Don’t abandon work for prayers, Archbishop Kaigama advices Christians

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

The Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama, has frowned at the attitude among Christians who rely solely on their faith for things they could handle by themselves.

He advised Christians not to rely on such faith, prayers, fasting or other religious activities alone for social and economic emancipation.

Archbishop Kaigama insisted that due diligence, hard work, wisdom, skills and other relevant experiences must accompany prayers, fasting or other religious supplications to succeed in any human endeavor.

Archbishop Kaigama, who spoke at the Sacred Heart Catholic Parish, Airport, Abuja, strongly disabuse the minds of Christians that such prayers and fasting, without work, could guarantee breakthrough.

He said that Christians must be patient and consistent in prayers, making reference to a woman in the Bible who prayed for 12 years. ‘Jairus never stopped believing God even when he was told his daughter was already dead. Philippians 4:13 assured us that with faith we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Undoubtedly, no problem is too complicated for Jesus to solve.

‘What is striking in the story is the faith of the woman and Jairus who refused to stop at anything till their persistent faith got them their hearts desires.

‘Howbeit, faith and good work must go together. Do not abandon work for prayers or be working when you should be praying. We need to budget and use our time well. Instead of going on a retreat or spending time fasting on a mountain on a day of work, you should be engaged at your work.

‘Faith that tells you not to seek medical treatment is not a matured faith. We must combine faith and reason. A man whose house is on fire but chooses to pray the Rosary has a naive faith.

‘Dear friends, the type of faith we demonstrate in Pilots or Doctors is the type of faith we should demonstrate in our political leaders. But they must, first, be exemplary, selfless in service and sensitive to the needs of people under their care, especially in the use of public resources.

‘Leaders can only command the respect of people when they don’t pursue their personal comfort or engage in an arrogant display of wealth and the paraphernalia of power. As Jesus identified with the sick, the suffering and downtrodden, our leaders must make conscious efforts to alleviate people’s suffering.’

Archbishop Kaigama lamented the worsening security situation in Nigeria, which, obviously, has threatened the peace, unity and economic growth and development of Nigeria.

‘Farmers cannot go to the farm in today Nigeria for fear of bandits and kidnappers. Children are unsafe in school and youths are frustrated to the point of desperation. Leaders must, therefore, wake up to their responsibilities, to help heal the trauma of poverty, the psychological stress of insecurity and the fatigue of daily life.’

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