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Fathers should lead families in prayer - Reverend.

Fathers should guide and lead families in these difficult times as the country prepares to deal with the threat posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19), says a Reverend from the Church of Nazareth.

In an interview with Samoa Observer, Reverend Esekia Alopule Semisi of the Church of Nazareth at Vaitele-Fou appealed to the fathers of Samoa, saying this is the time for them to lead their families in prayer as the state of emergency (S.O.E.) has resulted in the banning of Sunday services.

“Fathers are the leaders of families. I know that in our era, many fathers aren’t leading their families in prayer. Many families now have the mothers lead them in prayer so this is the time that fathers should step up and lead their families through these difficult times, especially the matai of each family,” he said.

The Government recently announced a national prayer and fasting week as part of the S.O.E. with Reverend Semisi identifying this as an opportunity for each family to teach their children about the Word of God.

“We are now in a national prayer and fasting week and this is really important for every family in Samoa. This is the opportunity for every family to teach their children about the Word of God because I believe that this is rare in families nowadays,” he added.

According to Reverend Semisi, many families do not have evening prayers and people should not only pray but also read the Holy Bible.

“Some families aren’t doing evening prayers anymore so this is a great chance to pray as a family and start fasting. Praying and fasting isn’t the only thing you should do, people should also read the Word of God,” he said.

Reverend Semisi said their church has been praying and fasting since the beginning of the year for the country’s guidance through the challenges it is currently facing.

“Our church is carrying on with praying and fasting. We have been praying and fasting since the beginning of the year. It is really important for us to pray and fast so that we can receive guidance through these difficult times. Not only the cyclones but also throughout the measles epidemic,” he added. 

Praying and fasting is the strength of every Christian and the only way of finding a cure is by having a close relationship with God, he said.

“I believe that this is the strength of all Christians, not only a prayer and fasting for an individual but for all of Samoa. There is no other way of finding a cure for the disease because God is the only way. We must have a close relationship with God,” he said.

 When asked by the Samoa Observer if he had any spiritual advice for the people in Samoa during these times, he quoted 2 Chronicles 7: 13, 14.

“In 2 Chronicles 7: 13, 14 Solomon prayed to God for his people and God told him, If I shut up the Heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal the land,” he said.

Reverend Semisi stated that people are becoming distant from God and that being humble and asking God for forgiveness is the key.

 “I believe that this is the key if people are humble before God and ask Him for forgiveness for our sins and to turn away from wickedness. Some people’s relationship with God has become very distant. There is no other way but to be humble and seek God,” he added.

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