On Tuesday last week, national prayers were held at Nyayo Stadium. In the same week, the law society of Kenya (LSK) also held prayers. Azimio la Umoja political faction is planning prayers this week, specifically for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The question is, are these prayers biblical and effective? Is the church occupying its rightful position in the nation? And what does Jesus say in Luke 19:13 and how does that relate to the church in Kenya today?
Luke 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
Rev. Tom Otieno says that the bone of contention is politicization of prayers. Prayer is something that the church should have full control over because it is the church’s business.
What politics does, according to Rev. Charles Opiyo, is that it makes people pray at people, rather than pray to God.
“The church is not occupying. We are captives in the (Kenya Kwanza and Azimio) camps because we are not leading the narratives. Instead the narrative being set for the church,” says Rev. Charles.
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“The evangelical side was present at Nyayo stadium but the NCCK and KCCB were absent. That shows that the church as a house is divided. The church needs to come together and ask, how do we unite before we can lead the nation in prayer?”
On his side, Rev. Tom says that the church has taken sides and it should not. The church by design is salt and you can’t have salt A and salt B. Jesus simply clarified that salt is either tasty or it’s not.
The church is on the Lord’s side. If not, it loses itself.
Rev. Tom urges that the church must talk about money because whenever it’s introduced – on either political side – it brings chaos. More often than not, money is all the politician has to offer.
“When the politician has nothing to offer you, you have everything to offer him. There’s nothing wrong with a politician appreciating what the clergy do but there’s everything wrong with them influencing what clergy do,” says Rev. Charles.
Money is not evil, it’s the love of it that’s the problem. That when money has excessive sway over your values and it determines your choices.
According to Rev. Charles, the church in Kenya has a window of opportunity but it’s possible to squander it.
“We are limiting our engagement with powers that be to prayer. Prayer we can do without engaging. We should be sitting at round tables and asking, what wisdom can we bring to governance and healing this nation? This will carry more impact and will be seen in policies not rallies”
“If we get stuck at the money level, that’s all we will get.”
Salt and light have effect and that’s seen in the environment that they are put in.
Watch Rev. Charles Opiyo and Rev. Tom Otieno talk about how church needs to occupy and be salt and light in Kenya. They were speaking on the Crosstalk show this week, hosted Fred Njiri. Topic – Occupy Till I Come.