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President Uhuru says he has forgiven those who do not understand power of prayer

By STEVE MKAWALE and PATRICK KIBET | October 23rd 2017

Calls to unite Kenyans and ensure elections do not tear the country apart dominated a national prayer meeting attended by the President and his deputy in Nakuru on Sunday.

Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto were among hundreds of faithful who converged at Afraha Stadium to pray for the nation ahead of Thursday's repeat presidential election.

The five-hour event was conducted by evangelical churches and attended by Muslim and Hindu clerics.

Supported by Evangelical Churches of Kenya, clerics brought faithful together to call on God to restore their broken and divided nation.

After the sermon, prayers, praise and worship, the church leaders anointed and blessed the President, his deputy, and their spouses.

And when he took to the podium at 3pm, President Kenyatta struck a reconcilliatory tone, urging Kenyans to continue praying for peace and unity.

To show that when all else fails desperate people turn to God, Uhuru closed the event with a prayer.

He prayed to God for forgiveness and unity among Kenyans ahead of a key poll that is set to determine Kenya's political future.

"I know there are those who chided and criticised me for calling for prayers but I know the power of prayers. I forgive them for failing to understand the power of prayers," he said.

The Head of State reiterated that the October 26 polls would take place and urged those who were against it to allow others to exercise their democratic right in peace.

“But the most important thing is for all of us to remember we will still remain Kenyans whether you voted or not," he said.

He urged Kenyans to shun politicians who divide them, saying: “Your neighbour will remain your neighbour even after the polls and you will continue borrowing each other stuff like salt."

Kenyatta added: “Continue living as brothers and sisters because this country shall stand and weather all political storms."

He said Kenya had remained stable when "our neighbours like Somali have been in turmoil".

"I'm standing here today as a testimony that God answers prayers. God did not only unite, but he also gave us victory in 2013," Mr Ruto added.

Quoting the Bible - 2 Chronicles 13, he said the country was at a crossroads due to tribal politics and ethnic divisions.

"I know there is anxiety and doubts what will happen after October 26 but I want to assure you that if God did it in 2013, He will do it again," he said.

"We trust in a living God and we believe all is well in this country. As we are in this blessed city of Nakuru, we ask all of us, regardless of religion, tribe and creed, to help this country to use its resources to prosper and unite the people."

The church representatives included Bishop Mark Kariuki, the chairman of the Evangelical Churches of Kenya, Evangelist Teresia Wairimu, Apostle William Kimani, and lawyer Sally Mahihu of Faith Evangelistic Ministry in Karen, Nairobi.

Ms Wairimu, who was one of the organisers of the event, said the call for national prayers was a wise decision that would help unite Kenyans.

Quoting the Bible - Nehemiah 2:17 - she said clergymen cannot stop praying for Kenya.

“It is my prayer that we shall stand hand in hand with the vision of our President. Let us unite and bring the people together. Let us put our differences, divisions and opinions aside and build a nation for future generations,” she said.

Day's sermon

Wairimu, who delivered the day's sermon, said Kenyans were tired of political brinkmanship and 'want their lives back' after October 26.

Thee Opposition has called street demonstrations and urged its supporters to boycott the October 26 elections.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said he was humbled that the clergy chose Nakuru County for the prayers.

“Nakuru's Afraha Stadium has held previous prayer meetings that were answered. Nakuru is a special place and that's why the ICC cases were dismissed," he said. “The God who has heard us the last two times we have been here will hear our prayers today."

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said Kenyans believe in God and its leaders know the power of prayers.

“I urged Christians, Muslims, and other religious faithful to pray for this country and trust that God will deliver this country," said the Garissa town MP.

The event concluded with a prayer for Opposition chief Raila Odinga.

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