PRAYER FOR NIGERIA IN DIFFICULTY
I think, as a nation, we owe one another a duty to pray for God to intervene to ease the burden the ills in our society have brought upon all of us. I may be able to afford my needs and the needs of my family (nuclear and extended) but there is more to it if the majority of the people are suffering. I am saddened by the sufferings of many Nigerians, especially those that live below the permissible one U.S. dollar a day. This is why I have over the years joined forces with progressive elements to fight for the enthronement of justice, fair play and good governance in our country.
Every Nigerian must show concern to the travails of our nation by praying fervently to God to bring an end to them. There is no doubt that if we pray this prayer below with dedication and sincerity of heart God will not fail to have mercy on us and help us.
So come along and pray with me thus:
'Almighty, everlasting Father, Maker of heaven, earth, and sea, and all that is in them; the Alpha and Omega; the Beginning and the End; the I am that I am; the Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent God; You that can kill and make alive again; the invisible God; the Lion of Judah:
I come before you with my heart in deep pain. I bow down in worship, for you alone are God. I am not worthy to come before your sacred throne or call upon your Holy Name because of my sinfulness. But I am encouraged to come to you in total surrender to your Holy Will because your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, shed His Precious Blood on the Mount of Calvary for the salvation and sanctification of mankind. By His death, Christ has brought us back to live and renewed our relationship with you. Wash me with hyssop and make me clean again from my sins. Lift up my drooping spirits and make me strong again. My eyes are filled with tears and my heart is torn.
How long will you wait to help us, Lord? How long will you keep silence? Our country, Nigeria, is passing through difficult, perilous times, and it is about to perish. It will perish unless you come to its rescue now. For nearly 50 years, we have searched for unity, peace and progress without much success. The vision of our forebears was to found a nation in which all of us would live in brotherhood. They paid the supreme price for the sustenance of its unity. Will you allow their efforts to be in vain?
Everywhere in our fatherland, evil has overrun us; the wicked have seized our land. Those who have no conscience have threatened to ruin us. We are like those who died long ago. We are tired and weak from the weeping caused by our enemies. Many of our people, your people, are hungry, sick, ignorant and defenceless. Many of them die from lack of food, medicines, and care. Many toil all day without making enough income to sustain their large families. Out of over 140 million Nigerians about 70 per cent live below the poverty line, yet we are a rich and prosperous nation.
Father, for how long will you allow these evils to go on before you intervene? When will you renew the face of our nation? I have asked this question, Father, because our people are dying in silence - they have nobody to speak for them. Send us a Messiah that will take us to the Promised Land. When the Israelites were in captivity in Egypt, they called upon you, Father, and you answered them and sent them Moses and Aaron. You did not allow them to perish, even though you allowed their chastisement in the first place. Let your righteous anger not consume your people in Nigeria. I know inside of me that our travails come from you: You punish us for our indiscretion, lack of trust in you and love for one another.
Almighty King, I have never questioned your wisdom. I am conscious of the fact that nothing happens without your approval. So, I am aware that we are suffering today because we failed to do that which was right. I know we missed several opportunities in the past to become a prosperous nation - beyond where we are at present. We should have been among the richest economies in the world. That was your plan for Nigeria. But, alas, 50 years down the line, we are still grouped among the poor nations of the world. Evidence abound that we earned sufficient resources to make Nigeria great. But see where corruption and insensitivity have quarantined us!
Father, like the Israelites of old, we have groped in the dark for five decades.
We have moved forth and back in search of our identity without any hope in sight. The Israelites suffered the same fate: they wandered for over four decades in search of the Promised Land - the Land of Canaan that flowed with milk and honey. Despite their idolatry, stubbornness, and naivety, you still pardoned them and rescued them. You did this because they were your people - a chosen race. Our own sins are worse than those of the Israelites. We have behaved in a most uncanny and wicked manner. We even deserve that you wipe us out of the face of the earth because of our sins and rebellion against you. But what will destroying us gain for you? Out of anger you destroyed the world during the time of Noah, yet you regretted your action. Have pity upon the people of Nigeria and save us from the impending doom.
God in Heaven, you have the divine power to change the misfortunes that have befallen us and turn it into blessing. At various times, when our nation had come near self-destruction, you had intervened and saved her. The first time was in the 60's - a few years after independence - when the forces of darkness attempted to dislocate the bond that held us together. There were two bloody coups in which many precious lives were lost. After this unfortunate period our nation was plunged into a 30-month Civil War in which thousands of innocent lives were lost. Up till date, we are yet to recover fully from the war. The second time was in 1993, after the annulment of the June 12 presidential elections believed to have been won by Chief Moshood Abiola. Despite the confusion that trailed the annulment you still spared us.
Help us Father, the water is coming swiftly up to our necks - threatening to drown us. We are in deep despair. We have prayed together as a people since 1993 when the PRAYER FOR NIGERIA IN DISTRESS was released by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria. Through that prayer and other acts of penance you have continued to hold us together. Spare us, Lord. Do not allow the world to gloat over our distress.
Have pity upon us, O Lord, for we have sinned and come short of your glory. In less than eight months from now, the voters will troop out to elect new leaders for our nation. Painfully, nothing concrete has been done to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has done nothing yet for the staging of the elections. The laws to govern the elections and the constitutional amendments are yet to be completed. What shall we do? These matters, from my estimation, are beyond our control as humans. We have done our best, but our best is not good enough.
