By George Julius Williams

It was an historic day in the annals of the Christian community in Qatar when all the different denominational churches decided to dedicate Friday, 25 August 2017, as a PRAY FOR QATAR day.

The concept of a Pray to Qatar day happened in early August during a meeting I had with officials of DICID. Although Christian churches across Qatar do pray on a regular basis for this beloved nation and its leaders and for peace and prosperity to prevail there had not been a joint official communiqué regarding the matter.

The recent unjustified blockade by some nations gave an extra impetus for the Christians in Qatar to pray specifically for the land they live in and love. The Bible advises Christians in book of the Prophet Jeremiah (peace be upon him) to pray for the land they live in.

“Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you and pray to the Lord on its behalf. For in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jeremiah29.7)

I then went around contacting all the different denominational churches in Qatar especially the ones housed in the Religious Complex that has been so generously donated by the Qatar government for the Christian community to assemble and pray in a peaceful environment.

The concept was put forth to theCombined Churches Steering Committee (CCSC) of theReligious Complex who enthusiastically accepted the idea and decided in a joint meeting to dedicate Friday, August 25, as the Pray for Qatar day.

The general consensus in the meeting was that the“Christian Churches in Qatar are very much appreciative to His Highness the Father Emir for the provision of land and for permission allowing us to worship safely in this country.
Our churches regularly pray for peace, understanding and wisdom for the leaders of this blessed land.

The recent blockade and political situation is a concern to us all and we pray that a speedily return to normality and that reconciliation may prevail.
We will extend our pray for understanding and harmony within the Gulf region, seeking a peaceful resolution.”

We were most delighted to find that there was an overwhelming response of over 90% from all the different denominational churches and ALL of them agreed to go ahead with the blessed event on Friday, August 25, 2017.

The Religious Affairs Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)was also informed about the event as per theusual norm.

Thereafter, the CCSCsent a letter to HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thaniinforming His Highness’ office about the event, prior to the date.

In fact, it was an historical day in the annals of the Christian Churches in Qatar that all the different denominations prayed on the SAME DAY for the SAME CAUSE!

Below are some of the comments from the various church leaders BOTH within and the official churches outside the Religious Complex whom I spoke to after the event.

According to Father Ian Nicholson, General Manager of the Qatar Anglican Centre it was indeed a blessed day. There was an overwhelming 90% response from the various churches and they started their service by praying for Qatar, its leaders and the people of this blessed nation.

NeryAlphonso of the Roman Catholic Church, has beena regular helper in Our Lady of the Rosary Church for several years. He commented: It is always a blessing to pray for Qatar. We have been doing it regularly over the past years but this gave us an excellent opportunity to come together and pray for a speedy end to the current crisis.

Pastor Bhulabhai of the Telegu Christian Fellowship (Interdenominational Centre) remarked, “We dedicated an entire hour to pray for Qatar. We individually prayed for HH the Father Emir, HH the Emir and each and every minister by name so that the leaders of this beloved nation may be blessed with wisdom and understanding and for the peace, prosperity of all Qataris and the residents.”

Pastor Anish of the Hindi Fellowship (Interdenominational Centre) said that was both an honour and a duty to pray for the land we live in and love. The peace and prosperity of Qatar benefits not only the citizens but also the thousands of workers who are blessed abundantly by coming to work here and provide for their families back home.

Pastor Joy an elder from the Ghanaian community commented that besides the regular prayers we offer for Qatar that day was a special occasion blessed with favour and grace to cry out for harmony among brothers and peace and stability in the region.

Pastor Kavifrom the Philippines communityspoke on behalf of Evangelical Churches of Qatar (ECAQ) stating that it was indeed a unique day and powerful intercessory day to pray for Qatar in a combined voice and setting aside all interdenominational differences to come together for peace and prosperity of this beloved country.

Pastor Rob of Doha Fellowship said that they started the proceedings with prayers for Qatar, its leaders and citizens and residents alike and a speedy end to the current crisis.

I personally feel that we were blessed to see history in the making! A combined voice petitioned and prayed for this beloved nation, its leaders and its people both citizens and residents alike.
Different Christian denominational churches came together on the Same Day for Same Cause to bless this peaceful and prosperous nation.
We hope a dialogue between Qatar and the blockading nations takes place at the earliest and quick, just and peaceful solution is found to this unwarranted crisis.
God bless Qatar!

Williams Juliusis a member of the Qatar Anglican Pastors Fellowship and has been working in Doha for nearly 40 years as a journalist and media analyst. He was also the conceptualizer and chief coordinator of the PRAY TO QATAR day.