Special Adviser to the President on Media, Femi Adesina (left); General Superintendent, Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi; his wife, Esther; Wife of former Head of State, Mrs. Victoria Gowon, her husband/Covener, Nigeria Prays, General Yakubu Gowon, and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Elenamah at the Special National Prayer Service at Deeper Life Bible Church, Gbagada in Lagos…yesterday.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari; former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and the General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi on Sunday expressed optimism that the nation will overcome her numerous challenges.

Nigeria, in recent time has been engrossed in serious security challenges, which led to the massacre of over 44 soldiers by Boko Haram terrorists; economic challenges, among others.

However, the trio expressed optimism that things would soon change for the better as the nation took her problems to God in prayer.

Speaking at a Special National Prayer Service organized by Nigeria Prays at the Deeper Life Bible Church headquarters, Gbagada area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, Buhari said this was the right time for Nigerians to pray for the nation so that things would move in the right direction.

The president, whose speech was read by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said there was the urgent need for Nigerians to pray for peace and unity and prosperity of the nation.

Buhari stated that Nigeria definitely had challenges, but that the challenges were not bigger than God, adding that “we will overcome, whether security challenges, economic or otherwise.”

Speaking, Gowon said with the general election looming ahead, it was natural for people to become anxious and fearful of what the future held for Nigeria in the light of wanton killings in the land, be these politically motivated or executed by the dark agents of insurgency, Boko Haram or by armed cattle herdsmen and rustlers.

“Aside the challenges of politics, there is also the problem of economic hardship that has not only made the poor poorer, but drastically reduced the quality of life of even the rich or politically influential. More than ever before, there is great need for us-children of God; men and women of faith, young and old to come together to pray and intercede for our dear nation and its people,” he said.

Gowon charged Christians not to ever resort to retaliation that would lead to religious war despite provocation and threats for the sake of the country, urging the authority to provide the necessary physical protection for all while their prayers and christian love would provide the ultimate peace accord.

“Praise must rise to God in unity from every corner of the Nigerian church to combat the forces that militate against the progress of the nation. God’s solution to the problems of this country is not to be found only in guns, retaliation or physical weapons, but in the Holy Spirit-directed, believing and prevailing prayer from His people who are willing to confess and forsake sins and embrace righteousness,” he said.

He urged the Nigerian church to embrace the spirit of love, patriotism and commitment to the good of the nation irrespective of political party or religious affiliations or tribal difference, saying that as citizens, “we all have important roles to play in the development of our nation.”

Gowon said concerns being raised by Christians about the spate of killings in Nigeria should not be ignored, urging the government to rise to the occasion.

“We must continually demand that government be seriously alive to its primary responsibility of the protection of life and property of all citizens. While government is encouraged to do the needful, people of faith also must be encouraged to win over unnecessarily angry and violent people with the force of love,” he said.

Also speaking, Kumuyi said there is hope for the nation and that her challenges would certainly be overcomed if Christians would pray and seek the face of the Lord in repentance.

According to Kumuyi, Nigeria’s problems were not insurmountable, but stressed the need for turning away from all sins and humbleness of heart before God could heal the land.

“Our wicked ways brought us to our present predicaments. We are reaping today the life-threatening fruits of the death-dealing seeds we sowed yesterday. To keep on taking the poison whose deadly effect the doctor is treating is suicidal. Turning from our wicked ways is the only thing to do so as to prevent self-destruction,” he said.

The man of God emphasized that when the nation turned away from her wicked ways, God would usher in good healthcare system, cause the economy to boom, alleviate poverty in the land; boost arts, culture and social reform as well as entrenchment of the rule of law, justice, industrialisation, good education and research; usher in national peace, security, equity and good governance.

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