Questions On My Mind While Praying In Church

Opinion

Last week, I found myself on my knees, in a rather awkward position. Fam, I was in church… you people can be so rotten sometimes. Anyway, so here I am on my knees (because standing for those long prayer points get as e be), trying to focus on the prayer point and not thinking about…

Share

Share
Text size
+

Last week, I found myself on my knees, in a rather awkward position. Fam, I was in church… you people can be so rotten sometimes. Anyway, so here I am on my knees (because standing for those long prayer points get as e be), trying to focus on the prayer point and not thinking about the thousand (del- usually inappropriate) things that suddenly take over my mind during the service. And as the preacher fires the shot on the prayer and everyone begins praying frivolously, I found myself feeling rather awkward, thinking to myself “Damn Yo, where do these enemies even come from? Am I the only one that doesn’t feel like I have enemies? I mean honestly, who’s really thinking about me”?

I soon realized that the “prayer for enemies” point is not the only thing I have questions on. Now, don’t get me wrong- I’m not saying that people don’t have enemies, or that there aren’t people out there that don’t like me. Shit, I don’t even like me sometimes so assuming that I’m loved by everyone would not only be incorrect, but rather arrogant of me. However, would I say that I have enemies? I mean do I really believe that there is some potential generational curse or someone constantly plotting for my downfall, that I must now usher serious prayer against? Honestly Fam, I don’t have the answers because Jesus does I mean, I’m going to pray anyway in case of incasity (you can never be too sure about these things) but sometimes praying for the absolute ‘perishing’ of my enemies just seems a bit umm… extreme?

I also find that in the non-Nigerian churches I’ve attended, these prayer points are quite different. I don’t know if its that because of our culture, and all the stories we’ve heard, we’ve become accustomed to these types of prayer points and for that reason, don’t find them odd? Is the personification and tendency to humanize enemies relative only to us as Nigerians?

And am I the only one that thinks the time allocated to these prayer points can be cut short? I mean seriously, in how many different ways can I pray about the same thing? How am I not supposed to listen to my neighbor and steal some fresh prayer ideas from them?

Also, why do pastors claim two more prayer points and then give us five/now ask if we are tired? Oh and why do these points often rhyme? Like “Oh God, turn my ridicule to miracle, commotion to promotion”, etc. Guys, I need answers.

But before we get there, what are some of your observations and questions?

Responses

  1. Iyanu
    Lol… I think it depends on the church you go and on your understanding of God has a person. I don’t spend all my Sunday afternoons in church praying for my enemies to die. I’ve come to understand that the one enemy I need to overcome is Satan. And we finally completely overcome him on the day of Jesus. Our listening to the Holy Spirit should guide our prayers.
    0
  2. MIA
    I should learn to comment then read!! I have missed my drinks.

    I am a catholic so I am used to praying silently, when my friends invite me over to there church I look like a pagan because I just watch them praying for their enemies to die by fire. I keep imagining someone praying against his enemy forgetting he is also someone’s enemy and he is set on fire because the other person’s prayers got to heaven 1st. I assume heaven is orderly so 1st come 1st served.

    10+
        1. Anon
          Lmaooooo. I remember one time on school. I joined a fellowship that used to have morning prayers. Being a Catholic and used to the silent prayer style, the coordinator of the fellowship actually called me out and said I wasn’t praying. Naah fam, I was shocked.
          1+
    1. MADU
      “I keep imagining someone praying against his enemy forgetting he is also someone’s enemy…”

      This right here is one of the most distasteful ideologies people have.

      So if everyone of us have enemies, and the enemy of your enemy is your friend, then we need to re-evaluate ourselves. Cos we simply are a bunch of haters connected by relationships.

      1+
        1. MADU
          Oh, sorry if you felt attacked by my comment. I don’t have a problem with your views, MIA. I’m just stating the obvious…what I notice around me.
          0
  3. Ray
    ‘Anyway, so here I am on my knees (because standing for those long prayer points get as e be), trying to focus on the prayer point and not thinking about the thousand (del- usually inappropriate) things that suddenly take over my mind during the service.’
    Apparently, this happens to a lot of us. The devil probably seeks you the most when you are in church.

    All these struggle, by-force prayers Ehn. If everyone is praying and you don’t shout in unison, they will look at you like you are the enemy. It’s funny how some people think that communicating with God is by shouting ‘die die die’ at all their enemies in heaven and on earth.

    1+
  4. Funmi Ogunlusi
    My own question is about all this anime style collapsing that pastors inflict on their congregation. Those of us who are still looking around when others are falling to the left and right – are we omo esu? Abi we’ve received annointing vaccine? So many questions…
    6+
          1. Od
            You’da thought they’d have invented something new by now. They were doing that when I was in secondary school in the late nineties/early 2000’s.

            I agree with Tools. People should stop being shy of facing such “pastors” down. If you are, you shouldn’t come up tomorrow and blame Christianity for all the fakery you see. Blame yourself for not demanding more.

            0
    1. Cokeboy
      Have you been the only one not to fall, out of everyone in the congregation that came forward. I was tempted to allow the pastor succeed in pushing me to floor.
      All I imagined throughout the service was that everyone looking at me saw two horns grow on my forehead.
      4+
      1. Funmi O
        Yes!!! The camera is an anointing shield paraps.

