When someone asks me what I need, prayer sometimes doesn’t even come to mind. The first things that usually come are the projects I have going on, repairs that need to be done on the truck, or even a few more hours of sleep. I think the majority of us naturally think to the physical needs of our lives. However, the greatest needs in our lives can’t be seen in the flesh, but can be answered through the power of prayer.

Namapande Village is different.

That’s what I concluded as we left our meeting with the village chairman. In the physical they’re not an ordinary village. They’re a settlement, overseen by the government, after a flood in the western province displaced them.

But it really wasn’t the physical that has set them apart for me.

The chairman (an elected head of the village) listened closely as we shared about Overland Missions and what was on our hearts for his area. He also shared with us about the history of the village and the different projects from NGOs that had come and gone. “They used to be here helping us but now they’ve left,” was his statement concerning different agriculture trainings as well as an orphan sponsorship program. Not all too uncommon in some of the areas where we work.

Chairman seated on far right

As we shared about out heart for sharing the Gospel and empowering his people in the work that God was called them to, the chairman had a very important question for us.

“Do you pray for people? Many people here need prayer!”

I wanted to shout, “Yes! Of course!” Fortunately, I contained myself and answered calmly otherwise I would have probably scared the man! It had hit me  hard that someone would even have to ask if prayer was an option. The chairman obviously has an understanding about the power that prayer has in someone’s life. Praying in the name of Jesus may seem simple but can transform a life when done in faith.

I wonder how many people came through Namapande in the past that never took the time to prayer for the people in need? Only focused on the physical? Am I one of them? Who have I passed by through my own physical judgments but ignored the spiritual needs?

In Acts 9:40 Peter shows us what prayer can do. “But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.”

Prayer gave Tabitha life. How many are around us today looking for life? Looking for a need to be met that only God can fulfill? God has placed us in their lives for a reason and we must take the opportunity to pray. A prayer in faith will change lives!