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The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria on Wednesday urged Christians not to relent in praying for their leaders and the country.

The CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, made the call at the National Christian Centre, Abuja at the end of the three-day fasting and prayer programme declared by CAN against the killings across the country.

Ayokunle said the Bible commanded Christians to pray for the people in authority because all authorities were established by God to accomplish His purpose.

He said interceding for those in authority is not an option but a biblical command that Christian faithful should obey.

He said: “It is also very clear that the ultimate reason for the Biblical instruction to intercede for our leaders is that they might come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

“This (intercession) is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires that all men be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

“I therefore exhort that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

The CAN president said there should be a sense of urgency and consistency in every Christian’s prayer life.

Ayokunle reminded Christians that they do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

He said: “The prince of darkness is firmly and powerfully at work in the affairs of this world, and prayer is our greatest weapon, especially as we pray for those in leadership.”

He added that Christians should prayed for God’s will to be done and for the leadership in Nigerian to seek God and listen to Him.

“We should pray that they would be surrounded by godly counsel and, most important, that our leadership would personally know God and have faith in Jesus Christ alone,” he added.

He advised Christians in the country to remain calm and steadfast in prayers and be vigilant to forestall further attacks.

Ayokunle urged Christians to remain law-abiding, peace-loving and prayerful, but should be on the guard in case of any attack on them.

According to him, Christians should also do what is expected of them by teaching and preaching the gospel of Christ.

He said: “Christ has made it clear to us that we should be peace-loving, we should try to make peace with all men.”

The President, however, expressed optimism that all the prayers prayed would draw the attention of the world to the happenings in the country.

He said: “I urge every Christian that is out here to cry to God almighty.

“I am convinced in my spirit that an end has come to Killings of believers, lives being threatened, villages are being burnt and churches are being pulled down.”

The four-hour long interdenominational prayer and fasting programme against the killings across the country was held simultaneously in major cities across Nigeria.

Church leaders presence at the event included Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan; Coordinating Chaplain of the National Christian Centre, Bishop Peter Ogunmuyiwa; and the Senior Pastor, Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Dr. Paul Enenche.

Others were Rev. Israel Akanji, President of Abuja Conference of the Nigerian Baptist Convention; Bishop Chido Yohana; Rev. Samson Jonah; Bishop Zakakka Bonnet; Bishop Stephen Adegbite; and Rev. Mike Agbon among others.

The leadership of CAN had declared July 9 to 11 as National Day of prayers and fasting programme against the killings across the country.

The association said the decision was hinged on the persistent killings of fellow citizens in general and Christians in particular, mostly in Plateau and Benue States, where mass burial had become the norm.

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