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United in fasting and prayer, the nation went on its knees yesterday, seeking divine intervention to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic which is wreaking havoc globally.
The physical measures put in place by the government to contain the pandemic are being carried out in various facets, but the general belief is that it is important to seek the face of God in all national efforts.
Therefore, in his third address to the nation on the COVID-19 pandemic, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had urged all religious bodies across the country to fast and pray on March 25 to seek the hand of God in the scheme of things, even as the government did its part to curb the spread.
Yesterday, Christians and Muslims, in their own corners, heeded the call to fast and pray.
There were no congregational prayers because of the ban on public gatherings. Nonetheless, religious leaders adopted other means, using modern technology, to reach out with messages of hope to the people.
Keep heads high
In Accra, Albert K. Salia reports that the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, the Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, urged Ghanaians to keep their heads high and not let fear and disillusionment overtake the efforts to overcome the pandemic.
“As we go through this period, I want the public to realise that God has always been in charge of human history and even uses difficult moments to manifest His glory,” he said.
Delivering a message to Ghanaians in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra, the Most Rev. Kwofie reminded Ghanaians that God gave each one the gift of hope, stressing that it was the gift of hope that enabled human beings to go beyond the limitations and difficulties imposed by external factors. such as the COVID-19.
“This is what it means when the Bible tells us that God created us in His own image. He has given us the power that enables us to transcend the limitations, difficulties and disappointments in life,” he declared.
Fear and panic
He said he understood why Ghanaians were living in fear and panic because news of infected cases kept rising.
He, however, said the people should not allow fear to cripple the nation because the government and its leaders had been providing direction to help Ghanaians contain the situation.
The Most Rev. Kwofie reminded Ghanaians of Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans in Romans 5:3-5: “Not only that; let us exalt, too, in our hardships, understanding that hardship develops perseverance, and perseverance develops a tested character, something that gives us hope, and a hope which will not let us down, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.”
He urged Ghanaians to also recognise the presence of God among them and not lose hope in the face of difficulties because He reigned as King and His Son promised to be with us till the end of time.
“When we give ourselves totally to the Great King, He will help us overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Scripture exhorts us: ‘Let us keep firm in the hope we profess, because the one who made the promise is trustworthy.’ (Heb 10:23) Like the Israelites, our daily prayer will be: ‘Take all suffering and affliction from us, and be Thou our only King’,” he exhorted Ghanaians.
The Apostle General of the Royalhouse Chapel International, Rev. Sam Korankye Ankrah, called for calmness among Ghanaians, reports Getrude Ankah Nyavi.
He said there was nothing impossible for the Almighty God to do.
In a message sent to the Daily Graphic, titled: “The battle is not yours”, Rev. Ankrah described yesterday as “a victorious day” because of the fast and was optimistic that God would heal the land of the disease.
He added that the Lord who delivered the land into the hands of the Israelites would deliver the nation from the deadly disease.
The Apostle General also had an online service to mark the day.
Prayer and science needed
The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, the Rt Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said the church fully participated in the events of the day.
He said both science and prayer were needed in situations like this, adding: “That is why I am so happy that the President himself called on all of us to fast and pray.”
He said this was not the time to panic or criticise but to support with action and prayer.
“God will not leave us alone. He is Emmanuel and He is still on the throne,” he said.
Samuel Duodu reports from Tamale that members of both Christian and Muslim communities yesterday observed the national day of fasting and prayer.
Some residents of the metropolis who spoke to the Daily Graphic said it was a good exercise to seek God’s intervention at this moment.
Mr Joshua Amehi, an insurance broker and Christian, said he observed the fasting and prayer from 6 a.m. to 12 noon.
“It was a good call by the President for us to pray and fast for our country and the world at this crucial moment. In a way, we have to seek God’s intervention and also adhere to the directives give and the precautionary measures,” he said.
Mr Abraham Ali, who said he could not fast for health reasons, indicated that he, nevertheless, prayed for God to save the nation from any calamity.
“I think this national day of fasting and prayers should be on the calendar of the nation and be observed once a year,” he said.
Mr Latif Iddrisu, a Muslim, said it was a good exercise and should be instituted as an annual event.
A businesswoman at the Tamale Central Market, Hajia Safia, said she observed the national day of prayer and fasting because she believed that Allah would intervene.
The Northern Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Abdul Salaam Ahmed, said all Muslims were asked by the National Chief Imam to observe the day and the message was passed onto all Imams in the region to inform their people to observe the day for Allah’s intervention.
Some church leaders of the various Christian denominations in the metropolis who interacted with the Daily Graphic said the message was passed on to their members through their various social media handles on the need to observe the day.
The Head Pastor of Winners’ Chapel International, Pastor John Theophilus, said he connected with members of the church through the Internet to observe the day, noting that he was optimistic “we will overcome as a nation”.
Some churches in Ho took part in the national exercise through technology, while some individuals fasted and prayed on their own, reports Mary Anane Amponsah.
The Dela Cathedral of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Ho and the Ho Housing branch of ICGC had specially arranged prayer sessions that took into consideration the ban on social gathering.
Source: Ghana News