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Easter: NSCEA Congratulates Christians, Prays Over COVID-19

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The Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA) has sent words of congratulations to all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, Nigeria and the world at large, during the 2020 Easter Celebration as we pray against the world Pandemic outbreak of novel Coronavirus COVID-19.

We urged Christians in Nigeria to use the opportunity of this period of Easter to pray for a brand new Nigeria, and a better world to emerge from the challenges of COVID-19 globally, as it gradually fades out by the grace of God.

As we celebrate the 2020 Easter in our different homes due to the coronavirus lockdown in family togetherness, let us remember that, God is surely with us as we are not gathered together in our Churches, because He doesn’t actually live in a building, no matter how beautiful or how simple it may be.

As Apostle Paul told the people in Athens, “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands” (Acts 17:24).

Thus, the Bible tells us that, individually, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. This means that God dwells in us (1 Cor. 6:19; Eph. 2:22). Corporately, the church is God’s house, whenever we are gathered there. We are the Church of Christ.

Also, is the reference of, “The churches of Asia greats you, especially Aquila and Prisca greet you much in the Lord, along with the church that is in their house.” … The church that meets in the house of Nymphas is also cited in the Bible: “Greet the brethren in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in her house.” Col 4:15. It means Church started with people in their houses.

Let us be encouraged as we celebrate by the Easter Message from His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle, the President, Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), as signed by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media & Communications) it partly reads: “I bring Easter greetings to all Christians in Nigeria and all over the globe in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. There is no other time the hope of victory over circumstances of life which Easter brings is more relevant to humans than now when we are forced to celebrate Easter for the first time in over one hundred years in lockdown.”

“The Coronavirus disruptions of human activities however cannot deter us from our joy and victory over all evils which Christ’s unique resurrection from the dead has brought to us. The period of the arrest, the trial, the sufferings of Christ and his eventual crucifixion and burial were not only periods of pains and gloom to the Lord himself but much more to his followers.”

“It appeared every hope was lost. However, the devil didn’t have a field day for long. On the third day, death couldn’t hold him captive anymore, the Lord broke the power of hell, grave and all evils that conspired together against the King of glory. He rose in power and victory to the shame of Satan and his cohorts. The disciples saw the Lord, ate with him and were happy again. Their faces radiated with joy and victory at last.”

“Beloved and fellow Nigerians, we shall see the end of all evils challenging us in the name of Jesus including COVID-19. A writer has said ‘Tough times never last but tough people do.’ Even at this time, those who know their God shall wax strong and do exploits.

“Let all local churches remember to make relief packages available to the poor among them at this time. This is the time we would know the true church of Christ and those that are just commercial outfits.”

“We commend greatly both the Federal and State governments for rising up strongly to confront the evil called Coronavirus pandemic. We urge them not to deter in confronting it headlong until we kick out the evil from our nation completely.

“We further urge the governments to be transparent and inclusive of all regions and religious persuasions in the identification of the poor to which pandemic relief materials and payments are being made available.”

“We know the government cannot touch every poor in the society for lack of enough resources, but equal selection of the poor per state with balance in religious persuasions would have done better justice.

“We shall continue to pray for the government for right and inclusive decisions always for our general good. Once again, on behalf of Christian Association of Nigeria CAN), I wish you Happy Easter and pray that Hallelujah song shall continue to be our portion in Jesus’ name.”

We seize this opportunity once again to remind us all to abide by the decision of the Christians leaders and the body, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), on guidelines to all Churches. The churches are to follow these guidelines and precautions FOR COMBATING CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19).

Remember, as rolled out initially. “Our prayers should be as follows: (a) That God should stop the spread of coronavirus in Nigeria and all over the world (b) That God should protect Nigerians from this disease (c) That God should heal those who have been infected already.”

Other Prayer Points include:

1. Pray for people who are affected by the coronavirus: those who are sick, suffering the loss of loved ones, loss of work or income or are in distress. Pray for people who have to bury their loved ones because of the virus that God will comfort them.
2. Pray for doctors, nurses and all medical workers who are overworked and at risk in hospitals all over the world. They are under pressure and stress being on the frontline of this tragedy.
3. Pray for leaders of the nations of the world. Pray they will lead wisely at this time and that God’s spirit will touch their hearts and give them wisdom to make wise effective decisions.
4. Pray that this season will pass quickly. Pray that this virus will not be a threat hanging over our heads for an indefinite period, but that God will work a miraculous intervention according to His will. Pray that this time will be a means of waking people up to the reality of eternal things, not just for a season but to give their lives to Christ and be in His kingdom.
5. Pray that God will overrule the plans of Satan and his agenda. Pray that the gospel will not be hindered and that whatever laws and regulations may follow this event will be such that all may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Lets pay for God’s will and grace. Thy kingdom come, and they will be done on earth.

Other instructions include: (i) Drink hot water regularly (ii) Practice respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose the used tissue immediately. (iii) If you have fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, then seek medical care early (iv) Do not panic. Always pray with Psalm 91 and have faith in God.

The book of Isaiah 26:20, says “Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past.” We would need to find new ways unusual ways of staying with each other to keep ourselves safe. The future Nigeria would also need to invest in science as we invest in prayers and our faith.

As we have earlier said, the next few weeks is crucial for Nigeria, we need to take all precautions both at home and while outside home as responsible citizen of Nigeria by following instructions, taking precautions and educating others. We ought to do what we can while He, the Almighty God does what only He can.

So far so good, Nigeria has done well to contain the Coronavirus, but so as not to allow it spread through social contacts and in social gatherings exponentially everyday like what happened in China and Italy, we need to continue to take adequate precaution and break the chain and level the curve so as to end the tide of the Corona virus pandemic outbreak.

Bishop Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies, Secretary, Elders Council, Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical (NSCEA), speaking on behalf of the Body in Abuja said to all Christians, “we should obey the lockdown order, remember the account of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 4:5-7 KJV: “5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” As He is, so are we.

It is our prayer of faith that very soon, coronavirus will become an history in Nigeria, Africa and all over the world, in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen.”

HAPPY EASTER CELEBRATIONS.
Thank You.

Bishop Prof. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies
Secretary
Elders Council
Nigerian Supreme Council for Ecclesiastical Affairs (NSCEA).

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