Tomorrow, Friday April 10, 2015 has been declared Fast and Prayer Day, a national holiday. According to a Proclamation by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Day is being set aside “as a day of supplication, prayer, fasting and meditation” to acknowledge God’s deliverance and to implore His continued blessings upon the nation and people.
We think the early fathers were wise in setting aside a special day for fast and prayer, for despite our many pitfalls, it is a fact that this nation has been created and sustained throughout its turbulent history by God Himself.
Who led Joseph Jenkins Roberts, at the young age of 20, brilliant, hardworking and purposeful, with a liberal education, aboard a ship, The Harriet, along with many others, bound for the Grain Coast on March 24, 1829? God!
Who, in the face of serious threats from the indigenous majority who seriously suspected the intentions of the settlers, raised up a powerful and influential Chief named Boatswain, to come to the rescue of the hapless immigrants and save the colony that later became Africa’s first Independent Republic? God!
Who, in the face of gunboat threats by the powerful British Empire against the tiny, extremely insecure Commonwealth of Liberia, led J.J. Roberts to convene a Constitutional Convention in January, 1847 to decide on the creation of a sovereign, independent State? God!
Who led this serious minded patriot to be chosen over a brilliant lawyer, S. Benedict, to become Liberia’s first President who, because of his astute and effective leadership abilities, was called back five times to serve as President? God!
Who, despite the vicious territorial aggrandizement by the great colonial powers to the west, the east and the south, chopping of huge chunks of Liberia’s territory, left us yet with 43,000 square miles of green, mineral-rich acreage and 350 miles of coastline? God!
Who led President Daniel E. Warner, in 1864, attempting to rescue a dwindling population faced with disease and death, to invite people from the West Indies, Barbados, in particular, to migrate to Liberia in 1865? Among that group came several great men—Arthur Barclay, Edwin Barclay, proclaimed to be our most gifted President, Louis Arthur Grimes, an erudite jurist, and Albert Porte, whose prophetic writings tried, for nearly 60 years, to save Liberia from self-destruction? God!
Who led President Daniel E. Howard, after Germany bombed the French Cable on Snapper Hill, to call the people to their churches to toll the bells to seek God’s urgent, divine intervention to save this tiny, weak nation from extinction? God!
Who saved us from colonization by either Britain or France, or both, during the Fernando Po crisis in 1930? Through Edwin Barclay and Grimes—God!
Who has yet sustained us as a sovereign nation and people, despite our failure to use our immense God-given human and natural resources to pull our people out of poverty and backwardness? God!
Who was it that raised up foreign friends, both from Africa and worldwide to save us from fratricidal strife? God!
Who is it that has now saved us once again from the strange, unknown but deadly enemy called Ebola, that in a matter of weeks killed thousands of our people and viciously disrupted our livelihood, including the economy? God!
Who, despite the doomsday predictions of Armageddon, by some during which 8000 Liberians would die per week—that would have been 24,000 per month!— who has led us to the fast approaching end of this deadly scourge? God!
Shall we then, having been so richly blessed in so many ways by our beneficent Creator, not gather in our homes, churches and mosques to fast and pray in worship, praise and thanksgiving to this gracious and good God? Surely, we must.
In our fasting and praying tomorrow, Friday, April 10, 2015, let us implore this gracious, powerful and righteous God to change our minds and attitudes from animosity, corruption, deceit, envy, greed, hatred, selfishness and unpatriotic actions to love—love for God, for one another and for country. Let us pray for leadership, present and future, that will pull us out of poverty and backwardness and lead us, at long last, to our cherished dream of development and prosperity.
And let us yet ever proclaim, “To God be the glory!”