THOUSANDS of people belonging to various Christian denominations, including members of apostolic sects, yesterday attended a national day of prayer spearheaded by First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa to pray for the nation in Caledonia, Mashonaland East Province, as part of her tireless efforts to sow the seeds of peace, love and harmony in the nation.
Amai Mnangagwa has been holding such events across the country’s provinces.
Several traditional chiefs from the province also attended the prayer meeting.
Church leaders promised to continue working together for the good of the communities they serve and the nation at large.
It was a marvel to watch the worshippers, only distinguishable by their different uniforms, reading bibles and hymn books while sitting side-by-side as they offered thanks and praises to the Lord.
Some churches which were previously not part of the Prayer for Zimbabwe Network which is a brainchild of the First Lady, joined in, showing how Christians have fully embraced Dr Mnangagwa’s efforts to unite the nation through prayer.
Various church choirs took turns to lead in praise and worship.
Yesterday’s national day of prayer was held under the theme “Even if we are hard pressed by countless challenges including man-made ones, we will keep doing good to all mankind for it is the will of God.”
In her remarks at the colourful event, the First Lady emphasised the need to seek the Lord in times of challenges to curb drug abuse, gender-based violence, diseases among other challenges.
She urged the nation to be vigilant and always be prepared for the second coming of Christ.
“I feel highly blessed to be with you here today as we have come to the house of the lord in order for us to fellowship with our creator once again in yet another national day of prayer,” she said.
“There is no joy greater than this and psalmist David said ‘Indeed it is good to be in the house of the Lord’. This is not just an ordinary day, but it is one of the days that we gather as one nation and seek counsel of the King of kings.
“We want to pray like never before. We need divine intervention from the Almighty God. We want our Lord to lead the way and bring peace and healing to our beloved Zimbabwe.”
Dr Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans should be known as peace-makers and strive for tranquillity in their households, the community and society at large.
“Our Lord and personal Saviour Jesus Christ in Matthew Chapter 5 proclaims that blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God,” she said. “As parents, we are grieving for our children like Rachel weeping for her sons and daughters and refusing to be comforted as foreseen by the Prophet Jeremiah.
“Our children have fallen prey to alcoholism, drug and substance abuse. They are no longer making constant decisions about their lives with the future in their mind. Vana vedu vari kutirwadzisa. Nhasi tauya kuzochema kuna Musiki kuti nhai musikiwee tibatsirei mukudzoreredza vana nekuti Mwari ndimi makatipa vana ava, ndimi musiki wavanhu ndimi musiki wedzinyika. We need God to intervene in our families.”
Amai Mnangagwa said mothers must always be vigilant and not be found wanting.
“Mothers let us be vigilant and always be prepared for the second coming of Christ. Ngatigarei takagadzirira nekurongeka mudzimba dzedu much like the 10 virg_ins in Matthew chapter 25 it is important for us to be like the five wise virgins who remained vigilant and alert in securing extra oil that kept their lamps alight till the advent of the bridegroom. Mhuri yecaledonia chikomba chirikuuya. Chikomba chirikuuya madzimai. Makagadzirira kuuya kwechikomba here? I am talking to women, are you ready for the arrival of the groom? What is it that you have prepared? What did you prepare? Let us not be like the foolish virgins who only had oil in their lamps and when the time came their light had run out. Let us remain prayerful and hardworking in our households. Let us occupy our spots as mothers because the home is called a home because of a woman. Let us be unifiers,” she said.
Reverend Aaron Makiwa from the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe spoke on “Thanking God for the peace prevailing in the country”.
He read from John 14: 27 and said he was grateful that God had spoken through the First Lady to form the Zimbabwe Prayer Network.
“We are happy that in this country God spoke to our mother and formed this group so that we pray for the nation together,” he said. “We are grateful that our country has peace because war is bloody and destructive and the late singer Simon Chimbetu sang against starting wars.
“We are thankful for this God-fearing, Christian nation. The peace of God that surpasses all understanding must permeate all hearts so that no one can murder others, take drugs, rape or beat a spouse in the home. We are grateful God gave us a God-fearing mother, our mother the First Lady. We will go a long way in peace and unity.”
Pastor Sharon Muzereni of Zaoga weighed in speaking on the need to pursue unity and love.
She read from 2nd Corinthians Chapter 4-8 and expressed gratitude to the mother of the nation for her interventions.
“Amai we are overwhelmed by your love and your vision. Because of the challenges we are facing as a nation, all we need to do is pursue unity and love. If we unite our future as a country becomes bright. We are one family as a nation therefore, let us love one another and pursue unity. Today we say if we speak with one voice, all our plans as a nation will succeed despite the church you belong to. There is God in heaven who hears our cries. Jesus loved us and why can we not love one another,” she said.
“John 17 vs 11 says “….. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.
“Look Zimbabwe, how beautiful it is if people live together in happiness, unity, peace and love. Peace begins with me, peace begins with you, peace begins with us.”
