By Jasper Azuatalam
As I watched the Super Eagles of Nigeria crash out of the African Cup of Nation after praying two times in the pitch, I was left to wonder if prayer is actually the key.
I did not remember seeing the South African players pray, but they came first in the group and qualified for the African Cup of Nation.
Play football, Nigerians will tell you to pray. Manage our economy efficiently, Nigerians will tell you to pray. Fight Book Haram, the government will ask you to pray. Protect Nigerians against kidnappers and militants, Mr. President will ask you to pray. Fight corruption and bring perpetrators of corruption to book, Mr. President will choose to lead a high-powered delegation to Jerusalem for prayers. Provide infrastructure, the government will ask you to pray.
When Billions of dollars disappeared from NNPC and the oil industry into private pockets, we did not remember to pray. When the Minister of Interior extorted hundreds of millions of Naira from Nigerian youths and left many dead in stadia across the country, he did not remember to pray.
When it is time to share monthly allocations and embezzle money meant for the public, no one will remember to pray, but when it is time to work, we remember to pray.
Almighty God said, “I will reward every man according to his works”. Almighty God is a just God and will remain so. The American economy is flourishing, even Switzerland is booming without oil or any natural resources and Europe is doing well. They are not praying, but working. United Arab Emirate and its most popular city, Dubai is now known to be an investor’s safe haven.
Jesus Christ prayed for 40 days and 40 nights yet he took the pain to die on the cross. He did not ask God to replace the death on the cross with prayers, Jesus Christ went ahead to die the painful death, even after he prayed.
We must work, if we have to succeed. For emphasis, the Holy Bible in Romans 2:6 says, “God will give to each person according to what he has done”. From the Old testaments in Job 34:11, the Holy Bible says “God repays a man for what he has done; He brings upon everyone what his conduct deserves”.
Aso Rock, the seat of power, has been turned into a chapel with a big and magnificent Church and Mosque, yet our economy is going down, power supply has refused to improve, but dwindle, corruption is at its peak, the level of unemployment has become unimaginable, and the only place to get a dependable medical care is abroad because our hospitals are not well equipped.
Almighty God recommends that we should pray. Prayer guides and facilitates us to success, but our reward and what we get is based on the work we do. Nigeria must sit up, develop her manpower, diversify her economy, and manage her resources efficiently, if she must be reckoned among nations.
Mr. President must live by example and show a high level of discipline, commitment, integrity and prudence so that everyone will align in the same direction. The only way to success is hard work.
Let me conclude with the Holy Bible, in James 2:14, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no works, can such faith save him?” The book of James 2:26 concluded “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also”. It is in our hands. We can succeed if we choose to be diligent and work hard.
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