Wednesday, 08 November 2017 05:05

DOES GOD HEAR THE PRAYERS OF NIGERIANS TO SAVE THEIR NATION?

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We who pray are aware that God is real and really answers prayers that meet His acceptable conditions. This essay argues that not all prayers are answered, that God isn't under any compelling obligation  to grant our requests, and finally that a prayer shall meet certain conditions before being answered. Nigeria has not met the conditions and .until she does so, she would continue to flounder, wobble, quaver, quiver, and sway as the nation faces more trying problems

This is not to rehash what is already known about Nigeria. Ours is a nation the world has considered to be the most corrupt  place on earth. It is also the most sinful , wicked, aberrant, immoral . Why must God answer prayers from sinful lips when He has destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah?.  In order to receive answers to prayers, Nigeria must meet strict conditions and be unlike Gomorrah and Sodom.

This essay suggests  that Nigerians' prayers are vain, inconsequential, nonentity  and may not  be answered because these people are not making a valid promise which requires fulfillment of conditions God' finds acceptable. Nigerians have nor shown a change of heart. God is holy and shall be worshiped with a change of heart in truth and holiness.

First, we cannot come to God without first expressing belief and faith in God (Mark 9:23). Secondly we must come in the Name of Jesus Matthew 6:9. The third condition is that we cannot expect God to answer our prayer  if we have not confessed sins in our lives (Psalms 66:18). Next, we cannot expect the Lord to answer our prayer when we are not living for the Lord (Proverbs 28:9), We cannot expect God to answer prayer when we are not doing His will (John 9:23). God does not answer  prayers of those who are not at peace with each other (1 Peter 3:19). The fifth condition is that we must be persistent in our prayer. Finally, for our prayers to be answered , we must forgive those who offend us

Come to think of it, what surprises us is that Nigeria, the so-called  giant of Africa is quivering as she marks time behind the rest of the African nations in her ability to reach goals set on important indices of progress, such as education, wealth, trade, agriculture, and industry. Why is it that although Nigeria  is 50 percent Christian and the Nigerians believe in and pray fervently to God in different languages which include but are not limited to Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba to save their country from the quagmire or predicament the nation has fallen into, including bad leadership , and looting and management of resourses, nothing seems to work and things are getting worse?

Nigerians do pray  a lot quite alright. Granting their churches and mosques are crammed to the brim with throngs of worshippers who seek miracles, divine intervention, deliverance, and reversal of malaise or  quandary, they do not  see their prayers  being unanswered.   Things fall apart; the center cannot hold, and the sink hole is widening with every passing minute. Their problems continue unabated. Has God, abandoned my nation ? Has He moved from the front to the rear of a frightened tribe as he did in in days old (Exodus?

Although Nigerians are saddled with oppressive leadership issues and the people are hedged in by endemic  PUSH  (poverty, unemployment, sectionalism. and hunger), and tormented with  frequent power outages that turn  into hours of total night-long darkness, their God seems to  go about His business. ignoring  rather than acknowledging their pleas for help.

The IPOB cry out in anguish; the Fulan gnash murderous teeth; and the Yoruba run frenzy with stories of real and imagined marginalization Yet, Nigeria's problems continue unabated. Concerned observers once thought it was possible that the  Nigerians' prayers were offered in guile and dishonesty or to  gods that are unknown, fake, false, bogus, counterfeit, phony, sham, or akwala (a term  made up to describe a broken down Raleigh bicycle).

Things continue to deteriorate as usual. One wonders if the prayers of Nigerians are ineffectual or if they are offered to  an unknown god rather than to the Omnipotent. Have  prayers leaving the mouths of the people become silence that falls on deaf ears?  Is Nigeria the house built on a sandy foundation which  the storm battles and topples at any moment?. Behold the fall of the mighty! Has Nigeria the capacity to  erect a stronger structure  that withstands the squall?

