The power of prayer over witchcraft


A most dramatic story of the conversion of an extremely wicked city is the story of Kiambu, Kenya in East Africa. This city, about 10 miles from the capital of Nairobi, had very high crime rate, murders, rapes, a high rate of fatal auto accidents, violence, witchcraft, poverty, alcoholism, and many other social ills. Public disorder was the rule and loud rock music blared from loud speakers in front of bar rooms throughout the night. It was also the murder capital of Kenya, with some eight killings a month.

Most people were afraid to go out at night. There were a few churches in Kiambu, but none of them had an attendance of over 100, and hardly any of the people were committed Christians.

God spoke to Pastor Thomas Muthee, a Kenyan native, that he wanted him to start a church in Kiambu, which at the time had a population of about 65,000. Muthee plainly heard the voice of God say these words: "I want you to plant a church in Kiambu." Pastor Muthee was an evangelist who had done some post-graduate work in Scotland in 1988. His wife was a teacher. When God spoke to them, they decided first to spend some time praying and seeking why Kiambu was such a spiritually oppresses area. They spent six months in prayer and fasting, seeking God's guidance. They did not go into Kiambu at any time during that six months. They were seeking to know what was the dominate spirit over Kiambu.

The first thing that Muthee found out was that the city was dominated by a woman that everyone called Mama Jane. Mama Jane pretended to be a Christian, and operated an office in the downtown area which she called the Emmanuel Clinic, but her business was pure witchcraft! Right outside of her clinic, there was an intersection [a dusty road] that had frequent fatal automobile accidents -- but hardly any of them left any blood stains! No one was able to explain why so many people were killed at that intersection, or why there was hardly ever any spilled blood. Her customers were the leading politicians and businessmen of Kiambu.

Pastor Muthee said, "When we began to recognize who - or what - Mama Jane really was, my wife Margaret and I set ourselves to pray. Our aim was to break the power of witchcraft over the town -- a power that was preventing people from turning to the Lord. It was a struggle that involved much groaning in our spirits. In time, however, we felt the burden lift. The dark cloud we had seen covering the town drifted away, and we felt supernatural joy inside. We knew things were going to change.

"In February 1989 we decided it was time to start the church. My first meeting was held on a large dirt area near the petrol station. Since I am quite short and I didn't have a pulpit, I borrowed a tire from the petrol station [to stand on]. As I preached the gospel that evening, eight people turned to the Lord. One of these was a long-barren woman whose womb was miraculously opened by the spirit of God. [The following year she showed me her baby.] On the second day of the crusade, fourteen people turned to the Lord.

"After this the church just took off. Throughout the next year, healings and conversions were a regular occurrence. Since the municipal hall [we were meeting in] would allow us to meet only twice a week, we decided to move our church into a basement of a nearby grocery story. Because of the darkness and the round-the-clock intercessory prayer there, people began to refer to this place as `the prayer cave.'

"Not surprisingly, Mama Jane was deeply distressed over what was taking place. In fact, she began to come around our worship center on Saturday nights to perform her witchcraft rituals. On Sunday mornings we would find ashes spread around with pieces of special cloth, animal horns and cock feathers.

"She let it be known to the city officials that she could not help them with her fortune telling as much as she used to because this new church seemed to be `cutting her lines of communication.' As a result the city authorities, as well as other pastors, attacked the ministry of the church. Now, Pastor Muthee had almost everybody against him: The city officials, the business leaders, and even many of the pastors in the city turned against him -- as well as Mama Jane!

"Our services became very oppressed. People would try to sing, but they just couldn't." Praying 24 hours a day, Thomas Muthee and his members did what they could to counteract the demonic attacks. But the power of evil invaded the church to the point that they could hardly pray. One day it got so bad they started a worship song and were never able to finish it! They went outside and found the remains of fresh sacrifices and rituals left behind by Momma Jane.

"Finally we decided we had had enough. The whole congregation raised their hands towards the Emmanuel Clinic. We asked God to either save this woman or remove her from Kiambu.

Muthee went before the Lord, crying in agony. Was his work going to fail? Was Kiambu truly a graveyard of pastors? Would his spiritual tombstone be added to the others? By this time, Muthee was thoroughly convinced that the demonic powers entrusted to Momma Jane had been the very forces that had driven pastor after pastor out of Kiambu. "God," he prayed, "Do not let me be the next to go. Show me the way forward!"

