By Obinna Akukwe (Last up-date 01-09-2016)
In Nigeria it is prayer everywhere. The Churches, the Mosques, the Shrines, the forests, mountains, rivers, trees and every available space have been turned to prayer centers and yet the most insensitive governance is hoisted on the nation. Armed robbery, ritual killings, kidnappings, rape and injustice abounds everywhere.
Poverty, sickness, despair, frustration and attendant mediocrity, loss of confidence and resort to negative tendencies are the results of all our prayers. Now we have the newest addition, suicide bombings and reckless waste of human lives.
A lot of people of people have asked the question . Where is God when all these happens everyday? Nigerians pray all manners of prayers- 70 day fasting, 70 day deliverance, 40 day sallat, sallah fast, pilgrimage to Jerusalem, pilgrimage to Mecca and other dedicated sites of worship and yet you cannot entrust an adherent with your spouse for 24 hours.During General Sanni Abacha military regime, prayer marabous were imported from Mali, Siera-leone and Senegal when their Nigerian counterpart failed to kill NADECO with prayer.
These professional prayer warriors couldn't tell Abacha that Nigerians were tired of his dictatorship. During Olusegun Obasanjo civilian Presidency a lot of prayer warriors in the villa were busy impregnating youth corpers serving in the villa in the guise of securing permanent employment for them while the tenure elongation wanted to tear the polity. Obasanjo saw so much prayer hypocrisy that he had to resort to a combination of Africana and his faith to survive. Another group of prayer warriors have held President Goodluck hostage in the villa. They frighten him every time with gory prophecies while smiling to the banks.Everywhere people are praying. All these prayers are hypocritical prayers.
The Bible says in 2 chronicles chapter 7 vs 14 thus "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." The prerequisite for God to answer these prayers and heal Nigeria is repentance. David humbled himself when he was told by Prophet Nathan in the Bible that he had sinned. He tore his clothes and wept for many days until God had compassion. His Nigerian counterpart will do the opposite. He will travel to Jerusalem and Mecca and in the midst of the solemn ceremonies will excuse himself to co-ordinate how the next looting of government treasury will be clinically executed, and then he will get back to finish the ceremonies. Once the pilgrimage is over the Nigerian prayer warrior comes back to his church or mosque with air of answered prayers, having met the Almighty in the mountain of transfiguration. Then the poverty stricken congregation will hang around him to receive favors from him( after nights of fasting and days of salat for God to touch his heart).
God must be seriously solicited to touch the heart of the looter of public fund or else his church or mosque member will not receive any crumbs from the arrogantly distributed loot. The impoverished parishioner or mosque member knows that his religious co-member was part of the people who directly or indirectly put him in a state of poverty, insecurity, hopelessness and helplessness and therefore he equally begs God to give him the opportunity to partake of the looting of the national wealth since the congregational leader have not cared to query his thieving but important member on the source of the loot. The prayer warrior in Nigerian church or mosque is a hypocrite. Let his congregational priest or malam sermonize against sin, corruption, greed, inhumanity to man and disrespect for the feelings of others and he will get offended and leave the congregation while withdrawing his much needed funds.
However, call for prayer that all his enemies will die including the members of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and Justices about to reverse stolen electoral mandates and you will see all sorts of acrobatics, gymnastics, incantations, invocations and madness all in the name of prayer. There is no doubt that 'he that comes to equity must come with clean hands'. A thousand noise makers may be in a church but God hears only the ten who have decided in their heart not to follow the bandwagon if given the opportunity. If the combined prayer inertia of these ten men cannot move God or ward off the impending evil, then calamity is visited on everybody.
That is the problem the nation is having with this Boko Haram and other problems plaguing the nation. The dynamics of prayer is such that if your prayer is for personal or family matters, you could easily connect into the remote sites where the angels will attend to you on behalf of God. However, if your prayer were of general application, corporate in nature and of concern to the masses of people in your territory then another dynamics will apply. You must be sufficiently qualified before you can represent a state, region or nation in a prayer bouquet. A hypocrite could pray personal prayer and God will still answer because he is stirring personal spiritual space, however you must have enough locus standi before you stir a communal spiritual space in a prayer session. You must be potentially better than those you are praying against.
Let the Nigerian prayer warrior decide to live by the tenets of his faith which is "do unto others as you wish others do unto you" and before you raise your voice louder (even in a bush or batcher or atop mango tree) the Almighty God will answer and drive off those evil rulers who refuse to change for the better, out of our political space on their way to perdition.
