Boksburg – beauty for ashes Prayer-walk

11 days that will transform you life
A pilgrimage on dusty roads  through spectacular landscapes. The sun paints artistic shades on sandstone mountainsides. The wind carries a strange freshness in the air. The Maluti mountains boast their splendour. The African soil under your feet reminds of a journey deep within.
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Finding God’s heart on a prayer-walk – seven days around the lake

I felt the Lord lay on my heart a unique prayer-walk in Boksburg, a town just East of Johannesburg.

This is what I felt in my heart: Go walk around Boksburg lake once a day for 6 days, just listening. On the 7th day, walk around the lake seven times praying … and see what God will do in Boksburg.

The call

A few weeks earlier, I felt the Lord leading me to drive out to Boksburg. The road I used took me straight to the Boksburg lake. I just felt in my heart to do a prayer-walk around the lake. I got out of the car and took a stroll to pray and ask God for guiding my thoughts and plans.

He showed me to pray about poverty in the area:
Terrible poverty.

He showed me to pray about spiritual dryness:
Terrible dryness.

I started walking faster and a young boy light-heartedly tried keeping up.

We started talking and he asked me: “What do we learn from this?” I said “Nothing. Just getting fit.” He said “I’m already fit.” and I said “Me too.”

He asked “Why are you doing it then?” and I said “Because I am actually praying as I walk.”

This triggered his curiosity: “What are you praying about?” and I said “About the poverty and that the people here would get close to God.”

Almost getting out of breath by now, the boy asked: “But what would it help? Because, do you know that I am actually a sinner?”

That stopped me in my tracks. My heart was jumping. Right there the conversation changed. The Lord gave me some things to say to him and then I asked him if I could pray for him. The Lord even showed me specific things to pray for him. That young man’s heart was touched.

The Lord spoke to me through that. I had my new assignment, and I was ready …

Listening to God’s Father heart (Day 1)

On this first day of silent prayer-walking, not even the noises of the early morning traffic could bother me. The silence around the lake was filled with a feeling of awe and expectancy.

God is present in Boksburg that is for sure; but what are the people doing about it? Father laid three things on my heart to pray for:

  • Crime
  • Financial Lack
  • Spiritual lack

Silence is “Golden sun rays” (Day 2)

This “silence thing” had some effect on all levels of my life. As I set out on the journey to the lake this morning, I didn’t feel like switching on the radio. It was as if I was getting into the listen-mode. Maybe more a mode of being aware of God’s presence. And on the way He started to speak into my heart. What He said, I would only understand later while walking around the lake.

As I was driving, the new day was just breaking. It was a beautiful … a wonderful sunrise. The clouds made this the most one of those spectacular sunrises. It seemed the Lord painted with golden rays on each group of clouds separately, just focusing on one group at a time.

Now, if listening to the Lord means looking at HIM paint, then it is just awesome. I started walking … in silence …

I felt the following in my heart: “Life is just going on.” Everything is just happening as usual.

“Life is just going on.”

As I walked I started to understand this parallel – Before the sun was even remotely visible, I saw the signs of it’s coming. The beautiful golden clouds in the air were only announcing that the sun is on it’s way. It was long before I saw the sun, that I saw the sun rays framing the clouds with rays of yellow, orange, red and gold. The dark sky turned pink, red and later blue – all in expectation of the coming sun.

The King may already be “painting the clouds” to announce His coming to Boksburg. He is being announced by colourful rays of hope and love seen around Boksburg … But the King is coming – He will be in Boksburg in such a mighty way soon.

Even though everything is carrying on as usual, there is coming a day where everything will stop, because the King will be here.

This song came to my mind: The King is coming …

Do the people of Boksburg know this? Do they share the excitement … Or do we need to tell them?

If you are called to tell them; tell tell tell!

If you are called to pray for them; pray pray pray!

Healing words from inside a tree (Day 3)

What a challenge the Lord laid on my heart on this day. He led me to a part of the lake where the water was deep, dark and dirty … very dirty. Ohhh, did I mention it was icy cold too! As I stood there looking down into the unpleasant sight of the filthy water, I felt Him ask me in the spirit … “If you want to help clean this up, how dirty are you willing to get? Are you willing to get your fingertips dirty, or are you willing to jump in with everything you are, and get really smothered with the dirty water while you clean up the mess? So in the spirit world … How willing are you to get involved. Willing just to get your spiritual fingers wet, or willing to jump in and be available a hundred percent in every area the Lord wants to use you?”

This day I got a clear word that I want to share with you. I believe in my heart this is something that we should pray for Boksburg.

