August 30, 2012
A prayer for Nigeria
by Shaya Gregory Poku
“No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise.”
- Isaiah 60:18
Dear Lord, places of worship are scared spaces. Mourning the dead is sacred act. Yet in each of these sacred spaces and acts lives have been brutally lost.
We lift up the residents of Kaduna, Plateau, Borno, Kano and Bauchi in prayer. These Nigerian States have suffered massive numbers of deaths in recent years. In rancorous cycles of violence, Muslim and Christian brethren have killed each other in the name of rights, protection, retaliation, and grief.
Yet we know, oh, God, that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. (Galatians 5:22 [NIV]).
Lord, create new avenues for the aggrieved to express their dissent. Expand the definition of ‘indigene’ so that all might share in the opportunities of the land. Eliminate the poverty that makes the righteous anxious and the unsaved insecure. Give strengthen to the local and national leadership for them to find means to increase the security within their borders.
We call upon you to bring peace to the ‘Middle belt’ region of Nigeria and to all those who dwell there.
Learn about Presbyterians at work with the people of Nigeria
Shaya Gregory Poku is a life-long Presbyterian, ordained Elder and a member of the PC(USA) Peace Discernment Steering Committee. She is currently working in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region on a project to strengthen community reconciliation across seven communities.