· Christians, especially the Roman Catholic faithful, are observing the period of Lent
· Minority caucus of the Nigerian House of Reps members are urging Nigerians to use the period to pray for peace in Nigeria
· The Reps members said the period should lead to inner renewal and self discipline for Christians
· Christians should not be carried away by the outward observance but allow for inner rejuvenation
· The Reps members want all Christians who may have fallen away to return to God
As Christians all over the world commence the observance of the 40 days Lenten season, the minority caucus in the House of Representatives has urged Nigerians to use the period to pray for peace and unity of the nation.
The lawmakers, in a statement by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP Delta), on Wednesday, noted that the 40 days of prayers, fasting and abstinence must lead to inward renewing, self-discipline and faithfulness as contained in the teachings of Lent.
Elumelu tasked Nigerians, especially leaders, not to be carried away by the outward observations but allow for an innermost spiritual rejuvenation and redirection as reinforced by the period of Lent.
He stressed that such spiritual direction is key towards restoring hope and pulling “our nation out of the woods of our current political, economic and social predicaments.”
“As we begin another journey of 40 days of prayer, fasting and abstinence, God is telling us to return to him. This return must take place in our hearts, not merely in our external appearances.
“The ashes that we are receiving today is not meant for an outward show, but should minister humility and dependence on God, in reminding us of our ephemeralness and that God is the only hope for mankind.
“As we observe the Lent, we must adhere to the command of the Lord Jesus Christ to be careful not to show off our spiritual exercises to attract the praises of others but to use the period to advance a life of humility, love, charity, forgiveness, penitence, self discipline and deeper spiritual growth”, the caucus stated.
Elumelu urged leaders to use the period to have deep introspections regarding their dealings with the people and redouble their effort in service, especially knowing that one day, one will stand before God to give account of his or her stewardship.
He also urged those behind the wanton killings and other acts of violence in the country to retrace their steps, as their actions cannot be justified under any guise.
The caucus prays for the peace, unity and stability of our nation and urges Nigerians to continue to be one another’s keepers particularly at this critical time.