Nqobile Tshili/ Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Chronicle Reporters
A MAJORITY of Zimbabweans across the country yesterday observed the National Day of Prayer and Fasting for divine intervention from the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Mnangagwa proclaimed June 15 as the National Day of Prayer and Fasting as the country grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The virus has infected more than 8 million people worldwide and killed nearly 440 000.
As of Sunday, Zimbabwe had recorded 383 Covid-19 positive cases including four deaths.
As citizens knelt before God in prayer, they also prayed for improved economic fortunes while others called on God to open the heavens so that Bulawayo can have improved water supplies.
A national prayer event was held at State House in Harare, attended by President Mnangagwa among other senior Government officials and church leaders from various denominations.
In Bulawayo, there was no official gathering but churches instructed their members to pray for the country in their various spaces.
The Roman Catholic Church Bulawayo Archbishop Alex Thomas said the church could not gather to observe the day but encouraged congregants to fast and pray at home or work.
He said citizens were duty bound to pray for the country as praying for the country cannot be limited to a single day.
“Every citizen has a duty to pray for the country, its people and its leaders. Since the call came from the leader of the country to pray, we need to follow the request because it is for the welfare of the people and the welfare of the nation. We need to pray every day, not only once. We cannot pray only when there is a crisis. Prayer is an everyday activity so that God can see our genuine faith and bless us,” he said.
Methodist Church in Zimbabwe Bishop for Bulawayo District Reverend Matthew Ncube said as church they are fully behind the National Day of Prayer and Fasting. He said while the church prayed against Covid-19, the church also looked at problems affecting the country and prayed so that God can intervene in those areas.
“Our priority prayer points today include victory over the invisible enemy Covid-19 so that the Lord can protect the citizenry from this global threat. We are also praying for a prosperous and healthy Zimbabwe. The church in Bulawayo is praying against persistent droughts, national calamities and the rains so that Bulawayo will have adequate water supplies,” he said.
Rev Ncube said the church was guided by 2 Chronicles Chapter 7 verse 14 which states: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
The Association of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe (AACZ) an umbrella body of apostolic sects said the nation should put aside political difference in prayer.
ACCZ president Archbishop Tsungai Vushe said Covid-19 knows no religious sects hence citizens need to come together in fighting the deadly pandemic.
“As a nation, it is our role to pray to God so that he helps us and intervene in this situation of Covid-19 that we are faced with. This disease does not care which party you belong to as it affects us all here thus as the children of Zimbabwe we must come together despite our differences and come together in prayer so that God can hear our prayers,” said Archbishop Vushe.
Zimbabwe Amalgamated Council of Churches (ZACC) patron Mr Jimayi Muduvuri said the nation should not just hold prayer sessions during pandemics, but all the time for continued prosperity.
In Matabeleland South, the National Day of Prayer and Fasting was held at the Brethren in Christ Church (BICC) in Gwanda, with the event being graced by the Provincial Affairs Minister Abednego Ncube and various church leaders.
Minister Ncube commended the church leaders for coming together in praying for the nation.
“I would like to thank our pastors for leading such an important event. I would also like to thank all those who attended for coming and also observing social distancing. I urge all people from the province to make it a habit to pray in general and also for our nation. People should also ensure they attend church,” said Minister Ncube.
Church leaders in the province called for citizens to pray for the prosperity of the country. — @nqotshili — @DubeMatutu