Saturday of Week 34 in Ordinary Time
“Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.”
To watch is to be active in observation; it means to be awake in realities of guidance and protection. To be watchful against sin, you must not let down your guard against intrusion, against marauders in devilish clothes. We need God’s words and personal deeds to be watchful so as to be guided by Him.
For prayer, it is the ultimate key to the communication door to God’s answer; it is the vital armour of God in us that propels our consciousness in fighting the dangers to our soul and body. When we watch and pray, we become aware of the snares of evil things and the works of the devil. In any circumstance, and at all time, we need to watch and pray to God because it is a necessity.
Today, we need to watch and pray for my country, Nigeria. The country is bedevilled with uncertainties, with people living in fear and daily reservations. Here, every day is a probe into survival, and the magnitude of pity is encompassed in hopelessness. The country is facing a lot of challenges in the areas of general insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, corruption and all manner of national ills. The country has resolved to seek for God’s intervention, His words must prevail now: “if my people who bear my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my presence and turn from their wicked ways, then I will listen from heaven and forgive their sins and restore their country” [2 Chronicles 7:14]. To address Nigeria’s national ills, the Catholic Bishops in Nigeria composed two prayers:
- Prayer for Nigeria in distress — presenting Nigeria before God: “….We are sorry for the sins we have committed and for the good deeds we have failed to do. Lord, we are weighed down, not only by uncertainties, but also by moral, economic and political problems…. Be merciful to us your people, spare this nation Nigeria from chaos, anarchy and doom.”
- Prayer against Bribery and Corruption in Nigeria: “……We beg you, touch our lives and the lives of our leaders and people so that we may all realise the evil of bribery and corruption, and work hard to eliminate it. Raise up for us God-fearing people and leaders who care for us and who will lead us in the path of peace, prosperity and progress.”
These are prayers approved by Nigeria’s Catholic Bishops to enable us to watch and pray to God, to guide us to protection and goodness.
(Today’s Oxygen by Julius Otusorochukwu Dike, KSJI, JP)
Prayer: Our Father and Lord, look upon our country, Nigeria and other countries of the world where injustice, insecurity and corruption are prevalent. Touch the hearts of those perpetrating these evils, change them so that they will embrace love for human beings. Listen to our prayers for sustenance, hope and survival; grant all these, we ask in Jesus name, Amen.
Thanksgiving: Our Father and Heavenly Lord, we thank you for your protection in our vulnerable conditions. We rely on you and are most grateful for your decision is our love. We thank you, our father, Amen.