THE TRUE PHILOSOPHY OF PRAYER
In the words of George Bernard Shaw, 'Common people do not pray; they only beg.' Reinhold Niebuhr prayed thus, 'God give me the serenity to accept things which cannot be changed; give me courage to change things which must be changed; and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.' I want to say here that I have been misunderstood by many of my readers in view of my philosophical and radical/cum scholastic approach to many issues. I am a Christian philosopher, who does not play or joke with the name of God, the Almighty. A preacher of the good news, one who was sent free from the swamp of satanic manipulations that now enjoys the presence of my saviour, the LORD, JESUS CHRIST.
Like Michelangelo, 'I live and love in God's peculiar light,' and like Shakespeare, 'Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served my king, he would not in my age have left me naked to mine enemies.' Therefore, I am an ambassador of CHRIST, who strictly believes in the great philosophy of love-Christ, but on the other hand, against the credo built in error which has hitherto given rise to many pseudo religions men developed from the teachings of Christ which Christ Himself has not approved.
The misconception of our Lord's Prayer, together with the Biblical teachings of Christ concerning prayer, have truly turned many Christians to sacred beggars. Prayer is generally defined as man's means of communicating with God. The wrong application of this definition has erroneously conditioned the thinking of man, where he now positions himself to query, probe and command His maker - God. So many religious leaders have through their sustained theological traditions, continued to awaken this error with their artificial convictions that God will through their barren error have mercy and answer them one day. This ignoble belief system having been nourished by reading ungrounded cum emotional Christian literatures have continued to witness the praise of this era.
Consequent upon the increase in this false view, back to sender has hitherto become the twin brother of fire for fire and the use of Holy Ghost fire has continued to enjoy more patronage by those whose spiritual knowledge are bereft of the esoteric philosophy of prayer. The mass acceptance of error has conditioned our minds to the extent that we find it difficult to change our views as to welcome new ideas that are capable of elevating our consciousness to the higher scale of spiritual survival.
As a preacher, set free from the esoteric gloom of the metaphysical empire of the subjective systems, there is no doubt that a personality like me, must be sustained daily by fervent prayer oozing out from me without season. The Church-man's view of this expression is the result of the daily noise makings in our various congregations. However, I am fully aware of many Christian literatures that have devoted their time writing on prayer, but regardless of what anybody or group of people may say, I write from profound experience!
Earthmen, the philosophy of prayer has it that thoughts that are hidden unspoken, and unexpressed are not hidden or unknown to the creator of human race. In my terms, unalloyed desire is prayer, and no loss can occur from trusting God strongly with our godly desires. Now before our desires are exalted and take the forms of words and deeds, they undoubtedly become a reality from a higher spiritual dimension unknown to man. It is consequent upon the above that a desire set in motion by a good Christian, hungering after righteousness, and blessed by the father of life, does not return void without attracting homogeneously the cosmic will of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer cannot change the ultimate will of God! I stand to be corrected but not from mere emotional perspective. I have seen some people even here in the so-called white man's land asking God to be good as well as humbly imploring him to continue to be God. This neither makes God to react negatively nor positively. When a Christian urges God to continue to be God and to do good, it means from the parlance of logic that the fellow contributed in making Him God and good. The primordial Lord cannot do more nor less than He has always done, and all that He has always done are the greatest ever done on earth. He is not moved by human praise to do things that are not in His agenda.
Yes He does not grant anything on the basis of human praise, for He looks at the heart and not the lips. Prayer does not forgive sins rather it brightens our relationship with God, for it is only God who forgives our sins.
A request for God to save us is not all that is required, the habit of pleading with God as if one is pleading with human being is an error that impedes our spiritual growth and turns God to our emotional mate. Father give me this and that is the daily watchword of many Christians. Some now treat God the ways lawyers are treated, they only remember, lawyers when they have problem, and as a result, they remember God when they have need. This is very wrong! Men too have misconduct themselves while in the presence of God by trying to remind God of his words as if God can forget any bit of it. Our father is love personified, can we ask Him to be more? God is intelligent, He is all knowing therefore, can man his product inform Him of anything He does not already comprehend? He is Omnipresent; can we recall any thing for Him? Asking God to be good and God, is an error in our various pulpit, for God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He says, 'If you that are evil know how to do good to your children, how much shall your father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask' Matt 7:11.
So is man wiser and knowledgeable than God? Did you ever ask Him to create someone like you? He who is immutably right will do right without being reminded. The wisdom of man is total folly before the infinite God. This same foolishness of man mistaken for wisdom is not sufficient to warrant him in advising God. O men how empty are your views about the great God! We believe He is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresence, yet we believe we can command Him and remind Him of things He has forgotten. Each time you are on your kneel, you plead for this and that, ask for this and that with keen expectation sometimes bereft of faith. Now are you really grateful for the ones already received? Without being grateful, you are not fit to receive more, because gratitude is much more than verbal expression of thanks, yes our actions express more gratitude than speech.
In Isaiah 43:23, the Bible says, 'Put me in remembrance…' again in Isaiah 45: 11, the Bible says, 'Command ye me' These various Bible portions have confused a lot of Christians while those who have graduated in ignorance, have continued to delay the answers to their prayers by wrongly commanding God.
In another Bible translation the NIV, we find the same portion quoted thus, 'Review the past for me'. Here, God is not asking man to review the past for Him rather He wants man to review the past things He did, so that ones faith can be advanced to receive more. When the past is reviewed in connection with the present, one's faith gets stirred. God does not forget anything for He is not a man.
Again, commanding God is an abuse of spiritual right. How can one command His maker? God in His infinite power, has commanded many things for man to control and in turn command same for his noble favour. God had commanded everything as is evident in verse 12 of the same chapter. We will only avail ourselves of God's command in order to command other things. You are hitherto instructed not to command the lord your God, but to command the works of God, which He has commanded on your behalf. For this command to be effective and successful, you must live a holy life.
The lord says, 'See now that I, even I am He, and there is no God with me; I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal, neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and I say, I live forever' Deut 32:39-40. Now does such God who via His primordial will caused both the caused and uncaused into motion requires calling back to His senses or being reminded of anything by a mortal man the clay? My humble answer is no. He is not influenced by our mortal intelligent. The divine ear is not an auditory nerve. He is the all-knowing and all hearing to whom each need of man is always known and by whom it will be supplied.
The only prayer that will not return void to us, is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in practical terms in the language of patience, meekness, love, and good deeds. The only debt we owe our master is not to pray always rather to keep his commandment and to follow his noble examples this is the worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that He has done for us.
Outward worship notwithstanding, is not sufficient to express loyal and heartfelt gratitude because He says, 'If you love me, keep my commandments'.
Keeping God's commandment is more important than audible prayers amounting to noise making in our various completed and uncompleted buildings. Asking that we may love God will never make us love him, but longing to be better and holier, expressed in daily watchfulness through the blood of the lamb, and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character, will mould and fashion us as new creatures as we also awake in his image and likeness. This is the true philosophy of prayer!