We are very delighted to share with you the different sessions of our recent prayer retreat. We pray that God speaks to you through the scriptures that we shared, that your spirit may be encouraged and blessed as well.
When the New Year begins, the ministry of Arise Africa International usually has new plans, goals, objectives and new strategies, to be achieved in the New Year.
Aware of our position of lack of resources and funds to meet our budgets demand, our eyes normally turn to the Lord in prayer and fasting constantly and periodically, for the Lord to work mightily in us, in our ministry and ministry partners and the missions to be able to achieve what we plan.
The ministry usually seeks the Lord in prayer through the year in the following days and programs.
Three times a year we hold National prayer retreats that combine all Churches under the ministry of Arise Africa International.
Three times a year we hold Management staff prayer retreats, and staff missions.
Departments meet daily to pray in the morning before starting their work.
We hold worship weekends at our children’s center.
Midweek praying and fasting held on Wednesdays in every AAI church, and many other fellowships.
On 8th - 12th April 2019, we held a management staff prayer retreat for three days praying and fasting at Bukaleba Hospital grounds. It was attended by 18 AAI Managers. Some managers remained at their work places but they were also fasting and praying together with us.
We arrived at the hospital grounds on Monday night, 8th-April-2019. We ate our last supper together and after this we only drank water for three days and nights that followed.
Each day was divided into five sessions that started with morning devotion:
1st session- from 4AM – 5AM,
2nd session from 8 AM- 10AM
3rd sessions from 1PM- 2PM
4th session from 4PM -6PM
5th last session of the day was camp fire late in the evening.
Daily in every 1st session we praised and worshipped God through songs, made intercessions and then went back to our tents to rest in preparation for the day.
Daily the three sessions that followed were for sharing God’s word, praying and interceding together.
After every session, we separated off to a time of individual devotion where each person was free to find a quiet place to seek God and pour their heart to Him.
At the camp fire session, we sang songs of worship and praise unto our God, shared testimonies, personal experiences encountered during the day sessions and ministry missions, prayed together and finally retired to our tents.
We glorify God that none of us fainted or fell sick during the three days. Although our bodies grew weaker every day, our spirit grew stronger. We finally broke our fast on Friday morning, 12th-April-2019 with a wonderful breakfast.
The prayer retreat was based on 2 Chronicles 7:14(NKJV)
“ if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
The following prayer requests were heavy on our hearts as we began prayer.
For the Lord to work in us and the ministry of Arise Africa International.
For the Lord to provide funds for our entire ministry plans and budgets.
For our country’s economy to improve so that our people can have better life.
For our ministry and country to have peace so that we can again rebuild our ministry and country and preach the gospel to all people without limitations.
For AAI churches to grow and plant more churches.
As children of God we know that if we humble ourselves, seek the lord in prayer, repent of our wicked ways, then our Lord would hear our prayers from heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land.
Day one, 9th-April-2019
Led by Rev. Godfrey Wanamitsa, on 9th April we started our 1st morning session by looking at how Daniel approached God. Daniel 9:1-27. In this chapter we learnt that Daniel understood Jerusalem’s desolation was to end after seventy years according to God’s word , he then set his face toward God to make request by prayer and supplications with fasting, in sackcloth and ashes. He made confession to God on behalf of himself and Israel, he confessed his sins and the sins of his people Israel and while he was still praying, God sent an angel Gabriel with an answer to Daniel’s prayer.
Based on Daniel’s prayer, we learnt the following steps to successful prayer that we later applied in our prayers.
In verse 2-3 Daniel understood what God said He will do for Israel and so he turned to God in prayer.
In verse 4, Daniel acknowledges who God is “The Lord, great and awesome God”. And so able to fulfill what He had said.
In the same way Hebrews 11:6, also says, whoever comes to God must believe that He exists and rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Psalms 100:1-4 Also Says, “Know that the Lord is God and He is who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.”
We learnt, even according to John 1:12, that we too are God’s children and therefore we have a right and standing in Christ our Lord to approach God as our father like Daniel did, and if we also seek him and make prayers, repent of our sins and make requests to Him like Daniel did, He would hear our prayers, heal us and our land.
During the afternoon (1PM) session we reviewed what had been shared in the morning session and continued to pray following Daniel’s approach.
In the 3rd evening session, led by Rev. Godfrey Wanamitsa, we were introduced to another approach to successful prayer; The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:5-15. Many people simply say the words of this scripture as a prayer, but when actually used in prayer as a format, it is quite powerful, for it is written, ‘this is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, we are sure to get whatever we ask. The verses in Matthew 6 do give a great format of prayer and as well reveal the will of God.
Day Two, 10th-April-2019:
Morning Session led by Rev. Godfrey Wanamitsa:
During this session, our prayer guidelines were drawn from Romans 8:20-37 and 1Timothy 2:1-4.
Sometimes God leads us in prayer to enable us win His heart. In other words, He being the Lord and moral Judge of all the earth, has also provided hints in His word to enable us like advocates present our case better in His sight to win His favor.
As 1Timothy 2:1-4 says, we should make requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving for everyone, for our leaders, or those in authority. This is pleasing to Him because He wants all men to come to knowledge of the truth and to be saved. God will definitely hear us if we come to Him and make requests for this entire people, because it is in His will for them to get saved.
Afternoon (1PM) session by Rev. Godfrey Wanamitsa:
Matthew 7:7 (Ask, Seek, Knock):
After acknowledging who God is and approaching Him as his children and in a way pleasing to Him, it was time for us to ask from Him, the provider of all things. Our God knows exactly what we need but sometimes He waits for us to ask from Him. If we ask in faith and according to His Will, we know He will answer us. Our Lord also promises to do whatever we ask in His name so as to bring glory to the Father (John 14:12-14, John 16:23).
