In my toddler age, I think it was in my primary 5 which is the equivalent of America’s 5th grade. Prophet Abraham, a preacher whose clientele my parents patronized then, on a certain evening as I remember vividly after doing what priests do when they visit homes that grease their palms and oil their feet with that one paper which God insatiably craves from the pocket of men, a young lad which I was, had something for the prophet to tender to the sky council.
Galloping in the traditional style of a young chap, I confronted him at the door as he was about to dust his feet with the brown envelop that bore the “happy paper” that pleases both Gods and men, gifted to him by my father. I asked with optimism that the man of God lay hands on me and call on God to make me earn the 1st position in my class as we were about to begin our first term exams the next morning.
True to my desire, he wasted no time in pouring his heart out to the heavens. His voice so loud that if God was asleep, he would be awaken with the “sherimamama kantadum” the man of God was thundering into the air. Now I am an adult, I understand the brief drama he displayed is the famous permissible absurdity in oral gibberish, called “speaking-in-tongues”. Besides, I have come to understand that the package gifted by my father must have aroused such a vociferous passion in the man’s prayer to his God, who is most effective when coin is involved. Just ask the pastorpreneur.
After the lengthy prayer, I was glad and of course so sure that God will grant as the prayer submitted. That prayer was too passionate and compelling for God to ignore, I thought. Soon after his leave, it dawn on my toddler mind that perhaps some other kid in my class could have prayed to God the same prayer and that I am not the only kid smart enough to embark on appealing to skydaddy for an unequal academic progress. Like a typical child, turning to my parents to bail my suspicion, I asked: “If everyone prayed to God to take the 1st position in my class, who will God answer?” I am not sure of the reply I was given, my memory tape experiences some distortion here, but I’m sure it can never be anything close to reconciling satisfaction and reason into intercourse.
Did God make me take the 1st position? You may inquire. We honestly know the reputation of God in answering prayers, mine couldn’t afford such immunity from his omni-snobbery. Too bad the wailing of his priest was not convincing to his omnipotence and benevolence. Or perhaps the white-bearded genie was irritated by the gibberish the preacher was spitting into his celestial exile palace.
“Joshua must have prayed to God earlier”. “There is a type of way he prayed to God to answer him”, I struggled with my childish dissonance as I clutched the 10th position while looking enviously at Joshua who had what God refused to grant me. To bail my childish dissonance, Joshua was quizzed by this Son of David:
“How did you pray to God to take the 1st position?” “I did not pray, I read my books”, he defended. “Then your Daddy or pastor prayed for you”, I suspected aloud. “My Dad does not go to church and we do not have a church or a pastor”. It turned out that Joshua had a higher IQ than the rest of us and that was the God that answered his prayers above mine; “wishful thinking”.
God does not answer prayers. There is no old man in the sky that grants anyone’s desires. Even if the entity’s existence should be excused briefly, the probability of him answering prayers are relatively and directly proportional to one’s hardwork, skill, money, resources, opportunity, etc just to list a handful.
If three individuals say A, B, and C prayed to God for a car, say a Range Rover automobile valued at $70,000. If Mr A has an annual income of $150,000, Mr B an annual income of $5,000 and Mr. C $75,000. Amongst these three praying men, which of them is likely to own the Range Rover car? Mr A will acquire it more easily than the other praying men. But Mr C through savings can acquire the Range Rover but we cannot attest same for Mr B. God will answer the prayers of Mr A abruptly and it is not the imaginary sky genie we are talking here, but his income and savings is that God which granted his prayers. Assuming there is a fourth man Mr D who does nothing, earns nothing but prays and fasts day and night, how will God answer his prayers? Perhaps he assumes some Range Rover will be delivered from the celestial courier to his doorsteps. Mr D’s prayer falls on deaf ears; he has no God. For the God who would have answered his prayers, is not in his possession and that God is called Money or Income!
This is what my religious African brothers are blind to. They pray all day and night, producing nothing and yet suffer greatly because they expect an invisible man in the sky to miraculous create luxury for them. This to me is the most terrible fantasy to befall anyone, be it a group or an individual. If America, the world’s most powerful nation should go to war with my country, Nigeria; the most religious territory on earth. If America should pray to God for victory in war and Nigerians do same, who will God answer? Isn’t it the one with the higher fire power? Perhaps if Japan, a largely irreligious nation should go to war against Nigeria, who will emerge the victor? Japan doesn’t pray but Nigeria prays, who will be the one to suffer colossal damage to defeat? Nigeria’s fire power is inferior to that of the Japanese, we need no lengthy debate to know whose side the coin of victory will be.
If God hears not the prayers of the religious Nigerians and accord the largely irreligious Japanese military triumph over Nigeria, does it not show that God is on the side of the man whose abilities and resources will make his work easier? How can we truly say that God answers prayers when it is the resources of men that speaks depending on how it is employed?
Culled From ~THE ULTIMATE CURSE ON MANKIND~ by Imoh “Son of David”