Opinion: The role of the Church in nation-building (Part 2)

by Bobby Udoh

In Part 1 of this series, I first addressed why the church has to play a leading role in the task of building a developed Nigeria. This was vitally important because when the church’s leadership and her members understand the why and accept responsibility for Nigeria, they will commit their resources to nation-building and accelerate the attainment of a developed Nigeria.

The key roles of the church in nation-building include:

–          Prayer

–          Messaging

–          Training

–          Healthcare

–          Social Work

–          Advocacy

–          Mobilisation

Over the coming months, I will take on each of the above listed role and discuss in details. For this part, we shall focus on prayer.

Why Prayer?

Whilst many have said that we pray a lot in Nigeria and now need to take action, I have consistently said that we have not really begun to pray for Nigeria. We do pray but almost entirely for our personal needs. So, we do need to start praying for Nigeria.

As it is clear to Christians that prayer is THE core activity, prayers for Nigeria should be given prominent attention and be done consistently. Therefore, we have to begin to pray for Nigeria but must continue to do so even when we’ve attained a First World status.

We need a lot more Churches prioritizing fervent prayers for Nigeria and this mobilisation will lead to an increased consciousness about Nigeria amongst most Christians, by shifting focus from self to the nation.

When the Church (the institution and her members) care about Nigeria and God’s purpose for her, she will commit more time to prayers for Nigeria as the first and most essential activity in nation-building. Interestingly, sometimes it is through regular prayers for Nigeria that the deep love for Nigeria and identification with her God-given purpose will come to some citizens.

What should the church pray about?

Family Leadership: Since the family is the foundation of any society and the critical starting point for building a developed Nigeria, prayers for parents (especially fathers) must be offered. We need to seek God for the restoration of the institution of marriage, Fatherhood and Motherhood. These are at the lowest ebb.

Political Leadership: The Executive and Legislative arms of government at Federal, State and Local Government levels need our specific prayers to ensure more servant leadership will arise within these sectors. They also need wisdom and courage to address the unprecedented times we’ve found ourselves in.

Judiciary: Without effective prayers for the judiciary at all levels of government, our efforts to turn around our fortunes will be seriously hindered.

Traditional Rulers: These leaders, through prayers, can become effective tools for uniting the people within their community, especially those from other regions.

Religious Leaders: They need prayers to ensure they have a change of focus and commit more resources towards the development of Nigeria. They also need to dedicate more messages that will transform their members into nation-builders. Considering the huge influence of religious leaders, their participation in nation-building is critical.

Unity of our nation: One of our biggest hindrances to development and a key incentive for corruption is the rivalry amongst ethnic groups. We need to address our growing disunity in prayers. Through prayers, we will cause the acceptance of Nigeria as a country by many citizens. We can also pray for true reconciliation and brotherly love to be implanted into the hearts of citizens from all regions.

Educational System: Since Education is one of the key bedrocks for nation-building, we need dedicated prayers for all the key stakeholders. They include Heads of schools, teachers, students, government supervisory agencies, examination boards, etc. Through prayers, we can start the restoration of discipline, academic excellence by students, more commitment from teachers, educational opportunities for the less privileged and disabled.

Families: The family provides the best platform for the study, practice and teaching of nation-building. We therefore need to pray for the strengthening of the family structure – Fathers, Mothers, Children and extended family, for nation-building.

Nation-building Core Values: The church must first commit dedicated prayers that will ensure more Nigerians imbibe and exhibit these values in our homes and in public.

Summary

The church is commanded to pray for people in leadership in order for us to reap the benefits of good governance, justice, peace and righteousness. The commandment should not be an add-on activity but a key one undertaken by the church (as individuals and as a corporate gathering).

Let’s be quite clear about this. The first person fervent prayer changes is the one doing the praying. Therefore, when we genuinely and fervently pray for Nigeria as the church should, our old ways of thinking, speaking and acting will be transformed.

When the church fervently prays for Nigeria, her members will be compelled by the burden developed in prayers to seek ways to actualise the change they prayed about. Prayer communicates our nation’s needs to God and also causes us to receive His instruction and wisdom to address one or more of the challenges we face as a nation.

Those who genuinely care about Nigeria and are praying fervently for her to rise up, will commit their lives to the task of building a developed Nigeria. Prayer will always remain the key and therefore the church (her members and leadership) must ask themselves, ‘Do I pray fervently for Nigeria?’

This article was first published HERE

 

Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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