The Living Faith International Church (Winners’ Chapel), on Monday, began a seven-day fasting and prayer to rescue the ‘terrorised soul’ of Nigeria, with a large turnout of Christians from other churches.

Some participants said that it was time for Nigerians to pray to avert the imminent trouble.

President of the Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, had declared seven-day prayer and fasting from July 23-29, 2018 for Nigerians.

He said the decision was hinged on the “uncontrollable and persistent killings of fellow citizens across the country.”

Mrs Kemi Patrick, a senior citizen and member of Living Faith Church, Lokogoma, said that the prayer and fasting came at the time Nigeria had witnessed spate of killings across the country, which drew a widespread condemnation.

Patrick said that the Nigeria system had been corrupted and the programme would help Nigerians seek God’s intervention to heal the land.

“God is set to heal our land because my Bible tells me, if God’s people who are called by His name will humble themselves and pray and seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways, then He will hear from heaven and will forgive our sins and heal our land,” she said.

Mrs Grace Ejimadu, a retired civil servant and member of the Church, said the exercise would strengthen and guide the nation toward achieving peace and unity.

“When you pray and fast, you get closer to God spiritually.

“Our prayer is to remind God of His promises through His words to heal our nation, Nigeria,’’ she said.

Mr David Alheri, also a member of the Church, said the exercise is to ensure close spiritual relationship with God, which would further bond Nigeria as God’s own nation, cleanse the nation of its shortcomings and rejuvenate the land toward meeting the needs of the nation.

Mrs Esther Okoma, a teacher and member of Dunamis International Gospel Centre (DIGC), Abuja, said that the prayer and fasting declared by the church for the country is not an option, but a command.

“When a nation sins, God brings judgment from within or without. God can bring bad governments to power or allow the nation to be conquered by an adversary.

When Christians pray, the grace and mercy of God are over the nation. For this reason, Christians must always pray for their nation,” she explained.

Mr John Shaibu, member of the Church of Christ in Nations, COCIN, who attended the programme at the DIGC, said that God gave Nigerians a quiet and peaceable life.

Shaibu said that Nigerians were exhorted first to pray for all men, kings and all in authority because God gave us a quiet and peaceable life.

“Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceable life in godliness and reverence,” he explained

Pastor Ruben Chinedu of God’s Assemblies Church said the nation had been through a lot recently, adding that Nigerians are witnessing the spirit of violence across the country.

“The Plateau and Benue State tragedies should be seen as serious threat to those who love peace. Yet many take the peace in this nation for granted and failed to pray.

“It is time for the Church in Nigeria to rise up and bind this spirit of violence and killing.

“We are commanded to pray for peace of our land; I appreciate God for leading His servant Bishop Oyedepo that we should all set aside the next seven days to seek God’s face amidst the violence and killings.

The programme witnessed Hundreds of residents from the FCT, which includes, senior citizens, those who run their private businesses and unemployed youths, who took advantage of the morning session to intercede for their great nation.

The intercessory prayer will take place daily from 8 a.m to 10 a.m in the morning and the evening from 5 p.m to 6p.m.across some churches.