Select capable people, people who fear God, trustworthy and who hate dishonest gain. Appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens (Paraphrased ,translation of Exodus 18: 21).
As Nagaland prepares to go to the poll on February 27, we must remind ourselves that we need to keep our commitment to honor God. We must remember that we are responsible and have the power in our hand to change the course of our future. We must cast our vote to elect God fearing leaders, leaders who will honorably lead us for the next five years to come.
Election is an opportune time to speak out our mind with our vote at the same time a privilege to build a better future. Do not be deceived by election promises doing the round. You know what is right in the sight of God. Ask God for wisdom to guide you and discernment from lies so that the truth will not be destroyed. There are forces out there demeaning our faith and trying to impose their religion on us in the name of politics.
Election is one given opportunity in five years. We should not surrender our rights as responsible voters. We must be guided by our faith to do the right thing. We should not allow the Clean Election Movement to go unrewarded and disappears in thin air because of our greed and short term gratification. Remember, clean and fair election is for everyone. The church takes this challenge seriously as the church spiritual responsibility to fight against a system which has gone weary over the years. One person one vote, no proxy voting and no buying and selling of vote. Vote wisely, fearfully and yes, boldly as a Christian this coming election. Do not listen to the voices which are coming from outside, listen to your inner voice. Let this election moment be a defining moment for the Nagas. Vote for your future and vote to honor God. Clean election is possible and it is just one resolute decision away.
On February 19 (Sunday) organize prayer walk in the neighborhood and strategic place/location to pray. Gather together in a designated place from 6:00 AM – 7:00 AM. The local church can incorporate other creative prayer activities throughout the day, including your worship services, at your own discretion.
A. Assembly Election
- Pray so that our members, all over the state, will exercise judiciously their sacred duty and right to vote in the coming general election for the good of the State by choosing leaders who would listen to the people and respond effectively to their anxieties and needs
- Pray for peaceful Voting Day
- Pray that voters will cast their vote without influence or intimidation
- Pray for 183 candidates that they will remain humble and do things that will honor God
- Pray for discernment and wisdom for voters that the fear of God and to honor God will prevail
Secondly, pray for Christians suffering all over India because of their faith. It has been reported that India is the 10th Most Dangerous Country to live in for Christians. This is very unfortunate report because outwardly, India present herself as a secular country. But we all know that the communal forces in India are becoming very forceful. Minority religious groups are suffering everyday. Christians and other minority groups are told lies everyday in the name of development.
Outwardly, they recognize the contributions made to the country by Christians and other minority groups but there is a plan in the making to eliminate our right to vote and call India a Hindu nation. While churches and her institutions are being destroyed and Christians harassed everyday, the country is trying to convince us to believe in more lies. Christians do not need any special treatment we only need equal protection and equal freedom. We only need to be respected and our rights be honored. This we ask of the country because we believe in secular India where everyone is free to profess and practice his/her faith without fear.
Hatred against religious minority groups are proclaimed by majority religious leaders in the public squares and platforms while the authority have become mute spectators. This has created a deep sense of insecurity in the mind of the minorities. Religious platform are openly use to advocate hatred for the minorities and yet, the authority are blind and deaf to those utterances. In a pro-development regime there is an anti-minority regime working hard behind the curtain and the shadow of it is becoming clear and clearer with every move. The face of India is changing by the day, the communal forces are emboldened because of the silence of the people in power. We must pray for India. We must be the voice for the voiceless. We need to stand for the minorities who are oppressed and are made to suffer everyday.
B. Persecuted Church/Christians in India
- Pray for the communal forces working against Christians in India that they will be brought to justice
- Pray for the Christians to stand firm in their faith
- Pray for those who are falsely accused and are in prison without trial
- Pray for pastors facing pressure because of their ministry work
- Pray for boldness and God’s protection for believers and their families in India
- Pray that people in authority will rule the country justly with human face and deal sternly with those who sow the seed of hatred
As we set February 19 as a day of prayer for election in Nagaland and the persecuted Christians in India, let us do so in a repenting spirit. Let us pray that God will heal our land and that His purpose will be established.
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chron. 7:14)
Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho, General Secretary, NBCC