In Psalms 127:1, the Bible writer says: "unless the Lord builds the house they labor in vain that build it," meaning  that Nigeria , as a man, prays, prepares,  and  proposes or intends to build a nation but God disposes/organizes the building. To pray is to request, implore, plead, beg, crave, ask, entreat, or urge God to do us some favor. God responds to man's prayer with an answer which may be Yes, No, or Wait. An answered prayer shall be authentic, meaning true, reliable, trustworthy, faithful, accurate, genuine, and not okwu ashi or okwu ugha (Igbo for lies).

When God answers  with a " Yes", He is saying" I will do it because the request is consistent, in agreement  or harmonizes with My will." God answered positively to Prophet Elijah who prayed for rain to fall on a thirsty land who stretched himself three times upon dead body of the widow woman's son  in order to drive out death. Didn't God divide the sea and create dry land when Pharaoh's army pursued former slaves? God answered Jonah who prayed himself out of a whale's stomach. Hannah the barren woman prayed for a baby, and God gave her Samuel. With a prayer, Elisha blinded an army sent to conquer a city. These are only a few examples of answered prayers.

The answer to a prayer can be: 'No, I will not do that because doing so violates My nature or what I stand for."  Jesus prayed to avoid a painful death  on a cold, bare and shameful  cross, and God answering  refused and ordered : "No, I cannot change My plan. Drink the cup; It is My will  that the cup shall not pass Dying  a humiliating death is the reason for you coming" The answer was a No when Moses prayed on the mountain to be allowed to enter the Promised land with former slaves he had led for 40 years.  God's answer was: "No. Look here, Moses, you shall not enter because doing so would force My people to worship you rather than Me who brought them out of Egypt."

Is God telling Nigerians this: You cannot have the answer you want when you are not doing enough to have a peaceful, non-violent nation. This is the wrong  time to ask, not the right moment. You are not yet ready to call yourself a democracy. First, get your house in order. Now, you'll wait for the right or the most appropriate moment and circumstances.  First of all, deal with your terrible robbery;  stem your crazy witchcraft; solve your heinous murders and kidnappings; discipline your have excessive greed  and appetite for money; work on your  in-fighting,  and divisions among tribes; your evangelists are deceitful and  full of lies; and there is the  stubbornness of politicians. No, Nigerians, you are not ready! You must wait for full confession and transformation!."

The Nigerians continue to suffer in silence since they appear to be receiving no answers to prayer, whereas Kenya, Ghana  and other African nations with the same size and circumstances as Nigeria seem to thrive. Why?  It is because Nigerians are not really praying to God in the truest sense of the words, and If perchance they were praying , their prayers are lacking in sincerity. Perhaps, they were faking or pretending . They may be praying amiss, or they were praying to persons other than El Sheddai, the Great I Am, the Omnipresent, the Omnipresent, and the Omniscient.

Why is it that the prayers of Nigerians are not being answered? It may be because Nigerians were beholding and praying to Buhari or some other politicians whom the Nigerians believe would save them, or who Nigerians feel are man-made gods holding  onto the purse strings of cash or political  muscle in the Senate and the House.

Chimo-oo!  (Oh , my God !). Nigerians  forget to ask themselves  questions, such as :  Did Buhari or Jonathan, or Obasanjo create Nigeria? Does Buhari or Obasanjo own Nigeria as they own a million cows, hectares of Ijaw land or the Ota Farms , respectively? Nigerians pray a lot to gods only for what they want and can get rather than for what they need. Nigerians do nor pray for strength to on obtain  needs that would benefit the largest number of citizens.

There is a vast difference between want and  need.  The Nigerians' prayers  of  "I want"  consist of an endless list  of give me, gimme, dash me this and dash me that.  The "I want" Nigerians are in the business of manipulating God into giving them such things, as money, children, promotions, or closeness to a favorite politician. The "Gimme" Nigerians  want to turn God into an errand boy or office messenger to whom they say, "Hey, Godwin, go get me water and groundnuts, and don't forget to bring some bananas, too. Do you hear me, Godwin.?"