Rev Dr Jeremiah Doyce, the Chaplin General ZRP’s prayer point was prayer against violence of any nature.
He started by thanking the First Lady for the programme and her vision.
Zimbabwe Republic Police Chaplain General, Rev Dr Jeremiah Doyce preaches during the National Day of Prayer organised by First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa in Caledonia yesterday
“We have rejected domestic violence and we also say no to political violence. All forms of violence we say no to this. Even President Mnangagwa is on record denouncing political violence. Zimbabwe is a peace-loving nation,” he said.
Dr Doyce read from Mathew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”.
“To be called the children of God we should preach the gospel of peace. In heaven the church you belong to does not matter because we are all the children of God and this is what our mother did to come up with this vision to worship together as the children of God. Today we have come to correct all bad things that are happening in the country,” he said.
He also read Jeremiah 33 vs 3: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’”
Mrs Muvengwa from ZCC spoke on GBV and praised the First Lady for her visit to Caledonia.
“Amai we thank you for coming to Caledonia. Caledonia will never be the same again. You have left a word in this community and we are thankful for your frequent prayers. I am a secondary school teacher and there is a pupils’ behaviour which shows the child is being stressed,” she said.
“If parents fight this affects the children’s concentration in class also a child might find solace in drugs, which is abhorrent. We want to thank Amai for setting up National Gender Based Violence call centre 575 in her office to help the nation. As churches we are grateful for uniting us in prayer as one family.”
Rev Edgar Sepi (UFIC) spoke on the need for Prayer to conquer the anti-Development spirit.
“I am thankful for the development in the country. I also want to thank the First Lady for this inter-denominational prayer,” he said.
He read from Proverbs 18 Scripture which he said showed that the First Lady had brought spiritual nourishment through prayer.
“Looking at my prayer point, we want to address the spirit that hates progress and development. Even drugs in our children show that this spirit is hovering around because the children are our future leaders, yet this spirit is destroying these children,” he said.
“We want to address this spirit of Tobias. In the bible in Judges, Samson while fighting the Philistines saw a donkey jaw bone and used it as a weapon to fight the enemy. I was shocked that of all the parts, he took a jaw bone.
“I analysed this and saw that the jaw bone symbolises the mouth. Therefore, using our mouth let us fight the spirit of anti development through prayer. Let us cry out to God and fight this spirit which hates good things. Let’s direct this spirit of GBV, drug abuse, ritual killings which affect the development of the country.”
This is not the first time that the mother of the nation has led a prayer for the nation.
She has been doing so throughout the country’s provinces and led from the front during the time of Covid-19 in praying for the nation.
A female pastor took the gathering through a sermon on the power of prayer and emphasised that there was power in prayer.
“Last year I fell sick and spent 10 months on the sickbed. One day I dreamt seeing a queue as people signed a book as they entered a certain door but when it was my turn the pen would not write. When I woke up I saw people praying and they told me I had gone silent and was not breathing. I am a living testimony therefore let us keep praying as is being encouraged by Amai,” she said.
The Zion Christian Church Mbungo band sing and dance to their popular ‘Ndire Ndire’ song during the National Day of Prayer organised by First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa in Caledonia yesterday
Mr Thomas Chivezve said what the First Lady had done was good for the nation.
“What Amai is doing, is good for the nation. She is leading us on the right path and for her love we are truly thankful. This unity she has taught us will continue,” he said.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Mrs Elizabeth Chigumbura, who described the First Lady as one person of a kind.
“I have never seen a leader like her. She does all her things from the bottom of her heart and the nation is lucky to have her as the First Lady. These are the kind of leaders our nation truly deserve. Since the attainment of independence in 1980, we have never had a First Lady who is hard working in all spheres like her,” she said.
Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Applonia Munzverengwi praised the First Lady for leading the nation in seeking the face of God.
“You have done well for us to unite as one family since God makes everything possible. We are happy for this day to worship God as one church. We thank you for initiating this prayer,” she said.
“People have gathered because they have seen it worthy to pray for our country Zimbabwe and its leaders. Your prayers are covering all challenges including Covid-19. We are seeing you going around the country teaching our children who have been affected by drugs.
“Amai you are always praying for these children because you want to know God. Amai Mashonaland East will never be the same again because of the prayers you have brought today.”
Chief Nechombo, Mr Langton Chikukwa, in his vote of thanks said together with other traditional chiefs they were grateful to have been part of the spiritually uplifting event.
Mashonaland East Traditional Chiefs (from left) Chief Musarurwa, Chief Seke and his wife and Chief Nechombo pray during the National Day of Prayer organised by First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa in Caledonia yesterday
“As chiefs we are happy to be here praying together. As chiefs, if we keep getting such opportunities we would be very pleased because it makes people in our areas of jurisdiction keep praying to curb challenges we are facing like GBV and drug abuse among other social issues,” he said.
“There are so many churches here today and we have been brought together by God. Amai you have taught us love and unity which we yearn for in the communities in which we live. We have learnt a lot here as traditional leaders. Love is the ability to forgive as this brings peace and development.”