A wave of prayer has taken over Southern Africa with two countries in the region embarking on national days of prayers in a space of days.
Last week, Zambian churches hosted a National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation themed “Receiving times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord through reconciliation with one another and the environment for a prosperous Zambia.”
On Monday, Zimbabwean First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa took a leaf off the neighbouring country’s spiritual book and also hosted a National Day of Prayer at the State House. Among many of the national issues interceded for at the ceremony were peace, reconciliation, economic revival, the removal of West-imposed sanctions, cultural decadence, natural disasters, an end to violence and all forms of abuse, and wisdom for political leaders.
The gathering was the first of its kind at State House since independence in 1980 and was open to everyone regardless of church sect or political affiliation. Over 1,000 believers from over 300 apostolic sects, mainline churches, Evangelical churches and Zionist church denominations attended the engagement.
The prayer session was organised by the First Office with the help of a committee selected from different churches countrywide, owing to the contributions made by churches in nation-building, upholding morality, fostering unity and peace.
Addressing attendees donning her Methodist Church uniform, the First Lady implored the nation to be prayerful to unlock blessings for peace, development and unity. She urged various religious denominations to regularly pray for the nation.
“Matthew 18 verse 20 reads; For where two or more people gather in my name, there am I with them.’ I am happy that today we are gathered here as one family calling to God to hear our prayers. As the First Lady, I have invited you to this event where we are launching this prayer event at State House. This is the first time such an event has happened at State House,” she said.
According to her, the Monday prayer meeting marks the beginning of regular such meetings every month on a date to be agreed on by the churches.
“I know you have been doing this already, but we have to do this as one family. We are calling for revival and blessings upon our country,” said the First Lady, adding that churches had a vital role to play in fostering peace and unity through sharing burdens and standing genuinely for each other.
“Our country is currently working to restore its place among other nations, so we should pray for the Government and the church’s leadership so that they get wisdom from God when discharging their duties.”
Speaking at the same event, President Mnangagwa said it was only God who “knows what every country needs”.
“It is also written in the holy books that those who pray in His name, He will listen to them. He is a merciful God who will hear all our prayers. Whenever I get a chance, I always preach about peace, love, unity and harmony. This dovetails with what churches stand for. They also preach about peace, love and harmony,” he said, adding that he had never seen such an event happening at State House.
The president said freedom of worship was enshrined in the constitution also urged everyone to maintain peace and to love one another and that God is the one who appoints leaders.
He went on to say that leaders should also know that the people they lead are not theirs but God’s people.
Apart from the First family, bishops, pastors and church leaders also took turns to preach and pray on the selected prayer points, calling on the nation to look up to the heavens for solutions to the problems Zimbabwe is facing. The church leaders appealed to President Mnangagwa to declare the National Day of Prayer a national holiday to enable the whole nation to pray to ask God to rescue Zimbabwe.
National director of African Evangelistic Enterprise Zimbabwe, Bishop Guide Makore, said the day should be declared a public holiday because the country is pinning its hopes on the Almighty.
“We are appealing to the First Family to declare the National Day of Prayer a public holiday because as Zimbabwe, our hope is in God,” said Makore.
Zion Christian Church (ZCC) leader Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi preached on confession and reflection, while Bishop Regina Katsande of the Christian Marching Church touched on peace, love and reconciliation.
Other preachers were Bishop Andrew Wutawunashe from Family of God Church, Prophetess Memory Matimbire of the Daughters of Virtue and the famous Ndadhiniwa Nights, Bishop Nyambo of ZAOGA and Mrs Mapuwire from Holy Apostolic Gospel, who said that Zimbabwe will see investors coming in as soon as sanctions imposed on the country by Western powers are lifted.
While the prayer meeting was going, the Twitter world was up in flames with many users either applauding or rubbishing communion as a futile exercise.
Here are some of the reactions:
God is not in a habit of coming down to solve our problems.Ladies and gentelemen you are the reason were are in this mess. Provide good quality leadership and God bless you.#Asakhe pic.twitter.com/qtq4yYQLg9
— Zenzele (@zenzele) October 22, 2019
Dear Zimbabweans. Prayers are not a substitute for Terrible Leadership and corruption. It can’t pic.twitter.com/YGdutvThoQ
— African (@ali_naka) October 22, 2019
Mnangagwa promised to be different & to provide economic solutions to this crisis.
Today they were praying for sanctions to go!
This is why other continents laugh at Africa & it’s leadership.
It is because of this lunacy that we are all seen as lacking in reasoning! Tragic! pic.twitter.com/irs73omOS7
— Hopewell Chin’ono (@daddyhope) October 21, 2019
The Church mustn’t allow itself to be co-opted by the State. It should remain an independent moral compass that denounces evils such as corruption & the murder of civilians by the police. No amount of prayer without political reform will cause sanctions to be lifted.
— Fadzayi Mahere 🇿🇼 (@advocatemahere) October 21, 2019
Advocate, these pple are not praying, they are gathered for some occultic ritual in response to those praying against evil altars in the country.The Zanu-PF members who called for the gathering know the real purpose while the spiritually blind ‘church pple’s varikuitiswa. https://t.co/vQCpW5LN3L
— mawarire jealousy (@mawarirej) October 21, 2019
NAJEHOVAH ZVINOITA CHETE!
Thousands of people from over 300 denominations and Government officials have gathered at State House for a National Day
of prayer which is being spearheaded by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa.pic.twitter.com/vfBXbGfY3w
— Shylet Maganga (@shurugwian) October 21, 2019
Another productive day at the office for Zimbabwe’s hard working executive! Praying for the exorcism of evil sanctions. An astonishing exercise in political theatre and futility.
The lies about sanctions, what they are and their impact are now on steroids! pic.twitter.com/qDs6tunLXE
— Piers Pigou (@PiersPigou) October 21, 2019
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