·Delivers ‘charge’ to the Okrika Church
·Dwells on Prayer as potent weapon to fight back
Ignatius Chukwu & Wisdom Chukwu-Ohaegbule
The alarm has gone out that the body of Christ is under severe attack.
The alert came at the venue of the oldest church in Okrika, the Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, where the Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Okrika, Rt Rev Enoch Atuboyedia, delivered his ‘charge’ as part of the 7th Synod.
The Synod thus went back to the fundamental duty of the Church, prayer. In his hour-long charge, the bishop concluded thus:
“According to Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Prayer meetings were the arteries of the early Church. Through them, life-sustaining power was derived. The condition of the Church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. So is the prayer meeting a grace-o-meter, and from it, we may judge of the amount of divine working among a people. If God is near a Church, it must pray. And if He is not there, one of dying first tokens of His absence will be a slothfulness in prayer.
“When was the last time we prayed for our Diocese, our Church body? What about your bishop and clergy, other Church workers and officers of the Church? Have you prayed for your Sunday School Teachers? Have you interceded on behalf of issues taking placing in your Church, Community or decisions that need to be made?
“Our Churches are under the attack of the enemy like never before. Our leaders and each of our brothers and sisters in Christ need our prayers. We are the Body of Christ and we must lift up one another to God in prayers.”
Bishop Atuboyedia had delved into the theological background of St Paul’s epistles, and warned that God is mighty but God’s might in us will not work if we do not exercise it.
He listed the vices that often weigh Christians down and make prayers weak and urged Christians to always examine their Christian life.
He said even the prophets that worked directly with God saw the criticality of prayer in their walk with God, thus, he said, Prophet Samuel said: “Far be it that I cease to pray.”
Quoting several passages especially in Romain, Bishop Atuboyedia said it is a sin not t pray.
He seemed to confuse the delegates when he talked abut prayerless prayers and prayerful prayers, adding that prayer is the believer’s strongest weapon.
He also made it bluntly clear that a faithless prayer is a fruitless prayer.
Top delegates who talked to newsmen outside the hall fully agreed with the theme of the Synod; ‘We Wrestle Not’.
Dame Flora Frank Yagba, the local organizing chairperson, said the Diocese would work out ways of cascading the prayer work down as work of the Church. She said not the Church that needs prayer but Nigeria as a whole.