Therefore , Nigerians' prayers end with  "May Thy kingdom and power in heaven  come down to dwell among  us earthlings so we have plenty of money" . Popular Nigerian preachers fly jets after a serenade of their pie-in-the-sky prosperity sermons.. Nigerians fall into the clever preachers' money traps. Tawoon! The Nigerian preachers are "wayo" mongers who steal parishioners' tithes to invest in private businesses and laugh their way to the banks.

Nigerians do not say prayers that are in accordance or agreement  with God's conditions of answered prayers.as outlined in 2nd Chronicles chapter 7 verse 14. The people  are used to offering prayers  outside of God's plan.  Don't we Christians know that we know that we know , and truly know  that the God we worship is Holy; He is  the Great I am, the Jealous One, the Ancient of Days who keeps promises (vows) from time immemorial  and who wants to be worshiped alone   "in Spirit and in Truth?  God is telling us: "Love Me for who I am , not for what I give you. Owe allegiance to Me and to no other."

Allegiance is defined as ntukwasi obi (Igbo for trust or putting your heart on someone). Allegiance is  loyalty, and faithfulness, If a man owes allegiance to God for blessings why does he pray as prostitutes  who owe allegiance to many suitors for brief moments of defilement, do?  Unless the Lord builds the house called Nigeria, the money gathered to build it is stolen prior to the laying of foundation. The Nigerians  buy the building materials and both materials and contractor disappear overnight.

God is our Father and we are His children. We are not prostitutes chasing after false suitors, such as  the Hausa with money as some Nigerians often do. While suitors break agreements, God does not break vows. He does what he says he would do.  His promises are Yes.yes, yes in the form of contract. Contracts control everything we do from buying, selling  marriage, education,  and development of careers.

Contracts are made in Truth and in the Spirit, written in living blood.  Doesn't a home owner buy a house through a promise made to a builder to pay builder some money if builder  promises to allow buyer  to occupy builder's house? Almost everything we do is governed by the  giving and receiving  of promises. It is a  promise –for--a promise arrangement.  G od is a promise-keeping  Diety.

If we know that, why then is it that our prayers to God  are not answered and we still sink deeper into the quicksand of poverty, persecution, penury, cynicism,  and violence? There is no one on earth who does not believe in the existence of Supreme God. Consequently, Chukwu (Igbo's Almighty God) is supreme.  Muslims call Him  Allah. Others call him alusi (Igbo for pagan' s wooden idols).

We worship God in accordance with  the bilateral promise that goes this way:" I promise to do A and you promise to do B." In the Bible's II Chronicles   7:14, God promised: "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Nigerians have to make confessions of their sins in killing thousands of innocent, they are to ask for forgiveness of those whose family members were slaughtered in pogroms, in Biafra and violent acts in Kaduna, Jos, and Umuahia.  They are to make amends. These  are conditions that are  precedent to (not subsequent to) God's redemption.  Precedent means to come before, and subsequent means to come after. For a prayer to be answered, certain conditions ought to be fulfilled. We cannot manipulate as we influence our local village chief.

Nothing happens when the Nigerians are calling upon their God despite how strenuously, powerfully, persistently, determinedly, energetically they pray. The Nigerians are not dealing with the sins that must be confessed and forgiven. They are covering  sins which pileup to the sky, while they are building churches everywhere and sending  missionaries worldwide.

What do they want from all their  activities? Why do they make  incessantly cries of "God, God, oh my God "while  they worship money, and while they worship powerful  persons who are only man-made idols> The Igbos name their children Maduabuchi (man is not God), Onyekachi (who is greater than God?),Jehovah. The Nigerians want peace in the land without being peaceful themselves.  They want prosperity, youth employment, friendly neighbors without feeding the children, providing employment for the youth  or taking care of the handicapped.

