By Dr.Moshood Fayemiwo;credith Nigeria World
Her voice was faint and husky on the other end. She called from London, because she had exhausted all options. She knew in her heart she wasn’t into any known sin; if she knew or to put all her doubts to rest on any sins; she had confessed them all according to the Word of Life and she believed she would have received a breather and a new lease. But on the contrary, her woes seemed compounded. She was looking for the “right” person to settle with as a Christian. After all, the Holy Bible has admonished every human being, including believers to abstain from fornication and adultery. When you approach a single woman for sex and both of you aren’t married, you have committed fornication. When you’re married and decide to drink from another person’s cistern and open your waters to another man or woman that you aren’t lawfully and legitimately married to, you’ve committed adultery. The sister who called me had given wide berth to all these known sins. Why wasn’t she married?
In Christendom today, there are many spiritual acts commonly canvassed by spiritual counselors, pastors and men and women of God to ameliorate diverse issues and problems confronting believers. Among these spiritually-alleviating measures, three stand out starkly from the rest namely: Prayer, Fasting and Night Vigil. In deploying these spiritual arsenals, churches and congregations device sundry avenues and sources to sharpen these tools so they can be effective. We go to mountains and hills as practical demonstration of our sincerity toward the Lord God Almighty in answering our prayers. We are convinced that prayers offered on top of mountains are likely to be answered faster or as someone told me; going to mountain provided seclusion toward monomaniacal commitment to prayer. In other words, there is less distraction when you are limited by time and space on top of mountain and completely cut off from the rest of the world. In my teenage Christianity in the 1990s, I bought into this mountain spiritual voyage in Nigeria and went to one for a week in Osun State. Did I get a spiritual high? You bet, I did, but only for few weeks after I returned to Lagos. No sooner I got reabsorb to the rest of the world than I went back to my old ways. That was almost thirty years ago.
My Christian sister who called from London didn’t disclose she had visited a mountain in London; perhaps, because of work and other material pursuits, she couldn’t make it to the nearest hills and or mountains in London, although there are many of them. A pastor once complained ad nauseam of unanswered prayers after spending 21 days on one of the mountains in Oyo State. While he was away on the mountain, his children were sent out of school for non-payment of their fees; his pregnant wife was hard-up in meeting her basic financial obligations at home and the man himself was financially tapped out upon his return.
“Sir doesn’t the Lord answer prayers anymore,” the pastor almost shouted dispiritedly on the phone when he called me here in Cameron, Texas.
I answered him that the last time I checked I haven’t read in the news or accessed on the Internet or the cable network that a coup had taken place in the heavens and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has been toppled. So He is surely on the Throne and He answers prayers.
“Does it still rain in Africa and is the sun shining and the moon still in the galaxy and you’re still breathing?” I asked from the other end.
“Yes, Dr,” my pastor whiner of unanswered prayer replied on his Lagos end during our telephone conversation.
The second spiritual activity we engage in to quicken God’s answer to our prayers is fasting. We love to announce this spiritual work with fanfare to underscore our devotion to the Lord God as if we are doing Him a great disservice, if we deny our stomach food. Unbeknown to many of us, we emphasize fasting activity to express our frustration not with God, but subtly with ourselves or at times a blame game directed at our spiritual leaders for unanswered prayers, as if that is the minimum condition we need to score a spiritual home runs in the Eternal Court of Grace.
The third spiritual activity that we announce to fellow believers and at times let non-believers understand in our veiled display of spiritual snugness is spiritual night vigil. Both the sister who called me from London and the pastor protégé who spoke from Lagos emphasized their satisfaction with this night vigil prayer sessions. They reiterated more than the other two spiritual activities to let me know that any prayer conducted under nocturnal ambience when every other soul is asleep must of necessity be answered.
Prayers are good. Christians have been told and fashionably wired to conceptualize prayers are “keys” to our needs before the Sovereign Lord God Almighty. Men and women too ought to pray. When we do, mountains can be leveled and so we may not need to visit them for accelerated prayer requests and answers. The keys to locked opportunities, unfulfilled expectations and unintended life choices that end up in anguish, tears and lamentations are undoubtedly through the Street of Prayers. But do we need to device certain modus operandi to quicken prayers? Can we device our own rules and regulations on how the Grantor of our prayer requests can be pushed to answer our requests and needs?
