Clerics across religious groups have launched 21-days of fasting and prayers to seek divine intervention for an end to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic and the success of Nigeria’s military against Boko Haram terrorists.
The clerics, under the aegis of National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace (NIFROP) said the fasting and prayers will be remotely held with prayers sessions streamed online to conform with the requirement for social distancing as part of measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
This round of fasting and prayer, which kicks off today is significantly different from previous prayer sessions held by the group for which its members congregated to pray while urging those that cannot be physically present to pray from their homes.
Bishop Sunday Garuba, who is NIFROP’s President said “For the fasting and prayers we have launched, clerics of the Christian and Muslim faiths will be joining the prayers from across the country and from several other locations from across the world. We are mindful of the need for social distancing at a time like this so each person will pray from the confines of their homes while we all connect through online streaming of key activities. In fact, we urge all faithful to obey the directive to stay at home and observe social distancing.
“This fasting and prayers is our contribution and support for the ongoing global efforts to prevent the killer Coronavirus from spreading and killing more people. We will be interceding for God to divinely stop the virus in its track while giving knowledge to our doctors and scientists to find the weak point of the virus and be able to develop solutions, be it vaccines or cures. Humanity needs the mercy and compassion of God at a time like this.
“We are assured by the words of God in 1 John 5:14 that says, ‘And this is the confidence that we have toward him (God), that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.’ We are going to use our prayer session to ask God for forgiveness, as God for an end to the plague of CoronaVirus, ask God for healing and recovery”.
Bishop Garuba revealed that NIFROP, which is also known as the Unity Church and Unity Masjid, will be using the period to support vulnerable families with food items and direct cash transfer to those who have fallen on hard times within the period.
He explained that, “During the 21 days, the Unity Church and Unity Masjid will be embarking on intercession for God’s intervention, we will also distribute food stuffs with other essential palliatives and cash transfers on a daily basis to indigent families”.
On the ongoing military efforts to clear Boko Haram out of Nigeria, Bishop Garuba stressed that NIFROP will specifically pray for the troops and their commanders to succeed in their quest to restore the northeast of Nigeria into an area where people are free to worship God according to their conviction.
He said the prayers will expose more about those that have been hiding behind Boko Haram and using the terrorists to torment Nigerians.