The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sunday Life Correspondent
ACCORDING to 1 Thessalonians 5: 17, “pray without ceasing”.
For Hilda Mazabane praying has become an ingrained part of her life that she has managed to hold an intercessors prayer group together, praying on a weekly basis for the past 46 years.
A vision presented to her as she lay sick in bed way back in 1971 saw her committing to prayer and congregating with other women to pray not only for themselves but the wider community. While many Christian organisations have not been spared tumultuous times which often lead to splits, the Monday Prayer Group Intercessors has survived difficult times through prayer and walking the path of the Lord.
This coming Saturday the group will be celebrating 46 years in existence with an annual conference slated for the Praise and Worship Centre in the city. Mazabane says after receiving her vision, she took two years to meet with two like-minded women, Elle Moyo and Florence Mhlanga and they set on a journey that saw them grow from strength to strength and bring Christians of different denominations together in prayer.
“Our work started after we came across Rev Jeffrey Mkhwananzi’s Back to God crusade in Njube where we met the likes of Rev Nicholas Bhengu and Rev Qina who encouraged us in prayer and laid the foundation for our growth as Christians in prayer. Bhengu was emphatic quoting Proverbs 29:18 which states “Where there is no vision, people perish”, telling us that women should be the cornerstone of the church through prayer,” she said.
Later, another vision given to Mazabane revealed to her the five distinct areas they should focus on which were to pray for the sick, families, the nation, pastors and the body of Christ. She said at the time the country was under the yoke of colonialism and the fight for independence was intensifying hence they put their focus on praying for the victory of the liberation fighters. Mazabane said she believed those five pillars were critical and have remained relevant even today.
“The sick always need the hand of God and praying for families is critical because that is where our society is groomed. An upright God-fearing Christian can only come from a family that believes in God, individuals make up society and they are groomed at home. I know there are a lot of challenges the young and society at large are facing but if we get our families closer to God I think we can conquer. I have always believed a woman is at the cornerstone of the family and if she is steadfast in prayer, whether her husband is a drunkard or what, that family will come out strong,” she said.
Mazabane said they have always prayed for God-fearing leaders as they believe that is the only route the nation can prosper and also navigate through hard times.
The 82-year-old preacher also believes she managed to raise her three children as a single mother when her husband died in 1978 through believing in God and prayer. The Prayer Group has groomed several pastors who have gone on to form their own denominations. While initially being a forte for women, it was opened up to embrace all willing Christians.
Mazabane’s son, Mangaliso went on to form Bashan Ministries International and she was compelled to assist him and became a preacher at its formation, 12 years ago.
“I did not have a ministry and I was not a preacher but a vision I had compelled me to join hands with him and assist him with the ministry,” she said.
The 46th annual conference of the Monday Prayer Group Intercessors will be held under the theme, “Manifesting the Kingdom of God” and will be graced by guest preachers, Pastor Albert Nkomo, who emerged from the group, and Prophet Ian Ndlovu.