National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister Reverend Godfridah Sumaili says the 2019 national day of prayer and fasting will be spearheaded by members of the clergy from all church mother bodies and political speeches will not be entertained on that day.

And Rev Sumaili says the day will be used as an opportunity to ask God for good rains so that Zambia can record a bumper harvest next year.

Speaking at a joint press briefing with the Ministry of Information yesterday, Rev Sumaili said the three church mother bodies would lead citizens in prayer.

“And these prayers are being spearheaded by the church. As government we are only supporting but everywhere, the clergy has come together from all the church mother bodies and they are preparing the programme and everything, and they are making invitations. So we are expecting all leaders at various levels to attend this meeting. We do not expect even political speeches in this meeting. These are prayer meetings and the clergy are going to lead us. The president is going to pray with us in Lusaka at the Show Grounds. And the President will be on the Copperbelt in Kitwe,” Rev Sumaili said.

“The theme for this year 2019 Prayer Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation is “receiving times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord through reconciliation with one another and the environment for a prosperous Zambia.” This theme has been taken from the book of Act 3:19 which says ‘repent therefore and be converted so that times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord.’ But also we are standing 2 Chronicles 7;14 which says ‘if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, repent and seek my face, then I will hear from heaven and I will heal the land.’ As a nation, really we need God’s intervention. So this year’s prayers on 18th October are very critical. We are expecting all Zambians to gather in prayer.”

And Rev Sumaili said October should be used as an opportunity to ask God for good rains so that the country can record a bumper harvest in the next season.

“It is unfortunate that we can have somebody who can say ‘shun the prayers. That is very sad. If there is going to be a political leader who will say ‘shun the prayers’ definitely he is not with the people. This is really an opportunity for us to give thanks to God. And as a people, the first thing that we would like to thank God for is peace over the land of Zambia which we should never take for granted. We want to continue praying for unity in our nation. We desperately need to be together. We want to humble ourselves before God and thank Him for the rains that we had last year and he is going to hear us. And also we have to pray for a bumper harvest,” said Rev Sumaili as her Information counterpart also added praying against rising defilement and murder cases to the list of prayer requests.

Meanwhile, Sumaili said government had so far raised about K1.2 million to begin the construction of the national House of Prayer.