Praying for my country: Jesus’ example!
It is very important for us to consider this week’s article, which is a continuation of a topic we started three weeks ago, from the angle of Jesus’ example. The reason for this is that this is Easter period, a period that reminds us of the many sufferings which Jesus had to go through in order to salvage us from the penalty of death and destruction. Yes, it is imperative to look at this topic that borders on prayer from the perspective of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, especially as we remind ourselves that the life we live today was ‘bought’ at a time like this at the cross of Calvary.
Whenever I think of Easter period, one of the many thoughts that come to my mind is that I owe my Lord Jesus Christ everything about me; everything I am; everything I have possessed; everything I will acquire and everything I will ever be. This period reminds me that, many thousand years ago, a man went the way of the cross in order to make me who I am today. It reminds me of the fact that I would have been nothing if Jesus Christ did not accept the choice of sacrificing His life for my sake.
For me, Easter celebration is a period for us to sit down at the table of meditation and think of our lives with a view to fashioning out a better way we should serve this man, who did for us that which we could not do for ourselves. He paid the price for our sins and gave us the hope of eternal life. Hence, we owe Him, not only our lives, but everything that we hold sacred, everything about us. Of a truth, all our bragging and the blowing of trumpet about our success and acquisition of wealth would not have been possible if Jesus had refused to die for our sins.
Each time I think of living for the sake of others, one thing that encourages me is the reality that nothing about me would have been possible if somebody had not sacrificed His joy, His comfort, His throne, His status and His Kingly position just to make sure that I am what I am and where I am today. I will forever remain indebted to Him and appreciative of that singular, yet salient fact. Jesus did it all!
My dear readers, this week’s article is not only a reminder for us to humble ourselves and pray earnestly for our dear country, and especially our leaders, but also a clarion call to let us know that we owe this country everything we could offer in order to make sure that she survives and becomes exactly what she was created to be. Nigeria, no doubt, was created to be great, to be prosperous and to be the envy of other countries but, unfortunately, we have failed God and also failed ourselves.
I decided to call our attention to this singular point this week and especially this Easter period, because of its intensity in our lives and in the history of Nigeria as a country. Nigeria is a country that is abundantly blessed by God in order to show many other countries the way of and the way to success and wealth creation. Nigeria is a country that is at the centre of God’s heart. Consequently, He has continued to uphold and uplift us in such a way that no other country has ever enjoyed the unfathomable benevolences of His creation more than us.
The unfortunate thing is that we missed the real purpose of our creation and started pursuing things that do not bring us any good. We abandoned God and decided to go our own way, hence, the Holy Spirit left us. We decided to swim in the ocean of pride while Nigeria suffered the greatest shame of a country that has paid deaf ears to the warnings of the prophets. We neglected what we ought to have celebrated and we have resorted to pursuing shadows rather than reality.
Let me categorically say here that Nigeria is big enough to contain all of us and even more and that no one person is bigger than all of us. Nigeria is a country that is so geographically and systematically structured in such a way as to usher in a very great aspect of human existence that can be compared to the biblical Israelites. Nigeria is the Israel of today, loved and cherished by God and ever seated at the centre of God’s heart in such a way that everything that happens in it touches the very heart of God, the Creator.
Have you ever noticed that we Nigerians can survive in every situation? Or have you not realised that, no matter the circumstances surrounding us at any point in time, we are still pushing and flourishing, both as a country and as individuals? This is because God’s hand is mightily upon this country and, as a result of that, no amount of distraction, depression, destruction, diversion and division can ever torment and tear us. God is very much interested in Nigeria!
Based on the above mentioned reality, there has been a great burden in my heart to encourage all of us in order to join hands with me to pray for Nigeria, because this is what Jesus Christ taught us – to pray at all times and in all circumstances. He taught us to pray without ceasing and to make sure that we constantly and continuously remember those in authority in our daily prayers, so that they will realise the need to do the will of God and to serve the people who elected them in order to serve and protect them. Yes, He taught us to even pray for our enemies, as well as give them water when they are thirsty.
I do not know if I am the only person who is seriously pained about the way and manner in which people are killed on daily basis in our country. Furthermore, I am sure that we have also noticed that accidents of every kind, road accidents, domestic accidents, even marital killings, that is destruction of lives in the name of marriage, either that the husband killed his wife or that the wife killed her husband and even her children and then killed herself too, plus all sorts of evil, including people committing suicide because of one flimsy reason or the other. All these have continued to be part of the day-to-day activities in the streets and homes of Nigeria and Nigerians.
My dear readers, are these things not appalling? Are they not strong and/or sorrowful enough as to ignite the passion in us to pray and ask God to intervene in our lives and country? For me, there is no better way to deal with these unfortunate happenings other than for us to pray and there is no better time to do that than now. Prayer is the only force which we can use to defeat the devil and enthrone God’s glory in a country that is divinely created to shine brighter than others. Prayer is the greatest weapon which we can use to send the devil and his cohorts away from Nigeria so as to enjoy our God-given privileges and opportunities. Prayer is our greatest friend when it comes to claiming our inheritances and possessing our possessions. The Bible also made it clear that prayer is the soul’s sincere desire. That is to say that prayer should be a constant appetite as far as we are concerned and as long as building a better Nigeria is concerned. We should use this period of Easter to beckon on God in order for Him to look down from heaven upon us with pity and deliver us. We should see this period as a great opportunity for us to show love to one another and love each just as Christ Jesus loves us. By doing so, our prayers will bear fruits, our Easter will bring more blessings to us and for us and our country will become better and not bitter. Congratulations and Happy Easter celebration!