It may shock many in Christendom that the Lord God Almighty didn’t invent prayers. Ab initio, the relationship between the Sovereign Lord Almighty and our First Parents; Adam and Eve, was so cordial that there was no intermediary between the Creator and His Creature. Adam and Eve had untrammeled and unimpeded access to the Lord and King that making known of their requests didn’t arise. Not only did they know experientially the Mind of the Lord God, they were also aware of lacking nothing that they didn’t need to ask anything from the Lord. After all, Adam gave names to all creatures and elemental forces created by His Father. As a matter of fact, the reason Adam was created on behalf of the generic Man that God created was three-fold:-power, authority and dominion. When you have these three domains of exercising discretion and carrying a will, you do not need to make requests of what you already had power over as both a right and privilege.
Power, as we have defined numerous times in this column, is the ability to enforce a will. When you can make anything in your heart happen, and can do exactly what you want to do that is what is known as power. The Creator gave that to Man in Genesis 1:26. In order to fortify Man legally to rule and control the birds that fly across the sky; rule the livestock and control everything under heaven, the Creator invested him with de jure and de facto authority in this regard. Finally, the Lord God made sure the power boundaries of Adam were defined; He gave him dominion but with a caveat; complete and total abstinence from the tree of knowledge of good and bad. The Creator also came clean on the dire consequences of Adam flouting this one restriction. Adam and Eve flouted this single rule and the deal breaker came with calamitous consequences which put all of us; including you and me into eternal trouble. One of the byproducts of that First Disobedience by our First Parents was prayer. It was after the fall and banishment of Adam and Eve from that Elysian Garden that the human race, out of desperation and anguish of souls from the deleterious repercussions of the First Disobedience that compelled the human race to begin to call on the Name of the Lord in Genesis 4:26b.
So what is exactly prayer and why do we need to pray? Prayer is simply an avenue or act to call on the Lord to act on our behalf here on earth. In any communication channel, there are four elements involved namely:-the sender of the message, the receiver, the content of the message and the medium for transmitting the message. In secular affairs, the Canadian professor McLuhan enriched the human understanding. He said, the medium is the message; a cliché that has been popularized in the field of communication theory. But in his original manuscript before his magnum opus was published, McLuhan wrote that; “The medium is the massage.” Since the Lord God Almighty is the repository of wisdom and knowledge and every good and perfect gift come from above, Christians have a lot to learn from the communication theory of McLuhan. It is not the message itself that is important in any communication system, but the medium through which that message is being transmitted. In praying to the Lord for any need, request or petitions, it is not those needs that are important before the Lord. As McLuhan disclosed and the Word of God says similar thing, “…if we pray in accordance with His Will, He hears us,”
The two believers in this communication aphorism definitely had legitimate needs and demands. Our sister in London wanted a believing husband. As she explained to me, she was a professional: medical doctor, good looking, educated and a daughter of the Most High God. She could support herself and thus would not be a burden to any man. All she wanted was get it right with a God-fearing man; a legitimate demand. Ditto for our pastor in the voyage to the hills and mountain who called from Lagos; he wanted to be a good and responsible husband; able to provide for his family and also discharge his spiritual responsibilities as a follower of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. These are all legitimate demands every human soul desires and asks from the Creator, so why were their prayers not answered?
In our McLuhan thesis, we identified the four parties crucial to a successful and an effective communication system. The most important aspect for a complete and well-functioning communication system is the ability to filter in and filter out. In other words, there must be a feedback on any communication sent from the sender to the receiver. In the spiritual world angelic agents act as receivers of prayers from Christians. Just as memos are sent by workers to their CEOs or heads of organizations in human affairs and subordinates to the CEO attends to such memos, similarly, angels are referred to as ministering spirits to those humans who have given their lives to Jesus Christ and are considered citizens of heavens (Hebrews 1). In human management affairs, three likely responses await memos from subordinates to CEOs: approved, disapproved, pending or waiting. If your prayers aren’t going through, it may not necessarily because of the needs that are amiss. Every team member in any organization knows that when internal memos are not routed procedurally or channeled through normal organizational culture, the intended recipient will discard such memos.
