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Good News Baptist Church Surulere kickstarts Nigeria’s 61st Independence commemoration with Cantata, Prayers

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Image Credits: Screenshot/GNBC.

The countdown to Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary was kicked off on Sunday, 26th September with a Sacred Cantata held by members of the Good News Baptist Church in Surulere.

A cantata is a short musical work, with words usually based on a religious subject; in this case, Nigeria’s Independence.

Performed by the Sanctuary Choir, resplendent in their green and white traditional attires, and instrumentalists of the church, the 61st Independence Cantata was introduced with a medley of two hymns – Gracious Father, a Beethoven composition, and Lift Up Your Heads, composed by Frederic Handel.

Reverend Dr. Kayode Ilupeju, Resident Pastor, Good News Baptist Church, Surulere, leading prayers for Nigeria at its 61st Independence Anniversary at a Cantata at the church on Sunday, 26th September 2021.

In the opening prayer, the resident pastor of the church, Rev. Dr. Kayode Ilupeju admonished Christians to thank God for keeping Nigeria together as a nation for its 61 years.

He said Nigerians should be grateful that the nation was not being dismembered, thrown into confusion, or taken over by the powers of darkness.

Directed by the Music Minister of the church, Rev. Dr. Adeolu Ogunleye, the Sanctuary Choir sang through several compositions including Welcome, a highlife composition by Rev. Dr. Sola Asipe of the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso. Other songs were: We offer you praise (salsa – Kurt Carr) Jesus brought me out (negro spiritual – Freddie Fuller).

Hymns rendered included My Country ‘Tis of Thee, written by Samuel F. Smith to the tune America, Battle Hymn of the Republic – Julia Ward Howe, Onward Christian Soldiers – Sabine Barring-Gould.

The Cantata was concluded with two special compositions – Nigeria will Survive and Remember Nigeria.

In the prayer of intercession for the country at 61, Reverend Dr. Kayode Ilupeju asked Christians to confess their sins and accept culpability in the sins of the nation.

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He asked them to pray for the forgiveness of all Nigerians despite that they were terrorists, kidnappers, murderers, thieves, embezzlers, drug traffickers, illegal weapon manufacturers, corrupt policemen, customs men, immigration officers, politicians, and elected representatives.

The Baptist preacher admonished that God was mindful of the confession of sin, admission of wrong and resolve to repent of sin.

“On account of this, God will turn the tide of evil away from us. He will remove the sword of judgment dangling over us and He will preserve this nation. God will frustrate the further decay of this nation’s life by the enemy. He will restrict and restrain the host of darkness and their human agents from further destruction of this nation,” he assured.

Reverend Ilupeju asked Christians to pray for the grace to retrace their steps back to God and not return to sin.

He assured that after repentance, God was sure to bless the nation.

“God will demonstrate His loving kindness so that He can begin to heal the land.”

Rev. Dr. Ilupeju asked Christians to pray that “we will see the rebirth of our nation, the transformation of our entire existence, vast progress being made at every level; that God will take the battle to those who remain resolute to continue along the path of wickedness and win the battle against them and will make His purpose for this land to be fully established by His power.”

He also asked Christians to pray that “God will move throughout the length and breadth of this nation to establish His counsel, to fulfil His plans, and the original purpose for which He brought this nation into being will begin to emerge and be evident to all.”

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Reverend Dr. Ilupeju’s intercessional prayer ran thus:

“Our dear Father, once again we give glory and praise to your Holy name for the opportunity given to us to stand on behalf of our land for your mercy, for your intervention. We ask that even as we have admitted our wrongdoings, our sinfulness, our contributions even to all the evils that are destroying our nation, that have made our nation a very difficult place for all to live in, You, O God, will accept our confession and will forgive our sins in the name of Jesus.

Our dear Father, we pray that beginning from us and extending to every person in this land, You, O God, will forgive us our sins. We are not trying to justify our sinfulness. We are not claiming we are righteous. We are admitting that we are unrighteous, even wicked, obstinate, stubborn, and rebellious. O Lord, for the sake of Jesus who died for our sins on the cross of Calvary, may You forgive our sins in the name of Jesus. Show us your mercy. Help us to find our way back to You, to begin to live life in accordance with your will in Jesus’ name. Grant us, O God, a truly repentant spirit that will not go back to its vomit in the name of Jesus. Grant us that grace to be an influence on others to do what is right through the example of our own lives in the name of Jesus.

Father, we pray that the sword of judgment that used to hang over this nation, will not fall in the name of Jesus. We’ve done enough to go into oblivion, to be totally obliterated from the surface of the earth. But we pray that because of Jesus, because You are a loving, kind, and merciful God, this sword of judgment will not fall upon us in Jesus’ name. Rather, You, our Lord, will take up from where are, in this position of admittance of our sins, and also repentance from them to the height You want us to live up to in Jesus’ name.

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Help us, O Father, to walk with You so that through us the rebirth of this nation shall be established. Again, we pray, that as many that are still obstinate, rebellious, unwilling to change, do not allow them to gain the upper hand again in our land. Rather, O God, move against them and through the power that only You wield over the affairs of all men in every nation, all these evils will be dealt with by You. No one, no institution can restrain all these wicked foes of the nation who are all over the place. Lord, we are believing in You, that you have the power to do and undo. Father, please move against the destroyers of this nation. Now that You have forgiven our sins, we pray that You destroy them, You’d weaken their hands, You’d dismantle them in the name of Jesus. Just as Jesus stilled and quietened the storm on the sea of Galilee, may you quiet and still the raging storm of evil in this land. Grant us your intervention. Let your perfect will be done in this land. Be mindful, O God of our call and cry upon You today.”

The full Cantata can be watched below:

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