“Return to Me!”

Rebuilding a Holy Nation

Hos 6:1-3

1Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. 2 After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. 3 Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord…

1 Pet 2:6-9

6 … “Behold, I lay in Zion, a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” 7Therefore, to you who believe, Heis precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”…9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Participants Prayer Guide

A Project by IFSA (Intercessors for South Africa)

A. About IFSA

Intercessors for South Africa (IFSA) was birthed out of the Uniting Intercessors for South Africa Conference that was held in Bloemfontein during November 2016. This was a historical conference that took place where intercessors and intercessory leaders of different Prayer Networks from around the nation joined together in unity to hear God for the future of South Africa.

IFSA is led by a strategic team of well known leaders in the nation, with a heart to see the Kingdom of God manifest in SA, through the 7 Mountains Principle.

In a consultative conference that was held by different prayer networks (18 in total – 8 national, 5 Provincial and 5 local) in Bloemfontein, South Africa on the 17-19th November 2016, the following resolution was made:

That a united prayer initiative called Intercessors for South Africa (IFSA) be established. IFSA would serve as a platform where all prayer networks in the country can come together to pray and strategise for various national issues in pursuit of a transformed nation under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. IFSA works to strengthen relational bonds among all existing prayer networks in South Africa whilst continuing to encourage unity in expressing the uniqueness of each of our gifts. The heart of IFSA is not to do away with all other intercessory networks but to encourage unity while promoting liberty and freedom of each individual network to do what God has called them to do.

For more information go to: ifsaprayer.co.za or email: ifsaprayer@gmail.com

B.      About the “Return to Me!” 2019 Project

Prayer Networks Consultation

Several prayer networkleaders came together from 3 to 5 September 2018 in East Londen to seek the Lord and consult together about God’s strategy and direction for intercessors in coming year. As 2019 will also be an election year in South Africa we were keenly aware that intercession for godly changes and interventions in governmental spheres would be an important concern for intercessors in the coming season.

During the consultation we were surprised as we became aware that God was not focussed on the sinful and unrighteous societal issues that we so easily get engrossed in. Rather, the words we received were about God’s greater concern, namely the Church that is not aligned to Him nor connected to His heart or His presence. Our Heavenly Father is focussed on the Holy nation (1 Pet 2:9) within the nation that does not stand before God with clean hands or pure hearts (Ps 24:4) and consequently our prayers have been unable to release the blessing and transformative power we so desperately need (Jam 5:16).

The Rock Jesus Christ

Trying to gage God’s perspective on what is needed to start changing this problem the following insights were received. In Matthew 16 from verse 18 Jesus speaks to Peter and declares that the revelation of Jesus being the Christ, the Son of the living God is the Rock on which God will build the Church (Matt 16:18). The writing of the apostles clearly would later stipulate that Christ is the chief cornerstone (Luk 20:17, Eph 2:20, 1 Pet 2:6,7), the only foundation on which the kingdom is built. When we as the Church are not aligned to and built on the foundation that is Christ, the stone becomes a stone of stumbling and the rock a rock of offence to the very company of believers that were appointed by God and yet became disobedient to the word they were appointed to (1 Pet 2:8).

Waves of prayer to deal with false rocks

In an impression received it was felt that we, the Church and the nation of South Africa have built on and trusted in other rocks than Jesus Christ. Instead of fully trusting on and relying on the Lord (Ps 18:2), we have moved away from Him and we have trusted in alternative ‘rocks’ that this world endorses. In the vision received five waves of prayer swept the land, each wave with the purpose of destroying one of five false rocks that we trust in, as individuals, the church and the nation at large. We sensed that our focus must be to establish the kingdom truths that return us to right alignment with Jesus Christ, the immovable eternal rock, as we repent of our sinful and idolatrous hearts that found confidence in counterfeit and defective constructs.

Matthew 16:18 shows us that when the church is built on the rock that is Christ, the gates of Sheol will not prevail against it. We are convinced that one of the reasons that demonic gates are open in our society, inundating our communities with such perversion and death, is directly correlated to the Church not permitting God to establish it on and align it exclusively to the rule and order of Christ Jesus.