On the edge of the green grass, stood a line of willow trees. It was a beautiful sight. The water reflected through the leaves, twigs and branches. A picture of ruggedness and strength. I felt Holy Spirit nudge me to walk up to one of these beautiful trees.

As I came closer, I noticed a hole in the trunk. It was only the size of a man’s fist but I could see right through it. That was weird … I walked around the tree and got quite a shock. On the outside the tree looked like all the others. It was healthy and strong, even had branches, young sprigs, twigs and green leaves. The whole inside of the trunk was hollowed out by fire. Over years the hollowed inside of the tree has been used for making fire. By now the rugged tree trunk was nothing more than a empty shell. Most surprisingly this empty shell managed to maintain life on the outside. It gave the impression of a normal tree.

God spoke: This is a picture of the heart of Boksburg. There is life in Boksburg. There are things happening. Services are rendered. People are doing jobs. When one stands on the outside looking in, there are things happening. You can see life and you can see lots of movement. You even can see fruits of the labour and see areas of growth. But when you come close … When you get to the core of it. When you get to the heart of what makes it happen … It is barren. It is empty. The outside is a beautiful facade, but the inside has been eaten by hatred, mistrust, vandalism, pride, racism … in fact it is damaged by fire … all burnt and of no use. We need to pray that Boksburg will get its heart right. In the natural as well as in the spirit. We need to pray that God gives the town beauty for ashes.

Sowing the Word (Day 4)

It was sunset and it felt like God was hovering or brooding over Boksburg lake. I saw people from all walks of life and I felt the need for the Word of God to get out into this town.

I remembered the parable of the farmer sowing the Word. I feel there is prayer needed for the people to be receptive for hearing the Word. There is also prayer needed for the sowing of the Word, for people to be bold and to trust the Lord in whichever way He leads them to do it. And then they will see a crop: 30, 60 or even a hundredfold.

A prayer partner from across the globe wrote: “I heard things about pools in the desert. Water is so special in the word. Jesus is the living water. The lake is so beautiful (and your sunrises!). I was looking at Isaiah 35. You have this lovely lake but the people and the land are so dry but God will put pools in the desert places – his living water into the hearts of the people. He will bring life where there is no life.

For the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters the sea. The lake is a glimpse of the covering. Is it coming … like your sunrise. The King is coming.

Expectant silence (Day 5)

Early in the morning the Lord gave me a picture of lots of dirt and grime. It was not very obvious because of the darkness. The light was seeping through from outside. The more the lights seeped through, the clearer one could differentiate between what is dirt and what is good.

The greatest revelation I get in this is that we only have to channel the light in. The LIGHT is God in all HE is: Father Son and Holy Spirit. And HIS mere presence will drive the dirt and grime away. We are vessels to usher in His holiness, His love, His light, His way of thinking, His way of caring, His way of supporting, His way of uplifting.

I sensed Him waiting for our prayers for Boksburg. I was excited and looked forward to the Sunday, when there would be lots of prayer for Boksburg.

The young and innocent (Day 6)

On this day I had the  youth on my heart. As I walked around the lake, I carried my daughter on my shoulders. I was just touched by the innocence and the openness of the youth.

So by praying for the youth we have to include the parents, care givers, teachers and everyone involved in training them up.

Lift up the youth. Pray for them and let them in on the things of the Lord. Train them up in the secret ways that bring closeness to God. Explain in love who God is and how to approach HIM. Give them a safe surrounding to learn. Teach them about intimacy, patience and love.

Beauty for ashes, Boksburg (Day 7)

The last day’s prayer-walk started off with some 35 people, from a local church, who joined prayer-walking the first round around the lake. It was such a blessing to share in praying, praising and worshipping the Lord as we walked.  I overheard someone praying and referring to the lake as dead water, and praying: “Here are our ashes Lord – will you please turn it into beauty…” And so I feel in my heart to say to the Christians in Boksburg. He will give you “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”.

I was on the 2nd last round around the lake when I saw 4 people at a fire just getting some heat – and I realised that fire was made to last a short while for heating only – and I knew they didn’t have food. I was a way past them when I asked the Lord if I should buy them some food from the local food sellers. Then I started discussing this with the Lord and wondered whether I should or not. The Lord answered clearly: “My son, the compassion that you have … is MY compassion”. It touched me and I knew: don’t question this compassion. I went and bought the food and blessed them. I was so glad I did…

Beauty for Boksburg

A month after finishing this prayer-walk, I saw a small article in the local newspaper.

Boksburg Advertiser

Coincidence? … Not for me!

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