhatsApp prayer group will be of great help to farmers on this.
- Prayerwalking: Apart from praying on the group, prayer walking on farms can also be done – praying at homes of employees, at water sources, at the fields where crops are growing, where livestock are held, at the gates of the farms. Especially Christian employees can also participate in such activities. Prayer for protection not only from intrusion, but also against devastating fires, diseases in crops and livestock, or other natural phenomena is important. If the area is too large to cover on foot, a prayer drive can be done as often as the Holy Spirit leads.
- Advancing the Kingdom of God: Always pray for the kingdom of God to advance in every person’s life and on every farm. Prayer times with all staff and farmers on the farm roads can be organised where a gospel message can be brought. Combined youth meetings for youth on farms can also be organised to expose them to the gospel of the kingdom and leadership training. The Lord will guide and give His plans for every individual road.
CONTINUE TO BUILD THE WALL
May the Lord give you grace to continue to watch and pray. Build a wall of prayer around your farms for His glory, while at the same time keeping watch physically. May the Lord, when he sees your farms before His eyes, find a wall of prayer built around the farming community so that His plans and purposes may prevail in the nation.
You are encouraged to study Nehemiah to follow his example of prayer (Neh.1:4-11); the encouragement to rise up and build (Neh.2:18); to not be dismayed by the enemy or by those who do not participate (Neh.2:20; Neh.4:7-9; Neh.3:5); and to see it come to pass that all turn back to God, gather before Him to pray, read the Word and exalt the King of kings who lives and reigns forever as in Nehemiah 8 and 9.
For further information or questions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org