President Hakainde Hichilema has reaffirmed the importance of declaring Zambia as a Christian nation.
President Hichilema said the declaration cannot be compromised as it makes the Zambian people who they are.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by Vice President Mutale Nalumango during the commemoration of the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation in Lusaka today.
The President said this year’s theme for National day of prayers which is Zambia seeks Sustained Unity for Shared Prosperity, reaffirms the country’s desire to build a united, prosperous and equitable Zambia.
“This theme champions us to summon national unity, and also reminds us to work hard in order to realize a prosperous Zambia. And indeed, we must seek mutual understanding and love one another. We must work for peace and unity. We must strive to attain a prosperous Zambia,” he said.
Mr Hichilema stated that the Day for National Prayers is important as it gives the nation an opportunity to humble itself before God , as well as seek his face.
He explained that the day also allows the Zambian people to reflect on their thoughts and actions at individual, family and national level.
President Hichilema noted that there is need to consistently reflect on actions, acknowledge shortcomings and commit, to take deliberate efforts in order to transform lives.
“Whatsoever we have heard here, it starts with us at an individual level. We need to truly commit ourselves to the Lord first as a person, be forgiven as a person, forgive other people then as a person and then we will end up with a country with sustained unity and shared prosperity,” he said.
He called on everyone to embrace forgiveness and reconciliation, if the country is to maintain the peace and harmony currently being enjoyed.
Mr Hichilema further called on Zambians to continue praying for courage and direction in dealing with challenges that the country is facing.
He highlighted the importance of praying together as a country, saying it helps to remain steadfast, resilient, strengthens people’s faith and solidarity and assures everyone of divine providence, guidance and protection.
He advised that observing this day should however not be an end in itself but remind people to always remain united, God fearing and prayerful as those are the qualities of being a Christian nation.
The Head of State urged everyone to commit themselves to hard work, as it is essential to development, even as they seek God’s intervention in their lives.
“God himself tells us that he blesses the work of our hands. Therefore, the need for us to work hard to get prosperity…to share in the prosperity, it is a call to hard work,” he said.
He further urged the nation to use the Day of prayers for its intended purpose and conduct themselves in a manner befitting such an important day, devoted to honor God.
And National Prayer Organizing Committee Chairperson Joshua Banda said commemorating such a day is necessary as it allows the country to thank God for his sovereign providence during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bishop Banda said the day has also allowed the country to thank God for a smooth transition of change of administration that the country has witnessed.
He added that the purpose of the gathering, was to show commitment towards the desire for sustained unity in the spirit of humility.
The NPOC Chairperson highlighted that the gathering has further allowed the country to commit themselves to God, who has been declared as lord over the country and affairs.
Bishop Banda stated that the day also allowed the country to pray for evil vices such as corruption, violence, tribalism and regionalism, which should not be entertained as they have the potential to divide the country.
He thanked the new administration for reaffirming the importance of such a day as it very deep in the hearts and passions of the Zambian people.
The National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation was declared as a public holiday in 2015 by former Republican President Edgar Lungu.