Step in, right now, Father, and help us. With your help we can overcome the present circumstances. If we depend on our human strength as we had always done our industry will be in vain. Our people cannot afford another round of mismanagement of resources and lacklustre leadership, which is what our efforts will amount to if you allow the charade of the past to recur. Touch the hearts of our leaders to know that their choice by the people was a reposition of trust and, therefore, they should govern with your fear. Give the new INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, and his team the courage and wisdom to discharge their duty diligently. Kill the bug of corruption, malfeasance and devilry so that it will not afflict them with its deadly virus. Make their tenure smooth and peaceful so that in the end we will have cause to glorify you. I bring our President, Goodluck Ebelechukwu Azikiwe Jonathan, and all those who work with him, into your holy presence.
Bless and guide every step they take for the smooth governance of Nigeria. Make them appreciate the enormity of the task you have placed upon their shoulders so that they will do their best to re-steer the ship of state. Remove all men and women who may want to influence Mr. President negatively. Destroy the plots of these wicked people and shield him from the snare of these fowlers. You brought him at this time in our nation's history to make a mark. May his tenure not witness any disaster! Grant him the wisdom you granted to King Solomon and make him obey you. Fortify him with your grace to understand that the interest of the nation should transcend personal, parochial dispositions. Cover him with the Precious Blood of Jesus and prolong his life.
I bring the people of Nigeria to you, my Lord and my God, for special blessing today. Lift us up from our sorrows and rekindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Holy Spirit and strengthen our faith. Banish fear from our hearts and grant us the courage to discharge our civic duties to our nation with utmost patriotism. Destroy in us the spirit of corruption, wickedness, greed and avarice. Make us understand the evil in colluding with forces of darkness to rig elections. Save us from hunger, poverty and want. Give us our daily bread and restore the dignity of our nation. Do not take your Holy Spirit away from us. Make us love one another as you have loved us.
I call upon you, Father, to look into the security situation in our nation. No place is safe again. Your people go to sleep with their two eyes open for fear of robbers, kidnappers and other evil people who have vowed to destroy us. Kidnappers have turned human beings into animals whom they take away at will. They ask innocent, hapless victims to cough out huge sums of money as ransom. Take us from their hands and grant us victory over them. Restore peace to the Niger Delta. Sustain the ongoing developmental initiative in the region, for a labourer is entitled to his wages. The people of the region have suffered injustice for too long. Now that it has touched the hearts of our leaders to remember them may nothing constitute any barrier to all that is planned for the growth and development of that region!
Almighty and ever-living God, grant every segment of our society peace, progress and safety. Bless the works of our hands and grant us love. Shield us from natural disasters and accidents as we commute daily from one place to another. Grant us peace in our days. See, how evil men have planted the seed of hatred and discord among us. We kill one another and destroy one another's properties as if we belong to different countries. Restore peace, particularly to the once-peaceful city of Jos, which has been in turmoil for over a year now. Cement the bond of unity among the various ethnic groups in Plateau State and make them understand that differences in tongue should not constitute any barrier to peaceful co-existence.
I bring before your majestic throne, God almighty, our military men and women. Imbue in them the fire of your love and renew their strength to continue to protect the territorial integrity of our great nation. Remove every thought that will make them abdicate their statutory responsibility and chase shadow. Give them the gentility of heart to tolerate the provocations of the political class, and defend our fragile democracy. I pray for the Police Force and other paramilitary agencies. Let them understand the importance of their duties to the development and growth of our nation. Do not allow them to engage in acts capable of sabotaging the interest of the nation and the Nigerian people. Protect their personnel from harm and grant them peace. In the same vein, Lord, I specially request you to grant the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) the courage to discharge their statutory responsibilities without fear or favour such that Nigerians can repose greater confidence in their operations. Remove the spirit of witch-hunt, malice, corruption and manipulation from them and in their place sow justice, fairness and openness.
My Lord, my God, I ask you again to regenerate the consciousness of our nation, especially as it concerns the development of our youth. Make them realise that upon their delicate shoulders lies the future of our nation. Imbue in them the light of your love and destroy their pandering to the dictates of the flesh, which lure them into evils of all kinds, including cultism, crimes, prostitution, drug abuse, and licentiousness. Draw them closer to you and make them more responsible and responsive to their duties to the nation and their fellow human beings.
Lord, I pray for the success of the 2011 elections. Grant our politicians the humaneness to play the game according to the rules. Make them to be alive to their responsibilities and work towards their accomplishment. Expunge from their hearts the evil of corruption and the tendency to manipulate the elections to the detriment of the generality of our people. I have not forgotten our governors and serving legislators at all levels, not excluding those who work with them to make their work easier. Grant the governors the courage to deliver democracy dividends to their people and shun clannishness in the discharge of their mandate. Give wisdom to our legislators to make laws that will fast-track the peace and development of Nigeria.
I will continue to praise your name, Lord, no matter the difficulties I encounter. Give me the fortitude to work, as I have always done, in defence of the weak, poor and defenceless. Shield me from the plots of the evil men who have vowed to work against my progress and the progress of helpless Nigerians. Make me an instrument in your hands as we work to reposition Nigeria.
I trust, Lord, that you will be propitious and grant these requests, including those not remembered, to your honour and glory and the sanctification of humanity, for whom Our Lord Jesus Christ shed His blood. May His death continue to bring sinners back to you!
I make this pray through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.'