Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa led a national prayer on Monday to seek after God's intervening hand amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Praying over his country, President Mnangagwa also petitioned the Lord for forgiveness and asked that he might have mercy on Zimbabwe. In his state broadcast, he prayed:
“Forgive those who have worshipped idols and false gods. Forgive us for all the immorality and uncleanliness. Forgive us for every act of injustice or corruption that has made the poor to suffer or the innocent to die."
The prayer meeting was held at the State House in the capital city of Harare and involved the reciting of different Bible verses that make reference to repentance and forgiveness.
Last week, Mnangagwa urged the nation to come together in prayer and fasting and to ask the Lord to stop the spread of coronavirus. Some reports indicate that on the day of this week's meeting, commuters and travellers in the capital of Harare were stopped by police and ordered to go home and pray.
Roman Catholic Priest Father Fidelis Mukonori said the National Day of Prayer and Fasting should be observed by every Zimbabwean regardless of political persuasion.
He said: "It has nothing to do with politics, neither is it a political whip. It is rather a national cry for the people of Zimbabwe so that God can hear us."
Bulawayo Archbishop Alex Thomas added: “Every citizen has a duty to pray for the country, its people and its leaders. Since the call came from the leader of the country to pray, we need to follow the request because it is for the welfare of the people and the welfare of the nation. We need to pray every day, not only once. We cannot pray only when there is a crisis. Prayer is an everyday activity so that God can see our genuine faith and bless us."
Methodist Church in Zimbabwe Bishop for Bulawayo District Reverend Matthew Ncub said that those in attendance were praying for "victory over the invisible enemy Covid-19."
The President of the Association of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe (AACZ). Archbishop Tsungai Vushe, also urged unity in prayer.
"As a nation, it is our role to pray to God so that he helps us and intervene in this situation of Covid-19 that we are faced with.
"This disease does not care which party you belong to as it affects us all here thus as the children of Zimbabwe we must come together despite our differences and come together in prayer so that God can hear our prayers."
So far, there have been 387 confirmed cases of the virus in Zimbabwe, with four deaths.