Is Prayer the Key or the Shackle itself #annoyingreallifescenarios

Soo the other day, I was discussing with some people and Nigeria and the Ebola was brought up. We started talking on how the Ebola spread was controlled and next thing I knew; someone mentioned that it was because all the churches came together in prayer and fasted and God mercifully looked at all the supplications and stopped the spread of Ebola.  My head was still reeling from this information when the next person added that all the preventive measures that were put in place (the isolation of infected person, quarantine of suspects) were worthless. She went further to state that it was because of the collective prayers that were fired (Naijas u understand naa) that Nigeria was able to be free of Ebola.
Seriously! !!!!

And I’m about to get to the most interesting detail: the people I was having the conversation with were workers in the health sector.

And that brings me to my question:

IS PRAYER TRULY THE KEY OR IS THE SHACKLE ITSELF.
Chidionyeagba

Each day in Nigeria,  I have increasingly come to realize that there seems to be a (permit me to use the word) “sheepishness” in our religious views, beliefs and their application to the practical day to day life in Nigeria.  I will explain better.

A man goes out, gets drunk, still drives his car and knocks down someone on his way back. If the victim survives, we remember that his pastor asked him to pray against sudden death the previous month and he fasted for 5 days and that’s the reason he survived. If the victim dies, we chalk it down that his time on earth (which is allocated by God) is up. The drunk driver now is absolved of blame as he was only an instrument in the divine order of creation. Now im getting to the best part; some groups would be of the opinion that the death was an act of satan while others would say that Gods knows best. But I am yet to see a group that would say that the death was an act of God (especially if the victim was young) although they would be quick to point out that his time on earth was up.

I will give another instance, someone is sick in the hospital,  bleeding,  needs blood and the pastor and church members are firing prayers on his behalf instead of people coming forward to volunteer to donate blood.  So many people are sick in the hospitals who can’t afford their treatment,  some people have neighbours who haven’t paid  house rents and we are more concerned with donating money to churches or paying prayer groups to come and hold family prayers/deliverances.

Someone goes to hospital,  is diagnosed with diabetes or HIV, the implications  of the illness are explained and the person is advised to take his drugs regularly as he would most probably live his normal daily life if he adheres to medical advice.  He goes back to his pastor, who tells him that he should  pray, fast and have faith that God can do all things, then after his weeks of fasting and night vigils,  he should stop the drugs with faith because God will surely make him whole as the children of Abraham do not suffer ailments. Now the man goes home, takes his pastor’s advice and finds himself in the hospital after he must have had a stroke. The church members then pray against the spirit of death and finally the man leaves the hospital with a left side paralysis;  And the relatives will still praise God  and thank the church members for their prayers because they believe it was the prayers that kept  the man alive.

I remember a bus conversation,  the topic was “Tithe” and those for ‘pros of tithe paying’ said that when one pays one’s tithe regularly and completely,  that the person must be successful in all endeavours,  pass all job interviews,  buy cars and (the most amazing of all) never have to visit the hospital for serious ailments.  I couldn’t keep quiet any longer so I asked the leader: does the person still need to buy food cos the way I see it, manna should even fall from heaven for the obedient followers of God

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And this is the problem,  we have so much miscontrued the true meaning of faith and prayer. I remember a pastor who once said we (Nigerians) disturb God for problems we can solve easily.   The government is not working,  instead of doing something about it, we pray; your relation is sick and can be treated in the hospital, yet you pray for a miraculous cure; a woman is in labour, needs a cesarean section but no, we pray for a miracle so she can deliver normally like the Hebrew women in the bible (who I must mention at this point,  didn’t have the option of surgeries back then); a student doesn’t read but prays for a miraculous pass; a woman is pregnant and is fasting (starving herself from 6am-6pm each day) for 2 weeks in order to deliver normally;  someone is sick,  needs urgent medical attention and we are praying in church.

Nigerians trouble God with  problems that God has already provided miracles for just that they fail to believe.
Unknown

I wonder sometimes if its the same God we pray to with the other continents.  To this day, I do not understand the religious devotion in a case where a woman has a cheating husband,  has been caught repeatedly having unprotected sex with different women and the pastor asks the woman to go home and pray about it. What is there to pray about? The pastor certainly will not bother to inform the woman that while she’s praying for a change in her husband’s behaviour,  she might get infected with HIV or that the man might get infected before his eventual conversion.

