The Bishop of Diocese of Lagos West of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, The Rt. Rev James Odedeji has lamented the incessant attack on the church while also calling on believers to intensify prayers to ward off the forces of evil threatening it.
Odedeji made the call at the opening ceremony of the annual Triumphant Convocation organised by the Diocese on Tuesday.
Odedeji noted that “just a few days ago, gunmen wrote letters to some churches in Nasarawa State, threatening them not to gather. This is an assault on the church. It is an attack on us. This is time for us to intensify our prayers and call on God to intervene in our situations. The church of God must keep praying.”
Prayer is our lifeline
He charged the people to run away from those who don’t like prayers. “Please I urge you not to listen to anybody who tries to discourage you from praying. Prayer is our life. If we fail to pray, we will become vulnerable. Jesus must increase in our lives, we must decrease.”
The triumphant convocation according to him began in 2013. “Our vision to bring all God’s people under a platform to be blessed of the Lord at the end of the year. I am aware of the programmes in our various parishes. But this particular programme was instituted to be a rallying point for all of us to receive from the Lord and have strong fellowship.”
Talking on the theme of the convocation, he said, “Our theme for this convocation. We are more than conquerors. I want to encourage us all to be expectant. You must also not doubt God and don’t look on any man for your blessings.”
A conqueror has divine backup
The Dean of the Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral, Ven Ebenezer Adewole who gave the main message at the opening ceremony charged the people to keep trusting God for protection against all powers of the enemies.
He explained that to be more than a conqueror is to know there is a divine backup for you and to be a tormentor of the kingdom of darkness.
Adewole also explained that to be more than a conqueror is to conquer self. “In the Bible, we find the testimony of people who conquer self. Job conquered self. He made a covenant with his eyes where to look. The Bible says a man’s enemies are those of his household. Those households are members of your body. We need to conquer our body and bring it under subjection. No matter the number of your enemies, if you have conquered self, they will labour in vain.”
Faith is key
The venerable also encouraged the participants at the convocation to be people of faith. “The believer is not deterred. He knows that what he sees are temporal. Faith does not bow to threats. A man of faith has no regard for obstacles.”
Adewole said also that to be more than a conqueror is to be for signs and wonders. “Signs are to follow us. We are not to run around looking for signs. By the word, signs and wonders are to follow us. Miracles are to follow us.”
Those who are more than conquerors according to him must also run away from sin. “sin is a sinker.”He added also that the ultimate for anybody who is more than a conqueror is to be born of God, “to be born of God is to follow the Lord. If you are not born of God, you are less than a conqueror. If you are born of God you are more than a conqueror.”
Story by Gbenga Osinaike