I first encountered Chemani Tuturu, the senior pastor for Harvest House church in Harare at the church’s conference in Bulawayo, where he was ministering about six years ago.
Title: Wailing Women
Author: Chemani Tuturu
His teaching ministry had such a profound impact on my life and I have now become a fervent follower of his.
Just recently, I came across one of his several books, Wailing Women, which is an exegesis on prayer.
In just 64 pages — a book you can read in one sitting — Tuturu provides deep insights into the ministry of prayer in a way that will certainly revolutionise the prayer life of whoever takes these lessons to heart.
Tuturu, a prolific author who has published 18 books, writes with disarming simplicity, even as he effectively drives home profound biblical truths around the subject of prayer.
Published in 2016, this is a book that will drive a believer into a soul-searching mould as they re-examine their prayer life.
I say this because often our prayers are not as deeply felt as they should and do not occupy their rightful, central place in our devotion. Elsewhere in his book, Tuturu writes that, “Many believers rarely ever engage God in prayer. We need to develop a culture of coming to God in prayer.”
The book is also a demonstration of how biblical characters, including Abraham, Moses, Paul, Hannah, Manoah’s wife, Anna the Prophetess and Mary were so sold out to prayer that they moved the hand of God in difficult circumstances to witness the miraculous.
The author cites his own personal experiences in the walk of faith to confirm the veracity of the scriptures.
He also shares his struggles as he pursued God to demonstrate that when believers wholeheartedly go after the Creator, he is ready to draw them into the deeper waters of prayer.
He shows how the prayer closet is a place of birthing: “We need to conceive from the Spirit of God if we are to wail in line with God. It is critical that the prayers of wailing women be in line with the heart feelings of God.”
Drawing from the scriptures, Tuturu uses the metaphor of pregnancy to demonstrate how prayer works, with key
ingredients including conceiving, feeding, change, expectancy, burden, preparation, irrepressibility and joy.
Tuturu frowns on a prayer life run in spurts and bursts, but one marked with consistency because “the life of prayer demands that we quickly regroup and begin to pray again” after receiving answers to what we were praying about.
He argues, however, that while travailing prayer is characterised by warfare, confrontation and weeping, the life of an intercessor must also have its seasons of joy and peace.
Through this literary offering on prayer, we are also able to understand that God works in seasons. Tuturu contends that “breakthroughs will not happen until the appointed time has come”.
The book also traces the various times of prayer highlighted in the Bible and stresses the importance of waiting on God. This is often a difficult thing to do in our generation of “quick fixes”, inundated with “instants”. Only those able to wait on God in times of prayer can enjoy the promised victory.
While this book is largely focused on women praying with tears, Tuturu demonstrates that this is no “sissy” business in Chapter 5, aptly titled Princes in the Valley of Tears.
Here, we learn that the call to travailing prayer is also extended to men.
The patriarchs of faith, Abraham and Jacob, including many others such as Moses, David and Jesus are all shown to have wept at one point or another.
Tuturu writes: “The posture of weeping is not a feminine posture; it is for all believers, since prayer is a calling to us all.”
Tuturu writes of tears that opened doors and led those that wept into deeper dimensions with God. In his final notes in the book, he re-emphasises the importance of prayer, which believers can only ignore at their own peril.
This is a must-read book for all those that desire to learn more about prayer and subsequently revolutionise their prayer life.