Don’t be deterred or weary, we shall overcome evil – Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday at the third Presidential National Prayer Breakfast meeting held at banquet hall, urged Nigerians not to be deterred or weary over the present security challenges facing assuring that the nation will surely overcome.
The President who noted that the National Prayer started in 2010 was meant to seek God’s help in the assignment of leading the nation, added that it was not a jamboree but a reminder for all to join spiritual energies to ask God to assist in giving the right guidance.
The President noted that the providence has placed each and every one at various posts at this particular time in the nation’s journey to greatness, therefore Nigerians must “be hopeful, focused and watchful to overcome all that is evil confronting our nation. We should note the saying of the scriptures that with men, it is impossible but with God all things are possible”.
Jonathan said further, “It is worthy to note that this breakfast prayer is coming after the Easter, a period when every Christian is expected to be focused, re-dedicated and reborn. With this renewed spiritual state, we should be poised on uplifing prayer. We are gathered here this morning not as a jamboree or one off activity but as a reminder for us to join our spiritual energies to pray to God to fill us with wisdom, strength, courage and guidance to make and implement right decisions for our nation.
“In our various homes and offices, we are all agents so we should pray now and always for divine guidance.
“In the book of Jeremiah, God said if you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. May we seek him with all our hearts, empower us to overcome all the evil forces trying to derail this nation, may we seek him with all our hearts to let his light shine over our nation and to guide us in leading our great nation to its destined goal
“I believe that all of us if we begin to do what is right individually and collectively, surely we will take our country to the destination we expect. We pray that God should use all of us Nigerians who know the right thing to do, to use all of us as change agents because if all of us do what is right, this country will continue to be a great nation”, the President said.
In a short exhortation to the gathering, titled: The Blessings if…, Prof. Afolabi Falola from a church based in Kano said that his message to the President and the gathering is like the valedictory message Moses gave in Deuteronomy chapter 28 to the children of Israel at the end of his mission.
According to him, God has great promises for nations that submit to him, as He will make their adversaries fall before them and make them creditors and lender to others.
Listing four things God expects us to do to include: Obedience, Love, Holiness and Devotion, he said: 'God expect us to hear and to act on all His commandments.'
'Diligently obey God, love God and man, pursue holiness and give your whole-hearted devotion to God and God will fulfil His promises to you', he stated.
Falola regretted that Nigeria was a very religious but most times ungodly, insisting that to obey is better than sacrifice.
He challenge those present to take time to pray and ask God what he expects them to do and ensure they do it.
He further urged clergymen in the country to commit to pray for the President and the country each time in their services, noting that if they fail to pray then they will result to grumbling and complains and will bring about failure.
He described as hypocritical where Christians after fasting result to boxing and insulting one another, saying “when you speak evil, that is not consecration to God. God is a jealous God, he doesn’t want to share you with another. You cannot be serving God in day time and another at night”.
In his welcome remarks, the Presidential Chaplain, Ven. Obioma Onwuzurumba noted that God will not abandon Nigeria half-way.
He said: 'God that has brought us to this level , will not take us backward. He will take us to the Promised Land. With your prayers, we will not be afraid of the 'giants'. We will make it.'
While the former Head of Interim National Government (ING), Ernest Shonekan took the second reading from Roman Chapter 8, verses 18 to 27, the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria read the first reading from Deuteronomy Chapter 28, Pastor Emmanuel Kure from Kafanchan in Kaduna State led the prayer of agreement (for the President and the nation), the President, Aso Villa Chaplain, CAN Secretary, Anglican Primate all holding hands.
Rev. Madu, the Secretary General of Catholic Faith led the prayer for the President and Burundi Ambassador to Nigeria led the prayer world world leaders.
Among those who attended the service included the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker of House of Reps, Emeka Ihedioha, Abia Governor, Theodore Orji, Edo State Deputy Governor represented Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
Also at the prayer breakfast are some Ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, some traditional rulers and leaders of Christian Association of Nigeria from the 36 states and the Federal Capital territory.