The Chairman of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, has said that fasting and prayer is the Christian’s greatest weapon in neutralising threats such as the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a televised sermon on Atinka TV on Friday, April 24, 2020, to mark the commencement of the 3-day All Christians National Fasting and Prayer in Ghana, the Chairman said that although fasting may have various physical and spiritual benefits, it remains the Christian’s most effective defense whenever they are under attack.
Speaking on the topic: “The Purpose of Fasting,” he explained that fasting helps to deepen the Christian’s spiritual life and enhance their relationship with God (Luke 4, Mark 4).
Drawing lessons from the story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles chapter 20, Apostle Nyamekye indicated that when the Moabites and the Ammonites with some of the Meunites waged war against the people of Judah and Jerusalem with a vast army, King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast for all the people to pray and seek God’s intervention.
As a result, he said, God miraculously delivered them and caused the defeat of the Moabites and their allies. In the same vein, he noted, anytime Christians feel threatened by overwhelming challenges, they ought to cry out to the Lord through fasting and prayer for His intervention.
He said that in this period of hopelessness and uncertainty due to the viral disease which has resulted in the death of thousands of people across the globe and brought the economies of nations to their knees, Christians ought to fast and pray to seek help from the Lord.
Apostle Nyamekye also said that it is necessary for Christians to fast because fasting leads to restoration (Joel 2:12-18). He said that Christians ought to fast and pray for God to restore the economies of the world, bearing in mind the self-employed, those working in the informal sectors and those in part-time or contract-based work who have suffered significant losses due to the pandemic.
He added that anytime Christians are faced with difficult challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, they must fast and pray to seek help from the Lord.
Another reason why Christians ought to fast and pray, according to the Chairman, is to demonstrate God’s reality in the world as well as our dependence on Him (Ezra 8:21-22)
He explained that in times of pestilence, people are quick to question the existence of God. Christians, therefore, ought to fast and pray to petition God to demonstrate His glory and power for all people, especially unbelievers,
“Fasting is also a demonstration of our humility before God. When we fast and deny ourselves of food, what it implies is that we cannot do this on our own and that He is our only hope,” he said.
Apostle Eric Nyamekye, therefore, called on Ghanaians, particularly Christians, to participate in the three-day fasting and prayer exercise in response to the threat that COVID-19 poses to the human race as well as its post-pandemic implications.
The Chairman said that children should not be exempted from the exercise, and called on parents to ensure that their wards join in the fasting and prayers as they seek the face of the Lord.
The Chairman also read 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Isaiah 58:6-9 to stress that for fasting and prayer to be effective and yield results, God demands that Christians turn from their wicked ways (repent) and uphold righteousness in all their endeavours.
The Christian community in Ghana is observing a 3-day fasting and prayer from Friday, April 24, to Sunday, April 26, 2020, to intercede for the nations of the world in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic using Ghana as a point of contact. The exercise is under the theme, “O God, Heal Our Land” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14).