The Lord God Almighty is a God of Order. What continuously and assuredly keeps Him on His Throne is His insistence in doing things His Way. Never, ever will His Majesty bow and yield to His created beings when His Orders and Routines are flouted. So when prayers, fasting and night vigils are not cutting it in your spiritual breakthrough; when you see yourself as a spiritual train-wreck and wondering if the Good Lord is MIA-Missing in Action, look inward and take an inventory of how you are channeling your prayers. Many spiritual debris litter the road to sundry unanswered prayers. We often skip the small and minute aspects of our spiritual deeds and look at the larger picture without considering monumental damage that the few small and minute things can cause. We have been told that some of the worst air crashes in aviation are small unattended stuffs we think aren’t that important which fortunately determine the fate of precious souls on board. We hear of unscrewed bolts, misplaced nails and those small stuffs considered inconsequential but powerful. The Lord God Almighty told Moses on Mt. Horeb to make sure he constructed the Ark of the Lord exactly the pattern shown him on the mountain. Here, there was no scintilla room for error. Are your prayers not hitting the roof? Consider the sins of omission more than the sin of commission, because the latter are more pronounced and trumpeted in churches today more than the latter. The One who commanded that “You shall not” is also the One who said “You shall.” The Word of Life says anyone who knows the good that he or she is supposed to do or render and doesn’t do it sins. In other words, we can be perfect in all the rules and commandments of sins of commission and fail woefully in sins of omission. Why not deal with the latter and see if heavens will not open up and attend to your spiritual memos.
Dear Dr Moshood Fayemiwo, I have been searching for your article for more than a week to no avail. Are you not writing again?—From Ogyebyeyechi Sent from my iPad by ogyebyechy. Email: [email protected]
Dear Dr Fayemiwo My name is Moji Wusu and I am just checking up on you to ensure you are ok and well. I haven’t seen your weekly write up on Nigeria world for a few weeks now. Please let me know if everything is fine with you and your family. God bless you.—-From MOji Wusu Sent from my iPhone Email: [email protected]
Good day sir, it has been a while since we read you online. I, hope all is well. We miss your write-up and wish you come back online as soon as possible. Regards sir and be richly blessed in Jesus Mighty Name, Amen—From Dahunsi Okunlola Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android. Email: [email protected]
To Ogyebyeyechi, Moji Wusu, Dahunsi Okunlola and numerous readers and admirers, I have not rested by weekly column The Christian Walk but have moved to another platform which the Lord God Almighty planned long time ago and it has not come to stay. Henceforth, I will maintain my regular column here at The Jesus Christ on Sunday and our sister online publication; www.jesuschristnewspapers.com In addition, I will still write for the Nigeria World, but my column will not be regular. But be rest assured that you will continue to read me as always and I will pass inform all and sundry all revelations shown me by the Lord God Almighty and commanded by Him for His Glory. I thank you all immensely from the bottom of my heart for your concerns and interest in what the Holy Spirit is doing through us. I pray that all of us will make it to the finish line in the Mighty Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
Dear Dr Moshood Fayemiwo, Good day to you. I hope my mail finds you in good health, I need to share my present predicament with you and I will appreciate if you can reply me back as soon as possible. Regards— From Ugo. Email: [email protected]
Dear Mr. Ugo, please use my personal email to communicate any matter of spiritual nature so we can have a one-on-one tete-a-tete. My personal email still remains the same as always: [email protected] Thanks and I will be looking forward to your email as a follow-up.
Dr Fayemiwo, Well done job on most of your write ups and I really commend your efforts. The protection of the Most High God will sustain you and your family in Jesus mighty name. I sometimes imagine and wonder on the events happening in our land Nigeria based on the number of clergymen and worship places with lots of intellectual individuals who have allowed themselves to be robbed of God’s blessings because of fleeting and temporary things of this world.—From Mr. Adams Adebowale. Email: [email protected]…
Hello Dr. Moshood, I have been waiting patiently for your newspaper column for two weeks now. I hope all is well with you. I will be remembering you and family in my prayers. Remain blessed—From Samuel Iloka. Email: [email protected]… New Jersey, USA.
Thank you Mr. Iloka, you have the opportunity now to continue to read my column articles at our newspaper website: www.jesuschristnewspapers.com. Thank you and be richly blessed in the Lord.