Zambia President Edgar Lungu

(Photo : UNIDO/Flickr/CC) Zambia President Edgar Lungu held a national day of prayer to seek God's wisdom in solving the country's problems.

Zambia came together for a day of prayer and fasting to pray for the revival of the country and ask God to set their country on track.

"I wish to thank the Almighty God for allowing us to assemble and observe the day of repentance, reconciliation, prayer, and fasting," President Edgar Lungu said in his public address. "I personally believe that since we humbled ourselves as a people and have sincerely cried out to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he has heard our cry, has forgiven our sins, and will surely heal our land."

Zambia is plagued by a range of problems ranging from the declining price of copper, its chief export product; droughts driving up the prices of crops leading to sharp rise in inflation; and water shortages and the consequently reduced capacity of hydropower power plants to produce electricity. All of this has sent their currency (kwacha) spiraling downwards, which plunged 50 percent against US dollar this year.

"God is a God of miracles and if we ask him, he will bless us and the kwacha shall be restored to its former strength and the prices of goods shall again go down," International Fellowship of Christian Churches in Zambia (IFCC) President Simon Chihana, told AFP.

"Let's pray to God to have mercy on us," Chihana said. "God has done that before and he can do it again."

Football matches were cancelled, while nightclubs and bars were closed on the day of prayer, in a country in which 80 percent of its population is Christian, out of which 68 percent are Protestants, and 21 percent are Catholics.

The day of prayer was welcomed by leaders of both Protestant and Catholic denominations.

"We congratulate President Lungu for putting God as number one in his life. He has shown it, and may Kings respect him," Bishop Peter Ndhlovu of Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) was quoted as saying by the Times of Zambia.

Hakainde Hichilema, an opposition party leader, however, did not come in support of the prayer day.

"We are not against genuine calls for prayers and reconciliation in the nation. To start with, prayers and reconciliation for some of us who are believers and regularly attend church service in our Christian nation is a major undertaking and we do this with very genuine intentions," Hichilema said in a statement published in the Lusaka Voice.

He dubbed the prayer and fasting day as "an attempt to abrogate commandment 3 [don't take the Lord's name in vain] with regard to the call for a dedicated day of prayers and reconciliation."

Last month President Lungu had expressed concern over the affairs of the nation.

"Anxiety and distress prevail throughout the land. Indeed, hope seems to have deserted the minds of the people. It is almost as if the wise counsel of the learned among us are not a match to the crisis before us," he had said last month while proclaiming the day of prayer and fasting.

King of the Kingdom of Swaziland, Mswati III, lauded President Lungu's decision to hold the day of prayer to look to God to ask for his wisdom.

"The kingdom of Eswaniti believes in the wisdom of God. I was pleased to hear that a week ago, you had a national day of prayers and service for the healing of the economy and peace of this country," Mswati III said.

Many citizens of Zambia who observed the day of prayer and fasting also commented on Twitter, using the hashtag ZambiaPrays.

Edgar Chaimilila Lungu #ZambiaPrays - love that.

- Eve Banda Nkumbula (@EveBanda) October 18, 2015


Whatever happens tomorrow, it makes me proud to be Zambian right now#ZambiaPrays - Grace Nobutu Mboma (@Nobutu1) October 18, 2015


Faith Without Works Is Dead - What does it profit, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?. Remember as #ZambiaPrays



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