SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2011.
ON CHURCH OF NIGERIA’S SEVEN DAY FASTING, PRAYING
THE Primate of All Nigeria, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, has directed Anglicans in Nigeria to commence a seven-day fasting and prayer session, beginning Monday November 28, to Sunday December 4, 2011.
The directive follows resolution reached at the Church’s 10th General Synod held recently at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral Ikeja, Lagos.
The Church, at the synod, reflected on the theme: ‘Restoring the years locusts have eaten’ and discovered, shockingly, the extent at which locusts have eaten into the fabric of the Church and the nation.
To put a stop to the trend, therefore, it directed worshippers to focus their fast and prayer on two perspectives: firstly, children of God are to pray for the nation. Areas where locusts have devoured would be made known to God.
These include bad roads, poor electricity supply, insecurity, unemployment, poverty, flooding, ailing economy, wobbling educational system, violence, rape of young and old women, corruption, infrastructural decay, poor health facilities and others.
Yes, we have no other nation but Nigeria. Her survival will bring good to us all. The Psalmist says: ‘Pray for peace in Jerusalem (Nigeria). May all who love this city prosper. O Jerusalem (Nigeria) may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces. For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, may you have peace. For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem (Nigeria).
Certainly, prayers of saints avail much and we trust that through this special programme, God will restore Nigeria, once again, to greatness.
Secondly, the Church needs purging from an avalanche of problems. It is laden with: ethnicity, moral pollution, cultism, impostors, homosexuals, pilferers of public funds etc. There is no better time for this spiritual exercise than now in order to remove disgrace from the land.
The prayer has its foundation in 2 Chron. 7v14: ‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land’.
This seven-day exercise is a time to seek the face of God for Nigeria and the Church of Jesus Christ. There should be no distractions but a sincere and true encounter with God. He must surely act.
We commend this effort to pray and fast for the nation and the Church. God must visit and intervene on behalf of His people. What He has not planted must surely be uprooted.
We encourage all archbishops, bishops, the ordained and the laity to go through this session with an assurance of God’s speedy visitation.
The words of Prophet Joel further encourage us: ‘The Lord says, I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locust, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced. Then you will know that I am among my people Israel that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other. Never again will my people be disgraced’ Joel 2v25-27.VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Retreat Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.