Nigerian preachers lack Elijah's spiritual calling by the Holy Spirit. Nigerian leaders don't wait for the anointing or indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Inner Self or Life Force. They just get up and go to Aso Rock (Presidents)  or the pulpit (preachers) or to the Government House (politicians)  dressed arrogantly in ridiculous garb.  They expect to own a fleet of Mercedes and a row of mansions.

The Nigerians are ashawo, prostituting after money.  The leaders of Nigeria struggle to wield influence over a foolish and gullible people. The Nigerian church goers are foolishly gullible in that they are too trusting  and susceptible while owners of the churches are the jet-flying Nigerian thieves masquerading  as evangelists, Bishops, and MOG and WOG (men of God and women of God).

Except  the Nigerians and their  leaders (1) humble themselves and (2) observe a national day of atonement/ apology, their nation  is in total disarray.  Despite their prayers, the nation of Nigeria remains the same or worse since the day independence was granted to the colony nearly a century ago. God seems to ignore the prayers of His Nigerian supplicants. A supplicant is  applicant, aspirant, petitioner, mendicant, beggar for something to be done.

The purpose of this essay is to point out that it is not  a conundrum  or puzzle  that the prayer  the Nigerians offer up  are empty and not deserving  of an answer for obvious reasons, that include dishonesty, greed, witchcraft, and wicked spilling of innocent blood. Nigeria is making " much haste and no speed" . All is vanity unless the Master Builder shows up.

Some Nigerians and their preachers, who do not seek the face of God, are so empty of decency they seek the face of man; they worship tribalism, talisman; witchcraft, and engage in victimization of minorities, in addition to exploitation of women and children of poor families. Nigerian prayers are all about "give me money, give me mansions, give me this ,and give me that". They forget their Jesus says, "It is better to give than to receive."

What are Nigerians giving in return for the gifts they are asking to receive? Are the Nigerians moral? No, they have killed countless numbers of Igbos, they rob the treasury,  neglect children, and women; and they abandon he poor, the needy and the disabled. Are they loving and forgiving of persons who wrong them? No,  vengeance is their stock and trade.  Are the  Nigerian Pastor and Christians like their Master Jesus Christ and His disciples? No. they are the exact opposite.

While Christ slept  in caves and simple houses and preached from mountaintops and borrowed boats, today' s Nigerian pastors sleep in and preach from magnificent buildings that are palatial, extravagant, luxurious,  opulent, and grand.

While the early followers of Christ observed fasting to strengthen spirituality, their modern counterparts in Nigeria would rather feed on Naira, Dollar and Pound Sterling gathered from stealing, corruption, drugs,  money laundering, and investment of church goers' ten percent in private business. Why should they complain when God would not answer ungodly prayers absurdly offered from unholy, blasphemous, and unconsecrated lips?

Nigerian Christians and Muslims carry the Bible and Koran around respectively  yet they do not carry it in their hearts.  The Muslim holy book has nothing like "I love  you" or "Let me forgive my brother ." While Muslims emphasize land grab, enslavement, and jihadist  violence, the Christians are going ga-ga after money and regard  the Bible as a talisman or lucky charm to waylay/intercept/bushwhack the unwary masses who do not read the holy books, let alone understand the words written therein .

Praying Nigerians want to mix the worship of God with the worship of man and selected idols in order to move the hand of God to  grant their ephemeral desires/wants,  (particularly money), and . ephemeral goods are only short-lived, transient, momentary, temporary fleeting, passing, or transitory,  We shall say the following payer, we and our children.

, Lord, give us Your Holy Spirit. and Your good nature

In ways that are sublime and consistent with Your ways

Teach us Your humility and sincerity to rectify our failing economy,

Let us build better infrastructures  and provide better amenities so that

These struggling masses and the little ones and those yet to come

May  suffer no  more but will remember us as good shepherds

Who made a difference so they would be  proud to be Nigerians

So help us, Lord.