The prayer hypocrisy in Nigeria has been taken to the highest proportion. Nigeria has been variously described as the most religious country in the world. Some describe Nigeria as the most spiritual country while others call it the most prayerful citizens on the earth.
A Nigerian pastor and his wife left the shores of the country about six years ago to do a prayer tour of Europe. At the point of entry to Netherlands, the immigration officials were piqued that a Nigerian missionary came all the way to Europe to pray and while crosschecking their papers, remarked that it was Nigeria and Africa that needed the prayers the more and that they should
The problem is that the numerous prayers and fasting have not produced tremendous corporate results. God have deliberately shut down Nigeria from His list of priorities. Nigerians have dethroned God from their hearts and enthroned the desire for money, power, fame in the very space meant for God. Therefore, God seems to have abandoned the nation to its antics.
During the build-up to the 2011 presidential elections, the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, went on pilgrimage to the Redemption Camp near Lagos and knelt before the most respected Pentecostal pastor in Nigeria, E.A. Adeboye, soliciting the assistance of God in the upcoming polls. The same scenario was reenacted all over the states and local government areas. Politicians and those seeking public offices thronged the churches, mosques, shrines and everywhere it is believed that God could be found. Those victorious have not shown any act of piety or fear of God in the manner they have administered their respective federal, states and local constituencies entrusted in their care. It is obvious that these politicians have used and dumped God and His prayer bands in the manner they use and dump hapless Nigerians.
God had answered the prayers of Nigerians in the past. The endless transition of former military president Babangida led to a heavy prayer outcry Iin the Churches especially after the annulment of June 12 elections and only Babangida knows what hastily pursued him out of State House in August 1993. The military Head of State, Abacha , caused so much tension in the polity that everybody prayed for God to deliver Nigeria and by June 1998, a new leadership replaced him. When Obasanjo wanted to rule Nigeria forever in his infamous tenure extension bid, the highly compromised members of the national assembly suddenly lost their voice on the final day of the deliberations in a manner which suggests divine confusion. This shows that God can step in to draw the line for Satan whenever his people rise in unity and objectively seeks His intervention.
There is certainly the reason why the prayer of Nigerians for an egalitarian society has not been answered. Those praying have abandoned the path of equity, fairness and justice and wants to bulldoze God into fulfilling parochial agenda. Nigerian Christians are quick to command fire on those sponsoring Boko Haram activities but they fail to chastise the incompetence of a Christian born president whom providence have given the opportunity and the apparatus of state to checkmate and prosecute all highly placed personalities who funded the bloodletting. This is hypocrisy. The Nigerian prayer warrior has abandoned the path of justice, equity and fairness and is following after interests that serve narrow vision.
The Muslim prayer warrior follows some patriotic Muslims to solicit the help of Allah to checkmate the activities of suicide bombers and sneaks out at night to provide funds and intelligence to the terrorists . His Christian counterpart in the armed forces follows church members to command fire on all the terrorists in the land and yet corners all budgeted security votes to contain the terrorists into private purse, utilizing same to buy expansive houses in London, Paris and Dubai, while the bandits murder innocent Christians and Muslims unchallenged. This is prayer hypocrisy of the Nigerian brand.
Galatians chapter6 vs 7 says ”Do not be deceived; For God cannot be mocked, whatsoever a man sows that shall he reap” Therefore the Nigerian prayer warrior is reaping the results of hypocritical prayers. Their prayers have not checkmated armed robbery attacks, kidnappings, cult activities, witchcraft activities and corrupt system of governance because the prayer is already tainted with double speaks. God does not support the looting of national treasury, confiscation of people’s electoral mandates and oppression of innocent people. God cannot support the derailment of justice and all infringements on people’s human rights. God cannot support deliberate impoverishment of people He created through the implementation of harsh
The Nigerian prayer warrior should fight injustice whether the victim is a Christian,Muslim or pagan. The prayer warrior must condemn evil whether it is perpetrated by a church member, mosque member or shrine member. These are part of the foundations which some western countries built; evil must be condemned, no matter who is involved. That a family member looted national wealth does not make it right. The prayer warrior must be objective in assessment of situations and not side by a religious or tribal sentiment in order to cover up evil. This is the root of intercession. Effective intercession involves unbiased assistance, assessment and urgent solicitation for Gods intervention.
The Nigerian prayer warrior should be ready to lead by example especially when given the opportunity to salvage the country in whatever capacity. He must desire to change the corrupt system which had brought oppression on the people. He must not follow in the footsteps of those who created problem for the masses. With this mindset it will not be difficult for God to raise a savior for Nigeria from among those praying for the progress of the nation, who will
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