The Sacrifice of Prayer
It begins with a 200-year-old black kettle pot, used by my Christian slave forebears in Lake Providence, Louisiana. While used for cooking and washing clothes during the day, this kettle was secretly used for prayer. Forbidden to pray by their slave master, my ancestors were beaten unmercifully if found doing so. However, in spite of their master’s cruelty, and because of their love for Jesus, they prayed anyway. At night, sneaking into a barn, they carried this cast iron cooking pot into their secret prayer meeting. As others looked out, those inside prayed. Turning this pot upside-down on the barn floor, they propped it up with rocks – suspending the pot a few inches above the ground. Then, while lying prostrate or kneeling on the ground, they prayed in a whisper underneath the kettle to muffle their voices. The story passed down with the kettle is that they were risking their lives to pray for ensuing generations. One day, freedom did come.” (Will Ford, III)1
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6; ESV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
Thank the Lord for the freedom all of us in this nation today have to pray in Jesus’ Name.
If you are being persecuted for your faith in Christ, consider the sufferings of those listed in Hebrews 11:32-38 and in the vignette above. Humbly pray for others suffering around the world for their faith.
Intercede for the descendants of African-American slaves in America. Ask God to heal any pain any of them may still carry in their DNA from their families’ painful past.
If you are a descendant of slave-holders or other slave-bosses, humbly identificationally repent for the sin of slavery in the nation.
Ask God to heal our nation’s racial divide and to show you if you have a part in it.
A prayer you can pray:
Father, my heart is moved by this story. I am so thankful for the ability to freely pray. It is almost unimaginable to realize that a group of people in America were once disallowed from praying, just because of their skin-color and status. Few Americans are persecuted for their faith today, but we are seeing that more and more. I pray for those who are fighting for their religious freedom in this nation and for those persecuted for their faith world-wide. May my own prayer life increase. Heal those Americans who are in pain that’s coming down from generation to generation. Forgive those of us who had relatives who enslaved others. Jesus, let Your love wash over us and heal us. Heal us! Amen.
I decree that faith is rising in the hearts of Believers – a faith to heal the sins of the past and unite us as one, so we can passionately intercede and reap a harvest of souls.
1 Ford, Will, III, “The Prayers of My Forefathers (Former Slaves) Echo Today, 150 Years After the End of the Civil War.” WillFordMinistries.com, Nov. 29, 2015. 9/24/17.