National House of Prayer (NHoP)
LSK Tecla Hotel, 7th September, 2017
“Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” (ISAIAH 56:7)
Members of the press, countrymen and women.
A very good morning to each one of you.
On behalf of the members of the Advisory Board of the NHoP, I wish to take this opportunity to update you on preparations towards the 2nd Anniversary Commemoration of the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation, being that the preparations are now at very advanced stage.
As you may all be aware, the yearly commemoration of the National Day of Prayer stems from the presidential pronouncement in the National Assembly on the 18th of September, 2015 and the subsequent declaration to gazette the 18th of October as a national holiday to be observed annually as the National day of Prayer and Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation.
As we have noted before, this act undoubtedly ushered Zambia into a new spiritual dispensation.
A week later, on the 25th of October, 2015, the nation gathered at the Forestry grounds in Woodlands for a ground breaking ceremony to witness the unveiling of the national altar and dedication of the premises for the erection of the National House of Prayer. Shortly thereafter, the National House of Prayer Advisory was duly appointed.
As we have done from time to time, let me refresh your minds on the core business and primary mandate of the NHoP Advisory Board.
CORE BUSINESS OF THE ADVISORY BOARD
The core business of the Board is the development, dissemination and implementation of the Vision of the National House of Prayer to the Zambian citizenry and providing advice to the State for the purpose of attaining and preserving the ideals of Zambia as a Christian Nation to the glory of God.
The National House of Prayer seeks to foster Unity, Spiritual harmony and Reconciliation towards the realization of Zambia as a Christian Nation.
The National House of Prayer exists to establish prayer as a foundation for righteousness and justice, peace and prosperity and co-existence in love. The National House of Prayer (NHOP) is mandated with a key task of mobilizing consistent prayer in the nation among its other functions.
As such, the NHoP remains a non-denominational, non-political and non-partisan work of the church in the nation, aimed at spearheading massive prayer mobilization in order to operationalize the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation.
On 18th October, 2016 we saw the very first official commemoration of the National day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation bears two key highlights:
1. The laying of the foundation stone to signify our readiness to progress towards eventual construction works for the national house of prayer
2. The fresh presentation to the nation of an enhanced national altar whose sculptured symbols had been re-polished
40 DAYS COUNTDOWN TO 18TH OCTOBER 2017
We are pleased to announce that the 2nd Official Commemoration will be held under the theme
PROMOTING PEACE AND RECONCILIATION: CONSOLIDATING NATIONAL UNITY IN DIVERSITY
based on PSALM 122:7-8
The Advisory Board hereby wishes to announce a 40 DAY PERIOD OF PRAYER AND FASTING leading up to the 18th of October. This period of prayer and fasting will begin on the 9th of September.
During the period, different churches around the country will engage in a day of fasting and prayer for the nation and this will be facilitated by our Provincial Coordinators along with their respective District teams across the nation. Every day within the 40 day period there will dedicated churches fasting and praying for our country focussing on promoting peace and reconciliation and consolidating national unity in diversity.
This year’s commemoration is uniquely significant. It will be the 2nd Anniversary observance of the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation, and will coincide with the third year of Zambia’s Jubilee, which commenced in October 2014. Biblically, the third year of Jubilee is extremely significant as it represents completeness.
In biblical numerology, the number “3” is the first of four spiritually perfect numerals- the others being 7,10 and 12. Historical scriptural precedence shows how God has consistently honoured his Word by doing significant sovereign Acts during these respective seasons. We believe that Zambia is poised for such a moment during this dispensation.
As at other times of national prayers, the National day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation is being facilitated countrywide through interdenominational prayer networks. These prayers will therefore be held simultaneously at respective District and Provincial Centres spearheaded by our respective provincial coordinators and district designate teams.
Here in Lusaka, the year’s day of prayer will be held in the Main Arena, at the Lusaka Agricultural and Commercial Show grounds.
We would like to take this opportunity to invite all Zambians from all walks of life to congregate with us others in respective nearby locations as will be announced variously in due course. We would also like to encourage the general citizenry to pick a day in the 40 day period of fasting and praying to individually fast and pray specifically for Zambia.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS YEAR’S THEME AND COMMEMORATION
Let me comment briefly on this year’s theme. Drawing on the symbolism on the national altar, you will note the following:
A. Map of Zambia resting on the bible, being the ultimate source of Christian values upon which we base our aspirations for national transformation and development
B. The bible which is open at psalm 133:1- representing our aspiration for sustained unity in diversity as a unique fibre holding all tribes together in collective national cohesion and peace
C. Flames: representing intercessory prayers and praises ascending to god the father of our lord Jesus Christ to whom Zambia is dedicated as a Christian nation and who has promised to continually answer our prayers and heal our land
PSALM 133:1, which is probably more significant now as ever before, will remain one of our highest aspiration to bring to reality our desire to co-exist as truly one big Zambian family.
Our prayer and fasting this year should signify a fresh commitment to the fact that we should sustain unity at all costs. While it is important for every citizen to exercise their democratic right to belong to a political party of their choice, we must never allow politics to divide us. We are one family!
Further, we wish to advise that this year’s of the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation coincides with the third year of Zambia’s Jubilee, which commenced in October 2014. Biblically, the third year of Jubilee is extremely significant as it represents completeness.
In biblical numerology, the number “3” is the first of four spiritually perfect numerals. The others are 7,10 and 12.
Historical scriptural precedence shows how God has consistently honoured his Word by doing significant sovereign Acts during these respective seasons. Your Excellency, we believe that Zambia is poised for such a moment during this dispensation.
Additionally, given the various national challenges arising from the August 11 2016 elections, we will need to reflect on key national ideals that need perfecting such as the need to sustain efforts towards dialogue on any outstanding national issues. Fo r political players in particular, let us pray for everyone involved to commit to interparty as well as intraparty dialogue. Let everyone put national interest so that the current efforts by the church and other mediators can bear the intended fruit for Zambia’s unity.
At the last briefing, we gave the following counsel which we see as holding timeless value:
Finally, I wish to urge all Zambians to continue to pray so that God can continue to provide favourable direction to the nation, improve the living standards of our people, and increased growth in our economy and overall national development.
As always, we wish to encourage all Zambians everywhere to exercise patience, desist from divisive tendencies, work hard, and fight the ills and injustices that raise their ugly heads every so often and that affect our society negatively.
With prayer to God and commitment to the Great Commandment of loving one another, we will be fulfilling the greatest imperative of sustaining Unity in diversity.
We have said before, we wish to say again, that we have a gift of a great nation of peace which must nuture at all costs. The reality of a Christian nation has to be demonstrated by practical application of the values of our professed faith.
A whole future is before us, Zambia. Let us not squander it.
We appeal to all political parties in particular to settle their internal disputes amicably, to avoid a spill over effect on other vital aspects of the life of the nation. Please do not maintain perpetual enemies based on your political differences or disputes. Elections are long gone. Bury your differences where ever such may exist. Honour one another in love and observe respect for human worth and dignity.
THANK YOU TO CHURCHES NATION-WIDE
We are thankful to all churches of various denominations that continue to uphold the nation before the face of God. We acknowledge the critical role of prayer in the life of the nation. We are mindful that as a Christian nation, we have the privilege of praying to God and believing that He answers our prayers as we seek his face.
“May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
I thank you…
Bishop Dr Joshua H.K Banda, PhD
Advisory Board of the National House of Prayer