Many have argued that praying and prophesying have no place in politics, governance and nation-building. But that is not correct.
Proponents of this idea often refer to countries where atheism has become prominent as evidence that the Almighty God does not care about who governs a country, how it is governed, the state of its affairs, and whether or not peace, justice and equity are maintained within its borders.
It can be a compelling argument, especially if you view national events and developments from the myopic, obscure, narrow human perspective tainted by bias related to individual experiences and ethnic, socio-cultural and religious sentiments. However, the argument falls flat when you see God and His big picture.
Prayer is a fundamental practice of human existence. It is simply communication with God. It is how we communicate our admiration, appreciation, reverence and requests to God and pay attention to pick up His communication to us. Praying is as essential as breathing. As it is unthinkable that you will decide not to breathe for the rest of the week, so it is when you regard prayer as something you can do without.
One lesson our Lord Jesus took time to teach with the aid of a parable is that “men ought always to pray.” Our Creator intended that we would be constantly in touch with Him. So, mankind was wired up with the capacity to pray always. Prayerlessness is indeed the anomaly. Unfortunately, the anomaly has become the norm, and nothing better explains the chaos in the world today.
One of the things that result from prayer is prophecy. God delights in sharing His mind with those who maintain an intimate relationship with Him. Sometimes, He reveals to them mysteries and shows them things that happened in the past, in secret, and things that will happen in the future. It is a prophecy when a person declares what God showed Him about the future. Apostle Paul stated the purpose of such declaration in First Corinthians chapter 14 verse three. It says that prophecies come to edify, exhort and comfort people.
It is worth mentioning that prophecy has been bastardised in Nigeria, across Africa and in other parts of the world by fraudsters and imposters who do not know God but claim to speak for Him. Their aim is always gain. They deceive and defraud people and often use demonic insight and powers. The recently released movie: ‘Prophet Suddenly’ by The Winlos highlights this menace succinctly.
However, the fact that fake prophets exist and are mudding the waters points to the existence of genuine prophets. Counterfeiting is not possible where an original does not exist. The activities of fake prophets have made many detest everything about prophecy and look at prophets with suspicion. We were warned in the Bible that these things would happen and were instructed not to treat prophecies with contempt (First Thessalonians chapter five verse 20).
So where do prayer and prophecy fit in nation-building?
Prophecy reveals to us the mind of God and the things to come. Prayer, on the other hand, seeks the mind of God and seeks to establish His will on earth as it is in heaven. So when prophecies are released, it is often required that the people, who received the prophecies, establish them by prayers according to the will of God.
The scripture is replete with evidence that God is interested in nations and He has His will concerning countries, which are usually revealed in prophecies.
Considering that God is the all-powerful and all-wise creator of the universe, is it difficult to imagine that His will concerning a country like Nigeria would be the best possible architectural model or building plan anyone engaging in nation-building must build with? Prayer and prophecy are the veritable means to download this building plan.
In a previous article titled: ‘Nigeria at a prophecied turning point, in need of interpreters’ I wrote about a prophecy made by an English missionary, Sydney Granville Elton, who came from England, settled in Ilesha, southwest, Nigeria in 1937, had a great impact on Christianity in the country, and died in 1987.
Pa Elton’s widely quoted prophecy about Nigeria, says: “Nigeria and Nigerians will be known all over the world for corruption. Your name — Nigeria will stink for corruption but after a while, a new phase will come — a phase of righteousness. People from the nations of the earth will hold to a Nigerian and say, we want to follow you to your nation to go and learn righteousness.”
This prophecy ought to be a compass for national development: the building plan.
It is clear to everyone that the first part of the prophecy has been thoroughly fulfilled. Corruption has become endemic in Nigeria. But the good news is that this is not the end of the story. God has prepared for Nigeria a future where corruption is not the norm and righteousness is the nation’s character.
To see that new Nigeria, we must pray fervently and make it clear that we truly desire it. We must also act accordingly. For the healing of the land to happen, mass prayers and mass actions that depict repentance must go hand-in-hand. Second Chronicles chapter seven verse 14 says: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
This prophecy also shows that the best course of action for those in government is to invest their time, resources and political will to eradicate corruption and build systems that support and promote righteousness. This is the way to align with the Almighty God in nation-building. If you do this, you will experience the meaning of the biblical saying: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” The answer is nobody.
Finally, the Bible says in First Timothy chapter two verses one and two, that “first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
Even if it is just for this reason, we will continue to pray for Nigeria and those in authority at all levels. Well-crafted policies, superior political strategy and military might cannot deliver the new Nigeria unless they are backed by prayers that align with God’s will revealed by prophecy.
Reverend Ukporhe is the Point Man (Resident Pastor) at Remnant Christian Network, Lagos. Raised in Sokoto, northern Nigeria, he was trained in peculiar firebrand evangelism and was ordained as a pastor in 2001. He has experienced countless and diverse workings of the faithfulness of God over two decades and has developed a passion to see God’s will for Nigeria become a reality.