Recently, I received a phone call concerning a text supposedly from one of the respectable men of God in Nigeria urging Christians to offer prayers at a certain period of the night so that they would not mourn over any loved one. I learnt that text messages were sent and received all over the world concerning this. But then subsequently, a confirmation came that the purported text was not initiated by the man of God, although he still encouraged everyone to pray, of course because it wouldn’t be wrong to pray anyway. I have heard from several sources that people obeyed and offered prayers as ‘instructed’. My findings reveal that there was approximately 100 percent compliance. In fact I am told some streets were exceptionally noisy that night because of the intensity of praying in various houses.
Three things would have happened that night. One, the telecom companies would have noticed increased network activity that night which automatically translated to more revenue generated, thanks to the countless short messages sent that day. Secondly, God would have had an increase in the number of humans talking to him at the same time. If He were a man running a prayer call centre, the lines would definitely have been jammed that night. Thank God Jehovah is not a man. I guess the last time He got such level of attention would have been on New Year eve when most people would have spent the first minutes or hours of the New Year in the house of the Lord. Lastly, people would have found out that they had more well-wishers than they actually thought. Text messages crossed international boundaries to various corners of the world. Some even sent to people they had not spoken to in a long while, Christians and non-Christians alike. People showed that they were their brother’s keepers.
But as my Spirit churned this event, some issues/questions came to mind that really got me thinking:
Are we actually praying Christians? Do we need to be ‘threatened’ before we get to pray? It is not out of place if the period specified for the prayers in that text was regularly spent with God every night. God will be so pleased with us. We all have so many things to talk to God about that 2 or 3 hours might not even be enough. Do we realise that we would have greater successes and victories if we spent more time talking to God? Our lives should be prayer-lived lives so that such messages don’t come as sudden interruptions; rather they would just dovetail seamlessly with our plans, as long as they are of God.
I also started wondering what our response would have been if the content of the text were different. What if the text had urged us strongly to evangelise and win a soul for Christ during the week? Would it have gotten a commensurate response? Well, maybe, if there were an attached blessing, like some super financial blessing for all who follow the instruction. I guess this reveals where our focus is and our level of selflessness or should I say selfishness. All instructions from Jehovah must be taken seriously, whether it concerns us or others, obvious blessing attached or not.
And to what level are we willing to search and see if what we see, hear or read is true? How much of our walk with God is influenced by sensationalism and sentiments? How committed are we to checking in our spirits to see if we have a witness from God about any issue? The Holy Scriptures speak of the Berean Christians as followers who went back to research what they had heard to know if they were true. This should apply to everyone and everything that come to us in the name of our Saviour. We should be willing to test every spirit, every word, every revelation that is labelled ‘of Christ’ to know if it is actually so. This is what our Father commands. Some do not even believe that God could speak directly to them except through someone else. I can assure you, even God enjoys pillow-talk with his pals. It is very important that God and his instructions via the Holy Scriptures are the number one priority in our lives. His commands from the scriptures MUST carry more weight than that of any man.
Well, in all this I am grateful that in a world were few are trusted, some men of God are still held in such high regard that we can take whatever is said to come from them. And I believe this is on account of their level of integrity. I pray God will make us trustworthy pillars of relevance in our generation that others can look up to too in Jesus’ name. Amen.