Also James 4:1-3 teaches us that:
We do not have because we do not ask.
And Sometimes God does not grant our requests because we ask with a wrong motive so that we may spend it on our selfish pleasures.
Just like a caring father who cannot give His child something that might destroy him, our Father cares about us. Some of our requests may not be granted because if granted, they might impact our lives in negative way.
Instead of fighting and quarreling because we do not have, we need to simply ask from Him. He simply opens his hand to satisfy every living thing.
As AAI family, we asked the Lord to provide towards the following:
Dig Water wells in Bukaleba project and particularly at the baby’s home.
Operation budget of the children’s centre at Bukaleba project
Build a foster home at the Baby’s home.
Operation budget for the secondary school
500 students to enroll in boarding section of our secondary school.
Operation budget of primary school
200 pupils to enroll in primary boarding section
Completion and the beginning of Bukaleba project hospital
Establishment of vocational school at Bukaleba Project.
Establishment of a prayer centre at Bukaleba project.
Revival of coffee and tea business for sustainability of AAI ministry.
Completion and facilitation of AAI guest houses.
Establishing Bible school in Bukaleba and zonal leadership training centres.
Establishing 4 town churches in 4 cities.
Buy Iron sheets for 180 village churches
Buy land for 180 churches
Provide for 6 Staff missions and projects in 2019
Provide for Pastoral missions
Provide for Church revival budget
Provide for Media ministry budget.
Provide for Church sustainability budget
We believe that God will grant them according to His riches in glory for He is able to do beyond what we can ask.
We ask you to continue praying together with us because without God’s provision and working, there is nothing we can accomplish in our own strength.
Evening session (5:30PM) by Rev. Godfrey Wanamitsa:
We thank God for the scripture of this year Psalms 46:8-11, which is already at work in us and an encouragement to us and to the ministry. This year we feel confident to pray to God to do the following in us and in the ministry of AAI; we pray for the Lord;
To work in each of the AAI departments and in our lives so that other people may come to see His works and have faith in Him alone.
To strip our enemies of their weapons and destroy all their instruments of war.
To give us a peaceful year and strength to work, rebuild and build the ministry by faith.
To help us trust and depend and rest in the Lord alone where our efforts stop.
To help us not to fear despite of what might surround and try us.
We believe that God is working mightily in us and in AAI already, for we are confident of this because, He promised to live with us and walk among us, to be our God because we are His sons and daughters if we come out of them and be separate for Him alone. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
Day Three, 11th-April-2019:
Praying for our nation Uganda, led by Pastor Smooth Via;
There is a lot of corruption and economic instability in our country today. All these factors affect our lives, ministry and the Church of Jesus Christ at large. As Christians we need to stand firm and fight for our nation. We do not need to join the army in order to fight. The primary way of fighting for our country is by using spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6:10-18) through prayer.
Have you ever realized that all the weapons mentioned in the Armor of God are defensive? That means that Christians are meant to stand in a defensive position in faith to protect and defend our country by the power of God that works in us. We prayed for peace and wholeness upon our country and for the rest of the world. There is need to pray for divine peace in the world. We therefore need to continue praying to God to grant peace and protection upon our nations (Psalms 122:6, Numbers 6:22-26,2 Chronicles 7:11-14).
Afternoon (1PM) session by Pastor Mabira Ronald
Praying for the church of Jesus Christ:
When we read Numbers 21:1-9, we see that the Israelites made a vow to the Lord to obey Him but after He had helped them, they forgot the Lord and instead grew more impatient and started complaining. God punished the Israelites by sending venomous snakes among them. In the same way the Church today is living in the same unbelief.
Most people when they pray and the Lord does not answer immediately they grumble fight and quarrel. And even when they are given, they do not give thanks but instead want to grab what does not belong to them. God might not send us real snakes in our time but He punishes us in many different ways.
For example seasons have changed in Uganda. We used to have a lot of rains during the month of March through May and hardworking farmers got good yields, but since last year, seasons have changed. We have had a prolonged drought. May be God has withheld the rain because of our wickedness.
1 Corinthians 6:19, tells us that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit whom we received from God. We therefore need to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable before God. Let us renounce the sin of unbelief and impatience and live a life of holiness, trust and have faith in God. (1 Corinthians 1:3-5, Romans 12:1-2, Romans 14:16).
We asked God to keep the church blameless until the day our Lord Jesus returns.
Evening session (5:30PM) by Pastor Robert Massajjage:
Presenting personal requests
On addition to the needs of Arise Africa International ministry, each one of us had their personal needs; it is only God who can meet our needs. Therefore daily we need to present them to Him in prayer, petition and with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6, Hebrews 5:7-10).
In this session we learnt that in His days on earth, our LORD Jesus Christ offered prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the Father and He was heard.
We also as sons and daughters of the same Father have confidence to approach God through prayer because of (Hebrews 4:14-16);
Our Lord is our Great High Priest who connects us with the Father and so we know our prayers will be heard.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has gone through the heavens thus creating an opening for our prayers to reach the Father.
Our Lord the High Priest knows our weaknesses; He sympathizes with us, encourages us and also intercedes for us.
With the above confidence, we presented our individual requests to God and we believe that He heard our prayers.
The prayer retreat did not mean the end of our prayers. We continue to seek God every day, crying out unto Him both as individuals and the ministry of Arise Africa International.
We have many plans to fulfill this year but only God is able to bring them to pass. Please continue to pray for us and with us. May His name be glorified in us and in the ministry of Arise Africa International.