SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR (DR.) ABUBAKAR BUKOLA SARAKI (C.O.N) AT THE 2017 NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA ON 26TH OCTOBER, 2017.
1.With all glory to God Almighty who allowed the day to dawn on this blessed morning, and with all honour onto His name, I welcome you all to this National Prayer Breakfast. I am humbled and heartened by your presence at this occasion. You are all welcome in God’s name.
2.The National Prayer Breakfast affords us the opportunity to lift our voices in prayer, and to lift our hearts up in supplication, so that we and our country may continue to receive grace from the throne – grace to fortify our spirits and confer on us the courage to confront our challenges as a people.
3.Ladies and Gentlemen, your presence here today, as people of God, is a recognition of the need to put Him first in all we do. Your participation is also a demonstration of commitment to God. The resolve to place Him at the very heart, the centre of our national affairs, as we recommit our country, and indeed the world, into His mighty hands. To the Heads of Government and the international community here present, I bid you welcome, as you join hands with us to pray for ‘Reconciliation… God’s Power and a New Pathway to National Unity’.
4.This is an opportunity to rededicate our lives to God, as we focus on the task of building bridges within our communities, so that we can surrender ourselves as vessels lifted up for the healing of our world. Everywhere you look today, there is trouble and strife. There is pain and suffering, as a result of lack of understanding between individuals, groups, faiths, and nations. Because we forget to put God first, and we do not go to Him in Prayer in all aspects of our lives, our relationships deteriorate and implode, creating tension and misdirected emotions – leading to a restive and unhappy world.
5.On this solemn occasion, I call on us to meditate on our relationship with God, and the state of our world. And, staying steadfast in prayer, let us think upon the ways – big and small – in which each of us can serve God better by serving humanity. The world is hurting; let us embrace the opportunity given to us by this National Prayer Breakfast to work for peace. Let us be channels of peace – a balm and a salve to the pain in the land.
6.Let us renew our sacred bond with all God’s children regardless of religion, ethnicity, gender or socio-economic status. We are all equal before God. We are all His children. He has this whole world in His hand. When we are conscious of this, we will not engage in acts of deceit, neither will we stoke the fires of hatred and discord. When we recommit ourselves in Prayer, we will be led by His spirit, and will look for practical ways to help bring together the warring factions among us.
7.From the North East to the Niger Delta, from the Middle Belt to the South East, let us be channels of peace. Let us work to build bridges of better understanding between all our people. Whatever our background or religion, whatever are goals and ambitions, let us open our eyes to the simple realisation that we all want the same thing – a better world in which we all can thrive. With God in front of us, nothing can stop us.
8.I call on each and every one of us to take this message of peace and reconciliation to every corner of our country, and the world. The National Assembly is very much committed to this National Prayer Breakfast and similar endeavours which help to join the diverse people of our nation together as one. Events such as this emphasize, once again, that we have deeper connections than our differences might suggest. That which joins us together is stronger and more profound, than that which would divides us.
9.As we lift up our hearts this blessed morning, it is my prayer and heartfelt wish that this event will serve as a new spring in our individual and collective union with God.
God bless us everyone.
God Bless Nigeria.
God Bless you all.
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE