The governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has urged Nigerians to beseech God in prayers for Him to reverse the negative conditions in the country that had retarded its socio-economic and infrastructural development.
The governor made the call on Sunday at the dedication of Practical Grace of God’s Mission International Church’s new Temple, Effurun, near Warri.
He said that evil was on the increase in the society because the hearts of many people were not dwelling places for God, and charged those who believe in God to turn their hearts away from evil.
He congratulated the General Overseer of the church, Apostle Bendream Umukoro, members of the church and all who contributed towards the building of the temple.
“This is a house of worship built for each and every one of us to worship the Lord, our God. It is truly beautiful and I am very excited about the edifice.
“May God continue to bless the works of your hands and those of the members of the church. Since you built a place of worship, may God truly uplift you higher,” Okowa said.
He commended the Umukoro for his philanthropy and immense benevolence, saying that he was impressed with the way he had taken the burden of others with strong passion by funding their education and playing a fatherly role in their lives.
According to him, the best way to make the society a better place is for the privileged individuals to extend hands of fellowship to the less-privileged.
“I may not worship in your church daily but I am excited on this day. There are some people you meet in the course of your life, and I believe that God has directed me to be with him (Apostle Umukoro) and for him to be with me because of this governorship.
“I believe that he prays for me as regularly as he ought to. I want to let the church know, particularly yourself (Apostle Umukoro) and some of our fathers in the Lord that your prayers are truly working,” the governor said.
He, therefore, solicited the prayers of Christians to enable those in positions of authority to be focused in delivering good governance to the people, pointing out that with Jesus Christ, every challenge is surmountable.
“It has taken a lot of years for us to get to where we are today as a nation, but I still believe that we need the prayers of the church and the commitment of men of God to continue to stay connected to God because it is God that can turn things around and we will be happy again.
“A lot of changes have come in over the years. There are too many strange things going on in our land but as Christians, we ought not to fear; we ought to pray and continuously hope that things can turn around for the better,” he said.
Earlier in a sermon, Bishop Pius Odioko of Jesus Dominion Mission, Warri, said the dwelling place for God was the hearts of His children and not inside a church building.
He advised the congregation to make their hearts a clean temple for God to reside.
Odioko said that it should be seen as a big honour to build for God, emphasising that David in the Bible could not build for God in spite of his relationship with Him (God) as a result of sin.
He reminded Christians of the need to keep their hearts clean so as to attract God’s presence and interpersonal communion.
In his speech, the General Overseer of the church, Apostle Umukoro, said that the church auditorium was a divine mandate given to him by God and pledged to go further by winning more souls for God.
He commended Okowa for his love for Christ and for his developmental efforts across the three senatorial districts of the state, and assured him of his continued prayers.
The Pere of Akugbene-mien, Kalanama VIII, inaugurated the church edifice while Bishop Odioko dedicated the new Temple to God.