Mon. 3rd – Sun. 9th Feb. 2020
Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.Hosea 6: 1
The Church in Nigeria seems closer to a destiny climax than ever, with options for deliverance or devastation. The present sounds in the land and the echoes from the enemies have lately been so ominous that even the blind and the deaf doubt the threats no more. If the Church ever needed to pray, it is in this double-double year of 2020, especially before Easter in April with its worrisome indications of plotted simultaneous tribulations against the land, Haman style. Hear the sounds, see the signs!
In the spirit of Nineveh (Jonah 3: 5-10), the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) therefore calls upon individual Christians and especially leaders of Churches and Christian organisations in Nigeria and across the globe, to participate in the 3rd edition of the National Fasting and Prayers of Repentance which shall take place from Monday 3rd – Sunday 9th February, 2020. Participants may decide when and how to pray and break their fast, according to respective abilities, but each shall at least have skipped their breakfast.
THE MISSING LINK – REPENTANCE
The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) has twice called the Church in Nigeria to repentance, in 2018 and 2019. NCEF is calling again in 2020 for heartfelt repentance and a change of attitude that will promote righteousness in the Church as well as in the nation.
The spiritual root of the crisis in Nigeria is the controversy between God and His people. God has been warning for years, but Christians, particularly some influential Church leaders, seem to have taken little heed. The current distress is not merely politics or ethnic hegemony; it is the Word of God overtaking Nigeria. In September 14, 2013, God warned, “If care is not taken, in 30 – 40 years, Nigeria will be like Turkey.” The signs are already here. Back then in 2013, no one would have imagined that what is currently going on in Nigeria could ever take place. Three years later, God spoke again that disaster was creeping into the country. In November 2016, the Word came that “Nigerian Christians are praying and fasting but they are not repenting.” God wants His people to be penitent and to produce fruits meet for repentance.
THE NEED FOR REPENTANCE
God’s standard of holiness and righteousness remains sacrosanct through all ages. None can substitute glamour for holiness neither will God accept charisma for character. Titles and positions in the church are not God’s yardstick for righteousness.
Whenever a people violate the righteousness of God, they pay with the loss of peace. “The work of righteousness shall be peace” (Isaiah 32: 17). God ties righteousness to peace. Whenever people violate God’s righteousness, He withdraws His peace. If there is no righteousness in the Church, how will Nigeria have peace?
POINTS FOR REPENTANCE
▪Neglect of the Word of God – Nigeria’s Christians ignored the early warnings from God about the present regime, and audaciously acted contrary to Divine counsel. The current distress could have been avoided had Christians obeyed.
▪Neglect of Persecuted Christians– Matt. 25: 31-46 testifies against Nigeria’s Christians for the neglect of their persecuted brethren.
▪Neglect of Righteousness – Nigeria’s Christians permitted ungodly and unrighteous men into offices in the Church, polluting the sanctuary of God. Some have even brought into the temple ‘the image that provokes to jealousy.’
▪Neglect of Sanctification in the Priesthood - In the Old Testament, when individuals sinned, they sacrificed goats. However, on the Day of Atonement, a bull was required to atone for the sins of the nation. Interestingly, for the sins of the High Priest, a bull was also sacrificed, as if God equated the sin of the High Priest with that of the nation. When a spiritual leader sins, therefore, everyone under his spiritual influence, by implication, equally stands stained, and all are punished together (1 Chronicles 21:1-17). Nigeria’s Christians require penitent and righteous spiritual leaders, to turn back the wrath of God upon the land.
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear (Isaiah 59: 1-2)
AWAKE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS - 1 Cor. 15: 34
· In 2019, five pastors were recorded on social media, using the same woman to display the same fake miracle. What did the Church do? Nothing.
· In the last edition of lewd Big Brother Naija, it was reported that all the participants claimed Christianity as religion. What did the Church do? Nothing.
· A pastor was arrested by the Police in Abuja for selling anointing oil for N1 million a bottle. What did the Church do? Nothing.
· Another pastor in Abuja was alleged to have been charging N50,000 per person to swim in a miracle pool. What did the Church do? Nothing.
· Nigerian Christians have become permissive and indifferent to iniquity, and God laments, “None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity” (Isaiah 59:4).
The 2020 National Fast/Prayers of Repentance will also launch a 24/7 Prayer Initiative for Nigeria. Respective Christian groups and individuals across the globe will choose a 30-minute prayer slot within the 24 hours of the day. That prayer schedule is to be sustained during the fasting/prayer week and after, tentatively until October 10, 2020. All Christians, churches, and intercessory groups are encouraged to participate and accordingly to enrol at http://csmnigeria.org/nigeriarepents. The current distress and trending threats have stressed the need for Nigeria to be covered with prayers, if the land should have peace. “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint”(Luke 18:1).
The 24/7 prayers is the initiative of Advocates for Freedom and Democracy (AFD), the coalition of Christian groups and fellowships.
COORDINATOR – NIGERIA REPENTS
This year’s National Fasting and Prayers of Repentance shall again be coordinated by Prof. Kontein Trinya ofThe Preacher.
Whereas respective groups and individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora are to decide their own prayer schedules during the week, there should be a general congregation at designated centres from 4 – 6pm (or as appropriate in each community) on the final day, Sunday 9th, to praise God and break bread. More information and schedule of prayers shall soon be available on www.csmnigeria.org
May the Lord hear our prayers and heal our land. Amen.