While millions of people in the developed world turned on the style and spent billions of dollars entertaining themselves on New Year’s Eve, thousands of poor and desperate Zimbabweans decided to turn to God.

With the chaos in the ruling Zanu PF likely to escalate this year and no hope of economic revival, Zimbabweans are pinning their hopes of a better future in God.

“It’s better to put your trust in the Lord than in these politicians,” said 32-year-old Tafara Mudonhi, an economics graduate who has failed to land a proper job for the past six years.

Mudonhi joined thousands of other unemployed people who thronged Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa’s Crossover Night in Chitungwiza to seek divine intervention for the country’s seemingly unending economic woes.

Zimbabwe’s already escalating unemployment rate, estimated at more than 85 percent, increased in the past year when hundreds of companies shut down.

The country’s economic crisis has deepened since long-time President Robert Mugabe, who will turn 91 next month, won re-election in a controversial plebiscite in July 2013.

Factories in the once bustling industrial zones in the main cities have crumbled unabated. Job seekers — mainly university graduates —on foot in the scorching heat are turned away. Railroad tracks once used by trains to ferry raw materials and supplies are now overgrown with weeds and are in advanced stages of decomposition.

With rains becoming sporadic in the last decade, most rural people are drifting into Harare to search for opportunities to make money but many end up selling vegetables, trinkets and mobile phone rechardge cards on the streets to make ends meet.

Statistics from the World Bank showed that 46 percent of Zimbabwe’s 13 million people now survive by running such informal businesses.

Preaching from the book of Psalm 62 verse 11, Makandiwa told the congregation to get ready for God’s power in 2015 that will bring abundant peace, order and increase in their lives.

Across town Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) leader Prophet Walter Magaya told thousands of congregates who braved the chilly weather that new minerals will be discovered in Zimbabwe this year.

“There shall be wonders in Mozambique. There shall be wonders in Zimbabwe. Barrenness is going forever. We are about to be fruitful. We are about to multiply,” said Magaya.

The situation was the same in most cities and towns across the country as various churches gathered to praise God and seek spiritual guidance in the New Year.

Political commentator Reason Wafawarova, however, urged Zimbabweans to put their focus on the Creator and not on miracles and get-rich-quickly schemes promised by the new breed of charismatic preachers.

“Essentially, prosperity gospel offers us an easily manipulated God. It places God on our side, not us on His side, and it eliminates his sanctity and his sovereignty. It gives us this vain God who can easily be manipulated through offerings and eloquent words of faith,” he said

Wafawarova noted that prosperity gospel derives its strength from greed and guilt.

“There is this cycle of greed and guilt, where the longer it takes for promises to come, the more one feels guilty of lacking in faith, or of not being good enough a giver in church,” he said adding that the greed for material returns coupled with this guilt would create an addiction that leads to cultic fanaticism.

“Naturally, the message of prosperity appeals to the flesh, and it capitalises on the natural desires for health and wealth.

“The message promises the desires of our sinful hearts, and no more do we find the call to repent from sin, no more do we find the call to deny oneself, no more do we find the call to pick up one’s cross, no more do we find the call to follow Jesus, and no more do we hear of the call to die for Christ,” added Wafawarova.