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Praying for the rains and healing in these times of desolation

 President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua together with their spouses pray during the National Solemn Assembly at the Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi on February 14, 2023. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

I have no idea how the national prayer day escaped my attention. I suppose when there is no contestation over who booked the venue first-the sort of disputation that we witnessed during the electioneering season- these things go unremarked.

It is that kind of kinyang'anyiro that spices up life and distracts the masses from the harsh realities of life under Kenya Kwanza, especially when the pictures of Prezzo Bill Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga aka Baba end up in newspaper pages placed in antagonistic poses under the caption: Who will blink first?

In this instance, there was no blinking at all but a complete shutting of the eye as the Kenya Kwanza brigade paraded at the Nyayo Stadium in their Tuesday best, in what they called "thanksgiving."

Indeed, we all have a lot be to be grateful for, especially the gift of life, even when the cost of living keeps pushing many to an early grave-because the date promised for the easing the burden of high cost of living keeps shifting.

Unsurprisingly, the opposition coalition, Azimio, have announced a prayer session of their own outside the premises of the electoral body, the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Azimio have been playing catch up these days, not just because Kenya Kwanza had their prayers already, but also because the IEBC is an empty boma, with almost the entire commission having bolted or retired under a cloud of ignominy.

Still, I think the idea of national prayers is a welcome intervention. We need a constant reminder that the land bequeathed us by our forebears was plentiful with water and pasture. And thanks to folks who preach that rains do not come from the trees, but the skies, we have decimated our environment.

And now, if we keep our hands raised in supplication, instead of using them to planting trees, what do we say to the wisdom that God helps those who help themselves?

That's not to say we don't need prayers; quite the contrary, we desperately need prayers because the same folks who pray from Sunday to Tuesday also extort and kill and maim for the rest of the week.

I say this because we brand ourselves as a Christian nation. So, perhaps the more prayer days we organise each week, the less criminality they will be.

We also need prayers for those who suffer hunger in their hearts for no matter how much they steal, they will never eat their fill. And the new "tumbocrats" in town are reportedly eating using spades instead of regular table spoon.

That's why such folks should keep their eyes permanently shut in prayer, for when they open them they lust after other people's wives and property, especially public property in form of land.

We also need prayers so that those in power are not vengeful towards their detractors. But the singular prayer is for our leaders to have the grace when dealing with those they defeat in political contests. After all, we have had regular invocations, siasa si uadui, meaning political competition is not enmity.

They should also be reminded that when someone ascends to power, they are empowered to transcend pettiness. Yet, the opposite is also true: should one pursue the ruinous path of reminding Kenyans who voted for whom, then Kenya Kwanza's razor-thin margin of victory affirms that nearly as many Kenyans voted for other candidates.

But the reason I am inclined to attend the next prayer session is because of the unverified claim that those in attendance are going to become millionaires because a preacher said so, even without putting an honest day's work.

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