A Prayer for Nigeria

Dear Father,

Today we go out to vote in another President and the Members of Parliament. Thank you, Father God, for your mercy over Nigeria. Thank you for granting us as a country the privilege to democratically elect another set of leaders. Thank you for the current tenure which is gradually coming to an end.

Thank you for all our leaders, both past and present, and their contributions to this nation. Despite our ethnic and religious differences, often marked with intense hostility and animosity towards one another, you have continued to be merciful to us and have kept us together as one nation over the years. And thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, in whose name intercession is made for Nigeria.

Forgive us, Lord, for the many sins that are committed in Nigeria. By failing to value truth and honesty, scores of innocent lives have been lost tragically. We fail you with our corrupt institutions. Even your children, members of your Body, have often succumbed to the pressures of corruption in this country, where every man seems to seek the filling of his own belly and bank account by whatever means available.

We sin when we value party or tribal affiliations over the sanctity of human life. We tell lies to save our skins, even when the lives of others would be lost in the process. Lord, we turn from these sinful actions and refuse to live this way. Please forgive us and help us to choose love over hate, truth over lies, and life over death.

Lord God, as the election commences today, we ask for eyes that are free from blindness so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters, one and equal in dignity, especially those who are victims of violence, deceit and poverty. Let the wounds of separation and marginalization be healed. Open our hearts to listen to the truth on all sides. May we learn to honor and enjoy our diversity and differences as a people.

In seeking a leader, help us seek for more than development for ourselves or our kinsmen—more than security for our own ethnic groups or tibes—but for the development of the nation at large. Give us insight enough ourselves to choose as leaders those who can tell strength from power, growth from greed, and leadership from dominance. May our leaders inspire us, so we may in turn inspire each other with our potential as individuals and as a nation, that a new spirit of forgiveness, caring, and honesty be born in our nation.

Dear Lord, give us peace in this season. I pray against the post-elections violence that has long characterized our democracy. Help us bring an end to violence and hatred and discord. Teach us to bring justice to the downtrodden, restoration to the marginalized and abused, hope to the hopeless.

Guide all those currently in positions of power and give them the wisdom they need to use their power wisely. Give them the grace to admit when they are are wrong and to seek forgiveness.

Nigeria needs you, O Lord. Hear our cry.


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