“The need for food on the Cape Flats is dire,” stated the news broadcaster. It was the first month of South Africa’s vigorously enforced stay-at-home lockdown in response to the pandemic. Protestors were out in the streets of the township, on the outskirts of my home city, riotously demanding to be allowed to risk dying of exposure to the virus rather than to die of starvation.
I’d had firsthand experience with this residential area as part of a governmental project helping “at risk” youth. Most residents live hand-to-mouth, dependent on daily earned income for a daily meal. Food parcels were promised but weren’t getting through the corrupt and gang-dominated welfare systems. It was understandable why to them a stay-at-home order meant starvation.
I knew I was not alone in praying. Many in my city are not shy about sharing on social media their prayers, their pleas, their inspiration. Yet sometimes there’s doubt as to the practicality of prayer. People wonder, “Is prayer effective?” Experience has proven to me that it is—whenever I have felt truly God-inspired, I have seen an impact.