There is a widespread belief among believers in Nigeria that we have been PRAYING MASSIVELY for the nation in the last few decades. This assumption is COMPLETELY WRONG!
It is very easy to see how this assumption is false. If Nigeria has been praying to God for this long, without tangible fruits to show for the prayers, does it mean God does not answer prayers?
For till today, Nigeria remains one of the poorest, backward, and MOST CORRUPT nations on earth. This is not the worst problem. The REAL PROBLEM is that the nation shows absolutely no sign of MOVING FORWARD meaningfully. Rather, her motion is on a clear and steady DOWNWARD trajectory. Poverty, insecurity, and gnawing hopelessness roam freely around the nation’s landscape. And men live in fear.
Yet, we know that, till today, the God of heaven answers prayers. For He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Ready to save. Ready to heal. Ready to deliver.
Therefore, if the problem of our unanswered prayers is not with God, then we ought to look again at our prayers. And look again at ourselves. Could it be that we have been praying amiss? Praying according to OUR WILL, rather than according to HIS WILL? James 4:3 makes it clear that if we pray according to our will, God will NOT answer!
Please, let’s ask ourselves this important question: “What has been at THE HEART of our prayer for Nigeria all this while”? Has it not been that God should build our nation? That God should give us good governments that will make Nigeria rise to her place of pride as the Giant of Africa? Have we not been praying that God should bless our economy so that our nation can prosper? And so on.
Undoubtedly, all these are good prayer points. Good prayer points that will ‘bring glory’ to God as our nation flourishes in the world.
But, here’s the issue. Are these prayer points the PRIORITIES of God for the nation of Nigeria??? BEFORE we pray for Nigeria, do we ever take time to ASK GOD what we should pray for the nation?
After all, when Jesus taught us to pray, the primary element He first told us to pray is “… YOUR WILL be done on earth – as it is done in heaven”. HIS WILL! Do you see that? HIS will – not our will. What HE wants for Nigeria – not what WE want for Nigeria.
There’s another way that the Bible teaches this same, important truth. We see this in the highly relevant passage in 2 Chronicles 7:14. “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.”
In this verse, please note what comes BEFORE prayer – HUMILITY!
This is a very, very important matter. Ever before we attempt to pray, we must, first of all, WORK EXTENSIVELY on coming to the place of humility, by His grace! The humility that realises that prayer is NOT about what WE want for the nation. Prayer is ALL about what HE wants! It is about HIS will, HIS desires, HIS plans, HIS purpose, and so on. Not about ours. For He ALONE is God. We are not!
This is how the New Testament expresses this same truth. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, he hears us. (1 John 5:14)
Until we come to this place of DEEP HUMILITY before God, our prayer will be on UNCERTAIN GROUND with God. The only reason that God answered ALL the prayers of Jesus was because of His life-long motto: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me”. (John 6:38) Also, please see Matthew 26:39.
Before moving on, let’s quickly look at a daily, practical application of this spiritual principle in our lives. As revealed in the Scriptures, it is the CLEAR WILL OF GOD that followers of Jesus Christ MUST pray for their enemies (and pray for those in government too). This is the will of God. It takes the spirit of humility for a man to pray for his enemies!
If you are not in the REGULAR HABIT of following this revealed will of God, please note that your prayers may struggle to go beyond your ceiling! For prayer is NOT about you – it is about God!
God further confirmed this truth in the verse we are looking at (2 Chr 7:14). “If my people … humble themselves and pray and SEEK MY FACE ….” Again, do you see that? ‘Seek my face’. Even AFTER praying, we are to SEEK HIS FACE!
For, it is in SEEKING HIS FACE that we will ‘SEE’ HIS HEART. This is when He will bring us to the same page with Himself. For prayer is COMMUNION WITH GOD – not just giving Him a list of what we want Him to do for us.
If our focus is on what we want God to do for us, then we are NOT praying! We are simply seeking to USE GOD to achieve our own objectives. God users! To a large extent, this is exactly what we have been doing in Nigeria, claiming to have been praying for the country.
Let’s continue with the 2 Chronicles 7:14 passage. When we truly seek the face of God for Nigeria, and He brings us into communion with Himself, He does something very important. He points us towards RIGHTEOUSNESS in the nation. He encourages us to TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS – as that verse says.
Why does God do this? Because SIN BRINGS REPROACH (Prov 14:34). Sin automatically attracts EVIL like a magnet. Sin attracts the WRATH OF GOD. And we cannot be attracting the wrath of God through our actions while praying for His blessings with our lips! This is confusion. And God will never, ever be a part of this foolish confusion.
This is why He told us this in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” It is NOT prayers that exalt a nation, it is RIGHTEOUSNESS! It is not PVC that exalts a nation – it is RIGHTEOUSNESS.
This is why ‘REPENT! REPENT!! REPENT!!!’ has been the cry of the Lord to the nation of Nigeria for a long while now. A cry that is barely ever trending on social media!!!
Today, Nigeria has one of the greatest forms of HOLLOW CHRISTIANITY in the world. Christianity without Jesus Christ at the centre. Discipleship without THE CROSS at the centre. Religion without morality or righteousness. This is what Nigeria is well known for – as she reigns as one of the most corrupt nations on earth.
For this reason, God has been allowing DISASTERS to both threaten and visit the nation. Just to draw our attention. Just to cause us to pause and consider our ways before God. Just to lead us in the path of repentance – individually as believers, collectively as the church of God, and corporately as His ambassadors in Nigeria.
But, instead of being sensitive and heeding these warning signs, we are focussing on the FRUITS OF THE PROBLEM. Instead of looking at the ROOT OF THE PROBLEM.
On top of that, we are claiming that our prayers for Nigeria are NOT working – just so that our EVIL HEARTS can produce its CARNAL SOLUTIONS that will never, ever TRULY solve the problem. Get more PVCs. Break up Nigeria. Hate the Fulanis more intensely. Get weapons to protect ourselves and our families. And so on.
Are the Fulanis the MAIN problem of this country? Did God not make this solemn promise: “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Prov 16:7). Are the Fulanis above the constraining influence and power of God?
On the political scene, has the sovereign power of God diminished such that He cannot constrain ANY leader – young or old; Christian or Muslim, or even Pagan! – to do His will in the nation? Has the sovereign power of God in Nigeria become DEPENDENT on the outcome of the ballot box? The same God of heaven and earth that we serve?
In the dire predicament that Nigeria faces today, instead of looking INWARD in humility, we are looking OUTWARD in carnality. We are pointing at everybody else – apart from ourselves! Pointing at the political process. Pointing at other tribes. Pointing at other religions. Which of these is beyond the POWER and CONTROL of our God?
Even in this CONVULSIVE, DECAYING state of this potentially great nation, God is still stretching out His hand of mercy to His people in the land. With just one message – “REPENT! And turn to me with all your spirit, soul, and body. My hand is not too short to deliver my people – even at the brink of what looks like imminent disaster! JUST REPENT in all sincerity…..”
“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.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
We have NOT been praying for Nigeria – in the way that God really wants us to pray! But, we need to start NOW. And the first step is to HUMBLE OURSELVES THOROUGHLY before God!
Dear believers in Nigeria, before pointing at anybody/anything, please let’s look at ourselves in the mirror. In this PLACE OF HUMILITY, God will start His great work of healing our land.
Thanks for reading, God bless you.
Source: Church Watch In Nigeria