What is it with us and prayer? If I hear, after another major national disaster, any “leader” urging people to pray or declaring national holiday dedicated to prayer, I would disown my green passport . Okay, perhaps I would not, but seriously I know I would go crazy, figuratively. Please do not get me wrong, I believe in prayer but I do not believe prayer works without work. After-all, heaven helps those who help themselves.
When will Nigerians get it that until we start animating our prayer with actions, Nigeria is not going to get better? God is a living God! He does not take 50 years before answering prayers, and HE does not believe in magic and would not send “messiah” to clean up our mess. We are going to have to get on our grind in addendum with prayer if we want to see a better Nigeria. Most societies have gone through what we are going through but none of them made it out of their funk due to one messiah or two or more, but a collective work of everybody saying enough is enough to status quo, and mounting massive effort to and for change.
In fact, God has answered our prayers a long time ago, we are just too blind, wasteful, and lazy to see and realize it. Our land is blessed with lushness, natural resources galore, great minds, and the can-do ability of “never say die”. God has put in forces for us to harness for our greatness, yet we barrage him everyday asking for the same things He has provided. We are such ungrateful fools. We let love and glorification of vices destroy our society but want God to just appear or send his angel to come down and clean up our mess. Ask yourselves, if you were God, what would you have done?
It is rampant to see students living and dying in church under the guise of “doing God’s work” and praying their life away, instead of being in the library studying, yet they expect to be successful in their courses. It is pervasive in our society to see a “leader” praying to God to solve society issues. What are you a leader for? Isn’t finding solutions to issues plaguing the society the reason you were selected (oops, elected)? It is like we are expecting God to come fix our death trap roads, our suffocating self-inflicted noise pollution, our death enabling hospitals, and our violence wielding empty-headed government.
Listen to a Nigerian talk; before s/he says one or two things, he’s already invoking the name of God. It seems we do this in order to absolve ourselves of pro-action, responsibility, or fault. The fatalistic frame of mind has left us vulnerable to be taken for a ride. I was, on the other day, watching the TV NEXT program asking regular Nigerians on the street what they are expectant of in year twenty ten. Everyone was talking God this God that, “Nigeria needs prayer” “Our government is useless but everything is in the hand of God” “God shall perfect me this year” “my economic prosperity this year will not be based on economy of Nigeria” “I shall be rich this year despite the economic stagnation or regression of the country” “We shall continue to pray” “Let us continue praying.” Nothing was mentioned as to how they are going to go by the daily businesses or make change in order to achieve greater height or effort to hold their “leaders” responsible but God this! God that!! God there!!!
To make matters worse, our over-religiosity has voluntarily submitted us, supinely, to the hands of religious 419ers aka “Men of God” (most of them anyway). We made it easy for these religious capitalists to use Christianity—a true weapon for social justice, for their self aggrandizements. We rather pay attention to them than our bible. They urge us to pray and pray and pray for better days without encouraging or mobilizing us as to how we can use our hands to shape our destiny, while they collude with our tormentors to lord it over us with no end in sight.
Do we think at all? Have we not realized that our progress lies in collective good and not individuality, collective empowerment and not individual empowerment? We need to realize that our rulers are not lording it over us individually, they have managed to gather themselves (like-minded), built a deadly cohesive oppressive force (e.g. PDP). To fight back, we must mount a collective unrelenting force and go for their jugular just as they have been doing to us. Stop praying for them and most importantly stop praying for a president who is so selfish that he puts his love for power above the needs of millions of people. He left us for dead when he abdicated his duties and failed to pass over power to his deputy. If he’s dead, good riddance, it may have been your prayer that sent him to his early demise, so why pray to have him back. And please save me the sententious condescension of the saying “pray for your enemy”, I know many of you pray negative prayers against your enemies, in Church weekly.
Why are we afraid to act and have a ceaseless movement until our space is sanitized? We do not want to die but rather cling on to a useless subhuman life of “suffering and smiling.” However, we are overlooking that we die daily when there is no dignity, honor, and self-respect. Also, literally, we die daily from the weapon of violence—POVERTY that our rulers exert on us daily. Have you imagined if we could just conquer ourselves, our fear of death, and fight to the death for our future, our children, and our sanity? We would probably shed less blood than we are shedding right now under the incessant nefarious entity that is our government. TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW. LET US STOP THE NEVER-ENDING PRAYERS. GOD HAS ALREADY ANSWERED OUR PRAYERS; WE JUST HAVE TO GO GET IT.
Article Tags: Continental Africa · Culture · laziness · Naija · nigeria · poverty · prayer · religion · Social Issues · violence