Zion Christian Churches Churches Liturgy Prophets Services Members

© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

Prayer is believed "to be very important. This takes various forms; for example, when members enter the church at the beginning of the service there is a time of confession. In some churches individual members kneel down in turn and publicly confess their sins, individual troubles and temptations. In others, everyone simultaneously kneels down and then confesses their sins.

People being prophesied and answering the words of prophets often request members to pray for them to help their problems. The Lord's Prayer is usually said at the end of sessions of confessions.

Usually there is a point towards the end of the service when the Baruti  (Priests), especially the Barapedi (Prayers), will pray on all individual members. Members kneel in turn or in small groups, before the Morapedi (Prayer), who will lay on hands on different parts of the individual's body, and pray on each person in turn, asking God's help to protect and heal the individual. This type of praying always has a part during special services. Even individuals receiving their new uniforms will be prayed on.

Particular words are used in services to punctuate preaching, prophesying, or confessing. They have set responses from the congregation; here are some examples of common ones:-

Speaker: Khotso/Kagiso*1 ene le Iona (Peace be with you).

Congregation: Amen.

Speaker: Leina la Modimo a lebakwe (Let's praise the Lord).

Congregation: Amen.

Speaker: Tshwarelo (Forgiveness).

Congregation: Amen.

Speaker: Modimo o nne mo go rona (God be in our hearts).

Congregation: Amen.

*1 Khotso is  Sesotho and Kagiso is  Setswana.  Both mean “Peace” and either word may be used in services. This is also used  as a greeting between Zionists , who always shaken hands saying either of these two words as they do so.


Prophets dance around  woman kneeling in centre to hymns. She  has asked for interpretation of and help for the resolution for  her problems. The prophets eventually receive guidance from the Holy Spirit.

Praying  at beginning of service to e.g.  ask forgiveness, help with problems etc. Prayers and confessions are offered at all services

Moruti (Priest) praying on a member to heal him following his prophecy

Prophet/Healers praying on family members at a special Prayer Service at their home to heal their problems.  

Praying on a members who have asked for help and healing  during a service. First he Prophets dance around them to the accompaniment of the hymns. Then Holy Spirit

Prophet/Healers praying on family members at a Sethlabelo (Sacrifice) Service

For further details of this  Ditapelo (Prayer)  and Sethlabelo (Sacrifice) Services , see section on Specialist Services