ZAMBIA tomorrow celebrates the first anniversary of the declaration of the National Day of Prayer and Fasting by President Edgar Lungu last year under the theme ‘‘Promoting reconciliation, healing; celebrating unity in diversity’’. Leading the nation-wide programme, President Lungu is expected to lay the foundation stone to mark the construction of the National House of Prayer in Lusaka which will be the national shrine and symbol of our commitment to seek God first in all that we do and a mark of respect and reverence to the One and only God Almighty. October 18 of each year from now on will be not only a national holiday but a constant reminder of the season of healing, forgiveness and reconciliation among men of goodwill and the country as a whole. It will be the fulfilment of Zambia as a Christian nation and our desire to live by the hallowed ideals of the true followers of the church of Christ. It is a tall order to try and emulate those high standards of morality as chronicled in the Bible but they serve to promote good order and they are the hallmark of good governance. While no man or society can claim or aspire to be perfect, the declaration of the National Day of Prayer and Fasting should remind each and every citizen of their responsibility to each other as brother’s keeper and the need to behave and act in a manner that enhances Zambia as a civilised, fledgling democracy anchored on the rule of law. The country is today beset by challenges of poverty, joblessness and inequality with their offshoots of corruption, financial crimes and general conduct of impunity where citizens deliberately circumvent established order to get what they want for personal gain. This is not what a Christian nation entails. It instead demands from every Zambian to strive and thrive through honest hard work. The Bible condemns laziness and instructs lazy ones not to eat but blesses the spirit of enterprise and those who seek wealth and high standards of living by the honest sweat of their brows. God hates the corrupt and those who take advantage of the poor by using their political or civil positions to amass wealth for themselves or use the law to oppress the ignorant and the powerless; especially those who use their knowledge to exploit and trample upon the rights of their fellowmen. As we reflect deeply on the meaning of what it is we are praying and fasting about, each one of us must examine our conscience and find out what it is we are doing for our fellow men to make their lives better; to ease the pain and burden of their illness or simply empower them out of their poverty. How many of us live the Christian way and are a shining example to our communities through selfless service and sacrifice to make their lives better? Is it not true that we are in most cases preoccupied with our own personal struggles to achieve our selfish ambitions at the expense of the common good? As President Lungu lays the foundation stone for the National House of Prayer, we are setting for ourselves high moral standards that demand the eradication of corruption characterized by the brazen acts of thieving by traffic police officers on the road, the alleged goings-on in the big road construction contracts and oil procurement. Promoting reconciliation and healing means some of our opposition leaders stopping daring the police and defying authority. It also means no more police brutality against innocent citizens. Zambia is for all of us and we are all for Zambia. This is what it means to celebrate unity in diversity.