Five false rocks

The five false rocks that we identified from Scripture depict the false constructs we lean on and trust in our pursuit of well being. Trust in Scripture refers to what we have confidence in, what we gain security from, the things we hope in, lean and rely on. The 5 counterfeit trusts (rocks) we will be praying about are:

  1. Trusting in flesh / self i.e. Our own abilities, desires, lusts/pleasures, strength, wisdom, identity, opinion etc. (Prov 3:5, Jer 17:5, 2 Cor 1:9)
  2. Trusting in princes i.e. Leaders, politicians, influential people (Ps 118:9, Ps 146:3, Is 36:5, Jer 46:25)
  3. Trusting in wealth / riches i.e. All forms of greed, desire for money (Ps 49:6, Mark 10:24, 1 Tim 6:17)
  4. Trusting in false gods / falsehood. This includes: false Christianity, changing the truth to suit us, false systems of worship/religion, idolatry, philosophies etc. (Is 42:17, Is 59:4, Jer 7:4)
  5. Trusting in horses and chariots i.e. worldly systems such as political parties, government, government structures, judicial systems, cultural systems, United Nations etc. (Ps 20:7, Is 31:1)

Each one of the above topics will be unpacked and elaborated as we participate in the corporate prayer initiative that we call “Return to Me!”.

C:  Prayer strategy

Our Focus

Every one of the five waves of prayer will focuson dismantling a false trust issue in our lives and it will run for seven days. The weekly prayer subject will be arranged as follows:

  • Every prayer theme will start by focussing on and emphasising the truth and godly trust that we should cultivate by aligning to Jesus Christ as the only foundation that we must build on.
  • Then we will move into repentance where we will confess our waywardness, acknowledging our trust in other things instead of God. The repentance will be brought on three levels:
    • Repenting for my personal sin of putting confidence on things outside of God,
    • Repenting for the Church, the holy nation, that has gone astray by trusting in others rather than God,
    • Lastly, we will repent for our nation and its people running after other saviours instead of acknowledging Christ as the only trustworthy source

Joel 2:12-13

12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.

Lev 26:40-42

40Butif they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me, 41and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt— 42then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land

‘Return to Me’ Dates: 25 February – 7 April 2019

  • 25 February – 3 March 2019: Week of preparation.

The prayer initiative will start with a week of preparation during which we will invite the Holy Spirit to help us to effectively address these issues in our lives, the church and nation.

  • 4-10 March 2019: Prayer Wave 1 – Praying about trusting in flesh / self
  • 11-17 March 2019: Prayer Wave 2 – Praying about trusting in princes
  • 18-24 March 2019: Prayer Wave 3 – Praying about trusting in wealth / riches
  • 25-31 March 2019: Prayer Wave 4 – Praying about trusting in false gods / falsehood
  • 1-7 April 2019: Prayer Wave 5 – Praying about trusting in horses and chariots

How to participate

Individual believers, prayer groups, prayer networks and congregations are encouraged to seek the Lord for deep revelation on how to thoroughly bring these issues before Him in prayer so that power will be released to dismantle and weaken these carnal and demonic constructs that result in destructive consequences pulling our nation away from prosperity and life.

There are two ways in which we want to encourage people to participate in this five-week prayer initiative:

  • Individually or within existing prayer groups: Take initiative to pray through the guidelines as provided. Pray in your personal quiet time, or during regular prayer meetings that are already in place. Guidelines are available in a booklet format (which is this document) and weekly concise reminders can be received via WhatsApp that will be sent out once a week at the beginning of every next prayer subject.To receive the weekly WhatsApp messages please email the following details to ifsaprayer@gmail.com: Your Name, Surname, cell phone number, province and city.  In the Subject heading put: RETURN TO ME WHATSAPP GROUP

From the information supplied you can pray in one of two ways:

  • Individually
    • Pray about the false stone once in the week for at least 15 minutes.
    • Pray for one of the seven prayer points each day for between 5 and 15 minutes per day.
  • Corporate prayer organised specifically for the initiative. When we received the vision of five waves dealing with five false stones, the waves moved from South to North through the nation of South Africa. In accordance with this impression we want to challenge prayer networks and prayer coordinators to organise special prayer gatherings in their areas to pray about these obstacles to divine alignment. In order to facilitate this south to north wave we request that believers in every province organise prayer assemblies on the following proposed days:
  • Day 1 / Mondays:           Western Cape
    • Day 2 / Tuesdays:          Eastern Cape
    • Day 3 / Wednesdays:    Northern Cape
    • Day 4 / Thursdays:         Free State and North West
    • Day 5 / Fridays:              Kwazulu Natal
    • Day 6 / Saturdays:         Gauteng and Mpumalanga
    • Day 7 / Sundays:           Limpopo

Those who organise corporate prayer gatherings to facilitate this iniative can send feedback to the IFSA email address mentioned above.

1.    Preparation Week: Inviting the holy spirit

25 February – 3 March 2019

1.1 SPIRIT OF THE LORD

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to rest upon me, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (Isa.11:2).