God answered in a soft, quite voice by simply suggesting: "My son, I want you to get intercessors on the job." He also gave Thomas the names of those selected! Muthee assigned each intercessor to fast and pray for a whole day so that someone was always fasting and praying.

The initial results seemed to be positive but the intercessors began
suffering serious attacks. On their designated fasting days, sickness and other things debilitated them and prevented their prayers from being as powerful as they might have been. Thomas asked the Lord to reveal what should be done, and God took him to the biblical story of Jonathan, who went to war having an armour-bearer at his side.

Thomas called together his intercessors, who by then had grown to a team of nine, and told them that each person designated to fast on a particular day would be covered by two armour-bearers. One would be the person who had fasted and prayed the day before, and the other would be the one who was scheduled to fast and pray the following day. They would form a protective hedge of prayer around the one on duty.

It worked! The spiritual harassment suddenly stopped. An increasing number of Momma Jane's clients were now becoming Christians and publicly burning the charms and fetishes she had sold them. The way was now open for Muthee to issue a public ultimatum: "Momma Jane either gets saved and serves the Lord, or she leaves town! There is no longer room in Kiambu for both of us!"

In plain terms, Thomas Muthee challenged Momma Jane to a power encounter, much as Elijah challenged the priests of Baal.

By now word had spread to the city officials that Momma Jane did not seem to have the power she once had. Her clients were embarrassing her by openly burning fetishes and renouncing curses. Some began pointing out that it could be no coincidence that her clinic was right next to the area where the serious accidents were occurring. "

Pastor Muthee continued, "Do you know what happened? A few days later, three children were killed outside her clinic. The people were furious because they suspected that Mama Jane's witchcraft was linked to the accident. Some were clamoring that she be stoned. When the police were called in to quell the uprising, they found one of the largest pythons they had ever seen in one of the clinic rooms. Startled, the officers drew their weapons and shot it. That promptly ended the spiritual battle. Mama Jane was questioned by the police, releases, and moved to another town. Interesting, the same `bloodless accidents began happening there. [This was about 1992.] "We have not had a single accident since. In fact, since that woman moved out of Kiambu, the entire atmosphere has changed. Whereas people used to be afraid to go out at night, now we enjoy one of the lowest crime rates in Kenya.

Rape and murder are virtually unheard of anymore. The economy has also started to grow. If you look at the town now, you will see new buildings coming up everywhere. Now that Kiambu has a good name, people from Nairobi are flocking to get houses here. The population is up to 80,000.

"More importantly, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of conversions. Between ten and 25 people have been turning to the Lord in our church every Sunday." -- end of quote by Pastor Muthee --

The local people called the church 'The Prayer Cave' when they were in the basement of the grocery store. Today, it still goes by that name, but it is what we would call a megachurch. The Prayer Cave Church is growing rapidly and, at the time of this writing, it was approaching 4,000 members, or five per cent of Kiambu's population of 80,000. Almost all the members are new converts because very few residents of Kiambu were Christians when Pastor Thomas arrived. But how did it grow so vigorously and come to have such a measurable influence on the whole city?

Muthee's vision was that his church facility should be used for prayer around the clock daily. He well knew that "what is gained by prayer must be maintained by prayer!" He was convinced that if the church was to continue to grow and ultimately have an influence on the whole city, prayer had to be the most prominent ongoing component of his ministry.

Instead of a preacher's graveyard, Kiambu had miraculously been transformed into a witch's graveyard!

Things began to change fast and dramatically. The city's unbelievers also recognized the cause-and-effect relationship between the power encounter and the subsequent changes in the community.

Economically, Kiambu is now prosperous. The crime and violence associated with the city in the national news media have now virtually disappeared.

Some of the most notorious criminals of the city are now reformed and are members of The Prayer Cave.

Alcoholism too is notably diminished -- the intercessors went on prayer-walks around the bar rooms -- and the loud music is a thing of the past. One of the most prominent high-volume discos is now a church! A small valley near the city had been notorious as a den of bootleggers, producing and selling native beer on the black market. The intercessors targeted it for prayer-walking. The still is now closed and The Prayer Cave has purchased the land to build its new church facility!

Finally, the kingdom of God is coming to Kiambu. No more hostility is present among Christian pastors. Repentance and reconciliation is the order of the day. Churches of all denominations across the city are now growing rapidly, as they are doing in other parts of Kenya. Pastors regularly eat together and pray together. At the time of writing, they are making plans for the first joint evangelistic city-wide crusade that Kiambu has ever known.

But the central cause of these awesome changes was powerful prayer.