Clergymen who participated in the 2015 National Fast & Prayer day service have stressed the need for Liberians to confess and repent sinful acts that do not reflect the true image of God and Christianity.
Although there are other religious groups and beliefs in the country, the Christian congregation that converged at the historic Providence Baptist Church, the nation’s oldest church, believes that there are moral virtues that all must go by in making a country Godly.
The clergymen, in their prayers for the nation, stressed that corruption, blood shedding, (for ritualistic purposes), discrimination, injustice and rape are some ills that both Christian teachings and those of other religious groups frown upon.
One of the clergymen, Presbyterian Moderator, Rev. Sando Townsend, compared Liberia to Nineveh in the days of Prophet Jonah, noting that when Jonah confronted the king after delaying to reach the city, the king and everyone in the country went into fast and prayer, confessing their sins and repenting and thereby averted God’s threatened punishment upon them.
Others in their prayers underscored that God is not just compassionate, but is a God of justice, and that there is no way blessings will flow amid grave sins widespread in the nation.
The Christians earnestly prayed for God’s intervention in making Liberia free of grave societal sins, and called on Liberians to adopt moral standards that will represent God in the land.
In his Fast & Prayer sermon, Rev. Dr. Matthew Armah Jaiah of the S. Trowen Nagbe United Methodist Church stressed that the fast and prayer themes of self-respect, high esteem, devotion, and other virtues constitute glory.
He, however, noted that today’s church in Liberia is troubled because members are not living in accordance with what God desires and are not preaching the word of God.
He stressed that all sorts of evil deeds now fill the church and such cannot allow God’s glory to fill the temple as it did as recorded in Exodus 14: 34.
Preaching on the theme, “After glory what next?” Rev. Jaiah urged Liberian Christians to live above reproach and manifest those values that are acceptable to God and not to take the name of the Lord in vain.
In his statement to members of the Liberia Council of Churches and the Christian community, LCC president, the Most Rev. Dr. Jonathan B.B. Hart, recalled the intervention of God in the Ebola scourge that faced Liberia last year and said it is necessary to “give glory the God for the great things He has done.”
Archbishop Hart thanked the Liberian churches for their role in devoting time to pray for the country to be freed of Ebola, warning that Ebola was still around and people should observe all health protocols.
Rev. Dr. Nuwoe-James Kiamu of the Liberia Association of Theological Institutions recounted that when Great Britain threatened Liberia in 1882, all government officials along with the President became speechless and frightened, and called for fast and prayer to ask God to deliver the country.
“Liberia could not withstand the British, but God’s intervention delivered the country and its sovereignty was maintained. It is based on this that the Legislature passed the bill setting aside a day in April to be observed as Fast & Prayer day,” he said.
The Fast & Prayer service was attended by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan, outgoing Education Minister Etmonia David-Tarpeh and a few officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
No Legislator attended the Fast & Prayer, something that led the first vice president of the Liberia Council of Churches, Rev. Dr. Kortu Brown to state that the behavior of the country’s Legislators is contrary to the laws they pass.
He also noted that the view some Christians have to make Liberia a Christian nation did not begin with the Liberia Council of Churches, but a practice of democracy.
Fast & Prayer was declared in 1883 by an act of the Legislature following a threat by Great Britain to undermine Liberia’s sovereignty during the administration of Alfred F. Russell.