May the Spirit of the Lord be upon me to judge/rule according to Your will and purpose in every situation every day, to have favour to prevail over my enemies. (Judg.3:10). Clothe me with the Spirit of the Lord, so when I sound a call in Your Name, those You call will follow in the pursuit, for Your Kingdom to be established in all the earth. (Judg.6:34). Give me favour in every way, also with people, to pass through difficult situations, even to have favour with my enemies. (Judg.11:29). Stir me up with Your zeal. (Judg.13:25). Rest upon me to resist and overcome my enemies, even though I have no weapon for defense (like Samson). (Judg.14:6,19; 15:14).Spirit of the Lord, strengthen my arms to break off the enemies’ ropes and resistances, so I may continue in the race set before me. (Judg.15:14).

Guard my heart and mind never to test/deceive the Spirit of the Lord. (Acts 5:9). Rest upon my life, o Lord, for You are Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Cor.3:17).

1.2.      SPIRIT OF WISDOM

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to rest upon me, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (Isa.11:2).

Let my mouth speak wisdom; may the meditation of my heart be understanding. (Ps.49:3). So, teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom. (Ps.90:12). O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom have You made us all; the earth is full of Your creatures. (Ps.104:24). I desire to grow in the fear of the Lord for it is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. (Ps.111:10). May wisdom rest in my heart and make me a man/woman of understanding. (Prov.14:33). I apply my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven, and not by my own understanding and strength. (Eccl.1:13). Grant me favour to render judgment that will make the people perceive that it is the wisdom of God in me to do justice, and not my own wisdom. (1 Kings 3:28).

Like Solomon, I pray for wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore (1 Kings 4:29), so many will always see, worship and honour only You. (1 Kings 10:24). When having to appoint people to different positions, great or small, important or less significant, like Ezekiel, according to Your wisdom that is in my hand, teach me to appoint them and teach them Your ways. (Ezek.7:25).

I pray for favour to make You known in Your Church, so that through the Church, the complicated, many-sided, manifold wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. (Eph.3:10, Amp).

Blessed be the Name of God forever and ever, to Whom belong wisdom and might. (Dan.2:20). To You, o God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for You have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of You. For You have made known to us matters unknown. (Dan.2:23). O, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how unfathomable His ways! (Rom.11:33).

1.3.      SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to rest upon me, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (Isa.11:2).

The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28). Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any; He is mighty in strength of understanding. (Job 36:5). By Your grace, my mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. (Ps.49:3).

I make my ear attentive to wisdom and incline my heart to understanding. (Prov.2:2). I call out for insight and raise my voice for understanding (Prov.2:3), for the Lord gives wisdom. From Your mouth comes knowledge and understanding. (Prov.2:6). May discretion watch over me, and understanding guard me. (Prov.2:11). I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, and will not lean on my own understanding. (Prov.3:5).

Heavenly Father, You have given me understanding, that I may know Him Who is true. I am in Him Who is true, in Your Son, Jesus Christ. You are the true God and eternal Life. (1 John 5:20). Let me never lack understanding in any position of authority You grant me; never become a cruel oppressor, but let me hate unjust gain. (Prov.28:16). May I be blessed as one who finds wisdom, and one who gets understanding. May wisdom rest in my heart as in the heart of a man/woman of understanding. (Prov.14:33).

Strengthen me at all times to restrain myself and the words of my mouth. (Prov.17:27). Let me not be a fool who takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. (Prov.18:2).

I pray for my country, that those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur will accept instruction. (Isa.29:24). In our churches, give us shepherds after Your own heart, who will feed You people with knowledge and understanding. (Jer.3:15). I pray for the youth of our day, that You will give them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and understanding in all visions and dreams, like Daniel. (Dan.1:17).

I declare that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. (Isa.40:28). I declare that no wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord. (Prov.21:30). I will buy from You truth, and will not sell it; buy and become rich in wisdom, instruction, and understanding. (Prov.23:23). Grant me wisdom, for by it a house is built, and by understanding it is established. (Prov.24:3). How much better to get wisdom than gold; to choose understanding rather than silver. (Prov.16:16). Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure. (Ps.147:5). It is God Who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding stretched out the heavens. (Jer.10:12; Jer.51:15).

1.4.      SPIRIT OF COUNSEL

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to rest upon me, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (Isa.11:2).

In all things, help me never to forget to ask for Your counsel. (Josh.9:14). Help me never to embrace a mindset of either myself or anyone else on how to worship You. (1 Kings 12:28). You bring the counsel of the nations to nothing, and frustrate the plans of those who set themselves against You. (Ps.33:10). May I know Your favour to heed wise counsel, all the days of my life. (2 Chron.10:8). Wisdom and might are from God; He has counsel and understanding. (Job 12:13).

