By Sam Eyoboka & Olayinka Latona
WORRIED about the growing effect of youth unemployment in the country prayers are daily being offered for God’s intervention at the ongoing 20th annual Holy Ghost Congress of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, as several eminent gospel ministers from across the globe lead the daily expanding crowd of worshipers in supplication to intercede for the family, the church, youth and the nation at large.
The former General Evangelist of Christ Apostolic Church, Worldwide Agbala Itura, Prophet Samuel Kayode Abiara, founder/presiding bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, TREM, Bishop Mike Okonkwo, founder of International Central Gospel Church, Dr. Mensa Otabil and several others led the mammoth crowd at the Redemption Camp to pray for peace and tranquility in the country, families and the youths.
Advising couples to honour and keep their marriage vows, Prophet Abiara while praying for families, explained that for peace to reign in families, it is important for couples to adhere strictly to their marriage vows and engage in sincere prayers when confronted with any marital challenges.
Lamenting the high rate of divorce among couples globally, the man of God said there was need for the Church to pray for peace in families as peace experienced in individual families will transcend to national unity, cohesion and overall development.
In his words: “Couples should earnestly pray against the spirit of adultery. What we need in our families today is God’s peace, couples should allow Jesus Christ to reign in their homes because He is the Prince of Peace.
“Marriage laws must be kept by couples, all things on earth are governed by laws and statutes Satan is not happy with families and any family passing through crisis, or attacked by the devil, such homes should return to God in prayer. If there are challenges at the home, you don‘t have to poison yourself or jump into the lagoon,” he said.
Describing love as the bedrock of any marriage, the man of God asked couples to have genuine love for one another, learn to forgive one another and forget: “Forgive one another, do not allow hatred in your life when you forgive your spouse, you actually forgive yourself”, he said.
Urging married Christians all over the world to take a cue from the example of Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye and his wife, Pastor Mrs Foluke Adeboye Who have managed to hold their marriage without scandals or rancour, Prophet Abiara warned in-laws not to cause misunderstanding and rancour among couples.
On his own part, Bishop Mike Okonkwo, delivering a special talk tagged; “David Generation”, urged Nigerian youth to be focused, shun every form of distraction and be determined to be agents of transformation wherever they found themselves.
The Bishop went on to encourage them to do their best once they have the opportunity, adding that they would be rewarded for their efforts, tasking the young minds to be resourceful and result oriented and place value on themselves and assume purposeful responsibility.
The cleric added that the youths should use their God-given talents to be productive in the society and inspire others to do good and set good example in their homes and community.
According to him, as leaders of tomorrow, youths should always be ready to channel their time and energy in order to build the nation.
In his words: “David in the Bible refused to be distracted despite all the challenges that came his way. You have lots of things around that can easily distract you, you have the Internet and various social media platforms and that is why you must be mindful of the kind of information thay you feed your mind with
“Prayerfully seek God’s plan for your life and pursue it with fear of God”.
“It is fashionable to serve God, avoid every manipulation of the devil. Do not give up or discouraged even when you fail, pick up and return to God.
“It is in knowing God that you will know your ability. You need to know, to become like Jesus and also do like Him in all spheres of life.”
Admonishing the congregation on how they can live a victorious life, the founder of International Central Gospel Church, Dr. Mensa Otabil, speaking on the topic: “Victorious Life” explained that grace provides access to God’s provision while faith is the element that assist or help man to receive God’s provision.
Otabil told the congregation that most Christians were unable to receive from God because they have not activated sufficient faith to walk on the divine bridge of grace.
Stressing that there is a resurgence in the preaching of grace globally, he warned Christians against manipulations by certain preachers who believe that grace has the capacity of lowering God’s standard, arguing that as a matter of fact, grace does not change or lower God’s standard as believed by some Christians. The internationally acclaimed motivational speaker said God’s standard remains high and that it can never be lowered.
In his message of Day Four of rage Congess titled: “Victorious Prayers”, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye told the congregation that the guarantee that God answers prayers is based on His constancy, stressing that God does not change and that He still engages in working of miracles.
According to Pastor Adeboye, some people argue that there is nothing like miracle anymore but “I can tell you that if you ask God for miracle, you would receive it. In other words, if you do not ask, you will not receive.”
Adeboye who encouraged the congregation to get prepared for answered prayers, warned that most people do not receive from God because they asked amiss and do not pray through the Holy Spirit or fail to ask in Jesus’ name.
“God will not answer your prayers if you ask amiss. If you abide by God’s principles on prayers espoused in Matthew 7:7, you will receive from God. The Bible says knock and the door will be opened unto you, provided you know how to knock appropriately. If you meet God’s conditions, know how to ask, seek and knock, God will answer you.”
Outlining 10 reasons why God will answer prayers, Pastor Adeboye said: “When you come to God as His child, God does not lie, because God does not change and He still answers prayers, there is no request that is too hard for God, there are no requests that are too many for Him, your request cannot be considered too late, because God is good, He is merciful, persist in the place of prayer and God knows that if He does something new, you will sing a new song to Him”.
Another major highlight of the day was the demographics of attendance, which confirmed the spread of the church around the world – now in 196 countries- and the popularity of the Holy Ghost Congress.
Security expert tasks govt, churches on protection of vulnerable people
Government, churches and Nigerians at large have been enjoined to do more to protect the vulnerable people in the society against abuses.
The call was made by a securiy expert, Mr. Mike Igbodipe during a talk and discussion session at the ongoing annual Holy Ghost Congress of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Security for Vulnerable Persons’, Igbodipe identified missionaries, displaced populations, migrants, returnees and young children as potentially vulnerable people that needed to be taken great care of.
He observed that government at all levels need to work on empowerment of citizens and the need for human capacity development to protect the vulnerable
in the society.
The security expert noted that both the rich and the poor have a common bond, saying the Lord is the maker of them all hence the need for the society to rise up to the task of creating an enabling environment for the vulnerable.
He emphasised that the society has to go back to the drawing board to find out what is to be done: “so that the society becomes conscious of the fact that we are human beings.”
Highlighting social media, poor communication, poor security and safety precaution, lack of care support as some of the challenges that an average missionary encounter while on the mission field, Igbodipe called on churches to do much more in the area of securing and protecting the vulnerable especially missionaries.
He said the church should educate its congregation about communication to or about missionaries, network with one another and media to manage communication and information they provided about missionaries.
In his words: “The church should carefully control the information in public domain, educate, monitor the Internet, social media for anything that is posted that might create risk or danger for the missionaries.”
He further advised the church to address security as major success factor and also set up Care Committees in the church that will chart a course and implement actions that will protect and promote the interest of the vulnerable persons.
In his words of admonition to missionaries, Igbodipe urged missionaries to ‘be as wise as serpents’ while discharging their duties.
According to him, being bold doesn’t require recklessness, being obedient doesn’t require suspension of judgement, and making disciples don’t require trading missionary lives for new believers’ lives.