Also when public servants steal money, they come to the church for Thanksgiving while we keep praying against bribery and corruption.

It seems the prayers are holding us back from positive action.
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What do you think? Cite your own examples

Ciao

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Must poverty always equal ignorance? #annoyingreallifescenarios

Must a poor person be ignorant? Is poverty an excuse for ignorance or stupidity? ? (Pardon my language) These days I tend to weigh some of my statements in my brain,  repeat them over and over (in my mind I must add) before I speak because I have been told I usually speak without tact or worse sef, that my ideas are erratic. And be reassured that I understand the whole poverty breeding ignorance and vice versa vicious cycle but these days I wonder if we are not using that explanation as an excuse for people not doing what they are supposed to do.

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You are wondering,  “What is the point of this her argument sef?” I will tell you. A friend of mine told me a story of a lady she met. The lady is married with 2 children who are alive, one died at 5 months.  She has an OND from a Nigerian polytechnic while her husband is a trader and they live in an urban area. Typical lower class Nigerian so you are still wondering what’s wrong with the picture? I will tell u.

The lady in question is HIV positive and her two children are also HIV positive.  Yes!!!! In this era, an educated woman did not go to the hospital for antenatal care knowing fully well she was positive and she transmitted the virus to 2 small children. What kind of ignorance is this?

I still cannot comprehehend the woman’s reasoning. Seriously! !! Because she seemed to have an idea that pregnant HIV infected mothers were given drugs to prevent transmission to the unborn child but she didn’t bother seeking help. She rather decided to do things her own way: get pregnant,  give birth to babies and raise them with the virus. Her first child died at 6 months and that didn’t bring about a change of heart from her.

Now this is what I find difficult to understand,  is it the poverty that is her problem or the ignorance or what exactly? ?? I have tried soo hard to understand what could have motivated this woman to act this way because I know that information about prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV is everywhere or is it possible she wasn’t aware? Or was she told but didn’t believe?  Or maybe she didn’t just care?? Or was it ignorance??

How exactly is ignorance to be blamed here? Or maybe its poverty? ?  Or was it that she was diagnosed someplace where she wasn’t counselled? Or l am I missing another crucial factor in this story?

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I'm still trying to understand

Still trying to understand

Your thoughts please!!!!!!
Hwaiting!

A father’s love /A True Story/

He rushed back home after he got the call that his daughter had been convulsing continously for a day and half  and the congregation had been binding and casting the demons all day. It didn’t occur to any of them to take the child to the hospital. He dropped everything and went back.  On arrival,  he was greeted by the sight of his now unconscious child with the sole of one foot burnt (which happened when a helpful neighbour suggested to the mother that the child be taken close to the fire for warmth as child was shivering while convulsing,  unfortunately there was more turning than was anticipated and child’s foot went into the fire).

The man rushed the child to the hospital unconscious and still having seizures,  where several tests, drugs and ever changing diagnosis were given. He was berated for seeking health care late and for having mismanaged his child in the beginning as the doctors said the brain had been insulted soo much, they could not at that point give a prognosis. 

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And that started their journey, long hospital stay with the man cleaning the child, changing her diapers, holding her all through the night watching for seizures to alert the nurses. While in hospital, the seizures continued and everyone was giving up hope but the man persevered.  He did all the tests that were asked and bought all drugs although the child was obviously worsening and he never complained. He even encouraged the doctors. Days turned into weeks, the sister that was giving him financial support died, hospital bills kept increasing and the man remained by the child’s side abandoning all work, all matters. Mother came a week later and when she saw the child’s state, she left the hospital in tears, wailing along the road that she could not bear to see her daughter suffer.

Finally,  the seizures stopped but the child was already blind, legs were somehow bent and some degrees of deafness was also suspected.  But he was told that as children are known for their ability to regenerate neurones and overcome insults to the brain, there was hope that the child might see again and walk although there maybe an obvious limp.

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Yet this man still showed the same love, care and devotion he had towards the child. She was nothing like the vibrant happy little girl who used to rush into her father’s arms once he gets back from work; the little girl who shared a nickname with her dad that was just between the two of them. But these days, she hardly responds and cries most of the day. The years ahead were going to be a big struggle but you could see his resolution,  his belief that a divine intervention will happen. And one cannot help but pray (even if one is an atheist) for a miracle and that love may concur all.