Let me never walk in the counsel of the wicked (Ps.1:1), or heed to counsel to set myself up against You and Your anointed. (Ps.2:2‑3). I bless the Lord Who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. (Ps.16:7). Instruct me and teach me in the way I should go; counsel me with Your eye upon me. (Ps.32:8). I declare that no wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can stand against the Lord. (Prov.21:30). The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. (Ps.33:11). Guide me with Your counsel, and at the end of my life, receive me in glory. (Ps.73:24).

Give me a pure heart that will never rebel against Your Words, or reject the counsel of the Most High (Ps.107:11); a heart that will never ignore Your counsel, or plan my own ways. (Prov.1:25). For without counsel, plans fail. Give me a willing heart to heed to many advisers. (Prov.15:22). May all my plans be established by Your counsel and wise guidance. (Prov.20:18). According to Your Word, establish me to also give wise counsel, grant justice, shelter the outcasts, and not reveal the fugitive. (Isa.16:3). You are great in counsel and mighty in deed. Your eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man, rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds. (Jer.32:19).

1.5.      SPIRIT OF MIGHT

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to rest upon me, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (Isa.11:2).

Lord, both riches and honour come from You, and You rule over all. In Your hand is power and might, and in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. (1 Chron.29:12). With You are wisdom and might, counsel and understanding. (Job 12:13). Fill me with Your Spirit, O Lord; with power and justice and might, to declare to my people their transgressions and sins. (Micah 3:8).

Father, bless and favour me to go forth in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready for the Lord a people prepared. (Luke 1:17). Grant me power to expel unclean spirits like Jesus (Luke 4:36); like Stephen, to be full of grace and power and do great wonders and signs among people, to Your glory alone. (Acts 6:8).

I declare that by the Spirit of God, when the end comes, Christ will deliver the Kingdom to God the Father, after destroying every rule and every authority and power. (1 Cor.15:24). Christ is far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Eph.1:21). Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing! (Rev.5:12‑13). I join the heavenly host crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.” (Rev.19:1).

1.6.      SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to rest upon me, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (Isa.11:2).

Help me to withhold my mouth from talking proudly. Let not arrogance come from my mouth, for You are the Lord God of knowledge, and by You, actions are weighed. (1 Sam.2:3). We (myself and the people of this nation), are in exile for lack of knowledge; our people go hungry, and the multitudes are parched with thirst. (Isa.5:13). But thanks be to You, o God, Who in Christ always lead us in triumphal procession, and through us spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. (2 Cor.2:14). For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor.4:6). It is Your intention that we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Eph.4:13). For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Prov.9:10).

Father, by Your Spirit I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. (Hos.6:6). May the earth be filled with the knowledge of Your glory as the waters cover the sea (Hab.2:14), to give knowledge of salvation to His people and the forgiveness of their sins. (Luke 1:77). O, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! (Rom.11:33). Give us authority to destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and to take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Cor.10:5). O, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give us a Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. (Eph.1:17). That we may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Col.1:10). That our hearts may be encouraged, being knit together as one in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ. (Col.2:2). For He desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim.2:4). Therefore, may we always correct our opponents with gentleness. (2 Tim.2:25).

May I continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the end of time. (2 Pet.3:18).

1.7.      SPIRIT OF THE FEAR OF THE LORD

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to rest upon me, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (Isa.11:2).

Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon me. Help me to be careful in what I do, for with You there is no injustice or favouritism or taking bribes. (2 Chron.19:7). Lord, I will fear You, in faithfulness, and with my whole heart. (2 Chron.19:9). For the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil, is understanding. (Job 28:28). Father, make me a teacher of the fear of the Lord. (Ps.34:11). For the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the Law of the Lord is true, and righteous altogether. (Ps.19:9). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. (Ps.111:10). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; only fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prov.1:7). The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech, God hates. (Prov.8:13). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Prov.9:10).

The reward for humility and the fear of the Lord, is riches and honour and life. (Prov.22:4). Let not my heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day. (Prov.23:17). Let my delight be in the fear of the Lord so I will not judge by what my eyes see, or decide disputes by what my ears hear. (Isa.11:3).

Teach me the fear the Lord. (2 Kings 17:39). Let me not be wise in my own eyes, but fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. (Prov.3:7).

O, fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no lack! (Ps.34:9). You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is Your Help and Shield. (Ps.115:11). He will bless those who fear the Lord, both the small and the great. (Ps.115:13). Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” (Ps.118:4). Also teach our nation to fear You, for it is You Who give rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and assure us of the weeks appointed for the harvest. (Jer.5:24). Reveal Yourself to all, so all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty. (Josh.4:24). Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of You! (Ps.33:8).