Since the beginning of the year, I have followed the schedule for praying for the nations of the earth as published by Operation World. Today, I get to pray for my own country, Nigeria.
Nigeria is a special and strategic country in Africa. This is not an attempt at nationalistic pride; it is a fact. The country influences much within the continent and beyond. Her citizens are spread across the globe, reaching from one sphere of life to another. Her cultural products (music, dance, film, fabric, language) travel beyond her borders. They shape tastes, and influence lives.
I am grateful and proud to be a Nigerian, for I am aware of the experiences and relationships I have enjoyed as a result.
Nevertheless, I am profoundly aware of the huge gaps which exist in the above celebration. I live within a country that realizes far less than its potential. I live in a society that is as religious as it can be cruel and oppressive. I live in a world where much falsehood coexists with truth, where corruption often trumps righteousness, where the gospel is often smothered by ‘religious junk.’
Yet I do not despair. For I am acutely aware that many nations have been worse. Through the gospel, the nations of Europe were transformed into the modern societies they presently are. While they may seek to deny their histories, they cannot shake off the truths which have nurtured them.
Nigeria has also benefited from God’s sovereign moves in history. We have had awakenings and felt God’s hand in a million different ways. We are still short of a gospel-driven cultural transformation, yet we acknowledge the faith, hope and love which the Spirit has birthed over the decades. We thank God for this, and we trust he will do more of this.
So, Dear Brethren, pray for us.
Nigeria needs your prayers. We need an outpouring of the Spirit. We need genuine conversions. We need Christian lives that are rich and gracious.
Our churches may be full, but we want them to be healthy and thriving. We want an outpouring of prayer and praise, but they should proceed from hearts renewed by the gospel. We desire peace within our walls, but not at the expense of freely proclaiming Jesus. Public life should reflect God’s character of justice, truth, and love. In short, we desire God’s kingdom in Nigeria.
And for that we pray. Please pray with us.