1 May 2015


Usually, on the first day of the month my News Feed is full of all sorts of vindictive prayers. Prayers that call down fire and brimstone on all enemies of progress who will stifle breakthroughs and miracles which have been on the way since God-knows-when, and which are expected to land that month. Given the long line of "Amen" that usually respond to such incantations, there is the need look at the need to pray for our needs according to the mind of Christ our Master and Saviour (Matt 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4).
Anyone who intentionally works against another's progress (physically or spiritually) is an enemy of progress. And the normal reaction towards an enemy is defeat by any possible means, including elimination and destruction. According to the Scriptures, with God all things are possible (Matt 19:26). Anything we ask in Jesus name would be granted (John 14:14). And we can do all things in Christ (Philippians 4:13). Therefore, it sounds logical to use the simplest means in vogue i.e., calling on God to rain down fire and brimstone to destroy anybody standing between us and our suspected breakthrough to our destiny.

But Christ our perfect example as Christians also had many strong enemies, both human and spiritual. Trusting in God, he persevered to his glorious destiny without destroying none; even though he had the powers (Matt 26: 53; John 18:36). Foreseeing our challenges with similar forces therefore, one of the instructions he leaves for us among his many teachings is:

"But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust." (Matt 5: 44-45).

Thus, vengeance against the enemy belongs to God (Deut 32: 35; Rom 12: 19; Heb 10: 30; etc). We all are sinful sons of the same father. In our prayers therefore, we do not need to ask our loving and merciful father to hurt or destroy our fellow brothers and sisters simply bcs they hurt us with their own sins. Rather, we need to ask God for protection against such enemies, and pray for his mercy and grace of repentance on them.

Humanly speaking, this is difficult. But that is the Christian spirit. Christ showed us many examples of forgiving the enemy, including when Peter cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest (Matt 26:51-52), and most importantly, by forgiving those who crucified him on the cross (Luke 23:34). Our own circumstances may differ. But the solution remains the same.

If the God of hosts is with us and the God of Jacob is our stronghold (Psalm 46:7), if there is greater joy in heaven over a sinner that repents (Luke 15:7), if Christ and his Disciples/Apostles drove out demons and never commanded them to quench by fire, and if he did not curse even those who crucified him to die by fire, my Christian teachings tell me that it is wrong for any Christian to call on God's vengeance to destroy a fellow sinful human being bcs he/she in his or her sins happens to be an enemy. We are also enemies both to God and one another in our own sins (Isaiah 53:6; Rom 3:23, etc.). We need to always forgive one another as much as we need God's mercy in our own sins (Mtt 6: 14-15), and his protection in the hands of fellow human beings who are inimical to us due to their own sins. We also need to form the habit of praying positively. Paul and Silas conquered their own enemies with songs of praise (Acts 16:25). While we remain faithful and forgiving children of God, the avenging God (Psalm 94) will determine the fullness of time for his vengeance for us.

As for the spiritual enemy, we simply need to be grateful to God for his ceaseless shield against such forces. And we need to strongly trust in him, and pray for his continued protection always. I am still searching to see in the Bible where God destroyed any demon because it was inimical to a believer. The highest I have seen is where the demon was cast out; not even into abyss or the pit of hell as I hear many people shout in the name of praying.
So, I wonder why anybody can say such things in the name of praying to God as a Christian. Unless one is praying to Amadioha, Sango, Igwe-ka-ala, Ala-ogbaga, etc. Let us learn to pray with a Christian spirit. Our God is not a heathen god.

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