Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has said Nigeria needs three instruments, praise, prayer and faith in God, to overcome the myriad of socio-economic and political challenges besetting the country.
He disclosed this at the 2019 National Altar of Praise and Prayer for the Nation, entitled: ‘As in the Days of Jehoshaphat,’ taken from II Chronicles 20:22, held at Molete Baptist Church, Ibadan. It was organised by the Gospel Musicians Association of Nigeria (GOMAN), under the leadership of Evangelist Funmi Aragbaye.
Obasanjo, who was represented by former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former president Goodluck Jonathan, Dr Doyin Okupe, said praising God, prayer to God and faith in God are the three factors that could make God heal Nigeria, reshuffle it and prosper the nation.
According to him, “I identify with the theme of this event, which is ‘As in the Days of Jehoshaphat,’ taken from II Chronicles 20:22. The theme is all about praise, prayer and faith in God. With praise, prayer and faith, God will surely heal our land, reshuffle it and prosper this nation.”
Obasanjo, who said he personally loves praising God, said lessons should be drawn from the life of Jehoshaphat, King of Judah in the Holy Bible, who went into battle, using singers in front of his soldiers.
As gathered, a messenger reported to Jehoshaphat that a large army from three countries – Mo’ab, Am’mon and Mount Se’ir, were coming to attack his country – Judah, which made many Israelites to be afraid. They gathered at Jerusalem to seek God’s help. In the temple, Jehoshaphat prayed and God gave him an assurance that he would win the battle for him.
Jehoshaphat then told his people that they should trust in God, which they did. The king, however, put singers out in front of his soldiers, and as they marched along they sang praises to God. When they got near the battle, God caused the enemy soldiers to fight among themselves. When the Israelites arrived the battle front, every enemy soldier was dead.
Obasanjo also urged the leaders and followers in the country not joke with praise, prayer and faith in God, saying God, who has been so merciful to the Nigeria and Nigerians, only demands and desires exhortation from human beings.
“I believe in the sovereignty of God and helplessness or lack of capacity of man to gratify the enormity of His grace and mercy over us. For everything that God brings to us, 90 per cent of it, we are not even aware of. But the only thing we can give back to Him is praise. That is all he demands and desires from us,” he said.
Obasanjo noted that for praise, prayer and faith to be acceptable before God, one must not be slothful, adding that hard work and justice are essential ingredients of the three instruments he mentioned.