Unfortunately, some Nigerian  governors have joined the local preachers in a syndicate whose aim ostensibly is to move the hand of god to act on behalf of the nation, but in actuality they are fierce  lions in the clothing of timid sheep. They are thieves.  God seems unwilling or not interested in taking sides with acrimonious political jabbering and fake/sanctimonious prayers

The local Christian and  fake  preachers reach out to their Muslim counterparts in  erecting Muslim mosques in the vicinity of Christian churches. Other politicians have erected statutes of South African President Zuma  in a nation that has been traumatized by Zuma's drug lords. Nigeria is beset with poverty, religious intolerance, violence and corruption.

One cannot help but ask these perplexing questions "Does God exist all over the world except in the land named Nigeria? Why does God want to hear prayer from  a people desirous of genocidal  elimination of a  tribe,  whose  Civil War brought about the starvation of helpless children? If you were God =, would you bother about the  gory, disgusting,  horrible, Civil War whose  aftermath includes  armed robbery ,kidnapping, raping and terrorism perpetrated by herdsmen from the leader's  ethnic group, buoyed, sustained or maintained with military gear and financed by the Nigerian Government?

How come that, although Nigerians call upon their God (Chineke in Igbo, or Allah in Islam) day and night and spend billions of dollars erecting places of worship (including cathedrals, churches and mosques, their God appears to turn deaf rears to their suffering?

We  can count several verifiable times this God  abandoned this  people. One can find ample reasons to conclude that indeed God hates Nigerians in several ways. First, Nigerians are  confused about the essence of  democracy, they  mix religion with politics as strange bed fellows in a nation where the Sharia law and the Common Law operate side by side and they are so confounded they  elect weak, sickly and neurotic leaders to rule over then. It seems  that my people are  undeserving of God's  mercy and kindness, hence unanswered prayers.

This essay is written with certain assumptions. The first assumption is that Nigeria is a  nation of believers, including Muslims, Christians and followers of other traditional faiths . The second assumption is that Christians Muslims, and followers of African faiths are religious persons, and most religious people believe in the existence Person of God known by different names , including Yahweh, Jesus or Allah.

The third assumption is that Christians, Muslims and believers in traditional African religions hold their deities sacred and are enjoined to observe prayer. To  enjoin is to order a believer pray, to instruct one to observe moments of supplication, or to call upon the name of one's deity. Christians are ordered to pray without ceasing, and Muslims are required to pray six times daily while facing Mecca.

There is never a day that this writer and millions of other Nigerians do not worry about the difficult problems  that plague Nigeria  and Nigerians ranging from endemic poverty to pervasive instances of corruptions in high places, specifically among the inner circles of officers of  the Presidency, including the Senate and the House.  The church and judiciary are not exempt or untainted.  The behavior of the average man or woman on the street is influenced for better or worse by what they see the government and church leaders say and do.

This essay suggests  that Nigeria's prayers are vain, inconsequential, nonentity  and may not  be answered because these people are not making a valid promise which requires fulfillment of conditions of God's acceptance. Nigerians believe in the power of money rather in God and therefore their prayers do not reach the ears of God.

(1) we cannot come to God without belief and faith in God (Mark 9:23);

(2) we must come in the Name of Jesus Matthew 6:9);

(3) we cannot expect God to answer our prayer  if we have not confessed sins in our lives (Psalms 66:18)

(4) we cannot expect the Lord to answer our prayer when we are not living for the Lord (Proverbs 28:9)

(5) we cannot expect God to answer prayer when we are not doing His will (John 9:23)

(6) God does not answer our prayer of those who are not at peace with each other (1 Peter 3:19);

(7) we must be persistent in our prayers;

(8) for our prayers to be answered , we must forgive those who offend us

Written  by Dr. James C. Agazie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , jamesagazies.blogspot.com

10/27/2017. Posted  11/7/2017

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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.