        And as for your earlier comment, it seems we both need deliverance from the spirit of stubbornness. Can the boys and girls of TNC start a prayer circle?

        1+
    2. teminiran
      Bruh, I’ve never fallen and I’ve actually been lucky enough that no one was insensitive enough to try and push me. The look I’ll give you alone ehn. But maybe you should pray against your spirit of stubborness sha. Someone once told me I should pray against my spirit of pride. sigh.
      2+
  5. Countess
    “However, would I say that I have enemies? I mean do I really believe that there is some potential generational curse or someone constantly plotting for my downfall, that I must now usher serious prayer against”

    You’re a christian so you must be familiar with “the devil goes about… seeking whom to devour” and “We wrestle not against flesh and blood…principalities and powers”. So by default, the enemies dey o. You cant be a christian and not believe that.

    Is your church MFM cos they can use 2 minutes on one prayer point. Deeper Life too. At an MFM vigil years ago, instead of praying, I was busy wondering why pretty much everyone there was shaking their head left and right so agressively while praying. Then still wondering, I had to close my eyes because the pastor said the demon he was casting out of someone will enter anyone who didnt close their eyes.

    I’ve found it best to just empty my mind and focus when praying to avoid such distracting thoughts though.

    1+
  6. olamii
    For some churches,prayer na serious competition, u go see person beside u wey dey look out for who dey shake head and body pass so two of them go ‘wrestle with prayer’…Serious war scene o,sometimes i go wan laff but i dey always bind devil in d name of Jesus!
    I just make sure i put my words together rightly and i focus on God whenever i pray..
    2+
    1. teminiran
      omg just last week, I was in prayer meeting again, and they said we should hold hands. I actually sensed my neighbor’s (this older woman) hesitation as she was about to hold my hands. While she was shaking head and body, me I was jejely (getting distracted) praying. But as I was the only person beside her, she didn’t really have a choice. It was an odd pairing oooo- that’s how she took my hands and started shaking them. Brethren, I was so shaken.
      4+
  7. Anon
    I’ve laughed so hard at some of these comments. See ehn, if it’s about this deliverance thing, I’m weak.

    So I went for vigil one night and the lady in front of me transformed. I swear. She was making sounds that were not human. She sounded like a huge snake. I kid you not. She was actually hissing like one and saliva was pouring on her bible.

    After that day, I shut my eyes so tight it’s almost unbelievable.

    1+
    1. ray
      Hahahahahaha
      Those fire-prayer sessions where the person being delivered is someone you know and you keep wondering afterwards if that nice girl really had a demon in her.
      2+
  8. Ufuomaee
    LOL!!! I totally get you dear. Some real valid questions. I think too many people are playing religion, and far too little know the God they worship.

    Jesus has done it for us on the cross!! It is finished! He said that we shouldn’t be like the Pharisees with our long and repetitive prayers… God knows what we need even before we ask. There is no such thing as generational curse on those who have been redeemed by Christ’s blood! And the devil can’t touch you if he tried…because God by your side will send him running!

    I don’t fall for the dramatics…and that’s why I can’t stand prayer meetings anymore.

    2+
    1. woyi_oc
      “I don’t fall for the dramatics…and that’s why I can’t stand prayer meetings anymore.”

      I know this feeling. I have a friend that used to say she can’t stand all the formalities of prayer. Her own way to pray was to take one hr walks and “just talk to God about what’s on her mind”.

      2+
  9. woyi_oc
    Someone who is a friend of a facbook friend posted this yesterday with regards to this whole “fall down and die” prayer routine:

    “Left to natural circumstances, I should have loathed ministers and the work of the ministry. Why? My family had suffered in the hands of a lot of them who claimed our ‘generational lineage’ was cursed or a certain Grandmother etc was at the root of our financial problems. I particularly remember several vigils over the years..Ranging from single nights, to 7 day vigils held to ‘break’ the curse. A curse that always needed another minister to break. Some ministers demanded regular amounts of money to ‘maintain’ their miracles. It was terrible. I’m not here to speak about my experience, It won’t help you. Who really is the enemy? Is it your grandma or as some mothers are wont to put it, ‘your father’s people’. One of the things I have so graciously been taught over the years from my providential associations is how the New birth affects our relationship with satan. Jesus’ redemptive work is the judgment of the devil- John 16:7-16. Who is the enemy? Ephesians 6:10-12, ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].’ Here we have lucidly unveiled for us the enemy as against flesh and blood many would like to call their enemies. Many families have been torn apart by ‘deliverance’ ministries. Pitting against each other, husband and wife, parents and kids. When a believer begins to believe somebody is ‘manipulating’ his destiny, it is proof positive the person is terribly ignorant. Who is a believer? He sits on the throne of God in Christ..How can such an one be oppressed by satan except if not by ignorance. In Africa, there seems to be an unseemly marriage between traditional beliefs and a faint idea of scriptures. A revered Man of God wrote a book on Dream Interpretation with hardly a reference to scripture. It’s terrible! How can a demon, ‘fall down and die’? Where did you see this? Which God are you serving? Surely not the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, who is the enemy? Listen, even if you have a family member who is diabolic. They aren’t the enemy.. They are prisoners of the enemy! Many might not want to hear this…That wicked witch in your village is as much loved by God and with her in mind as well as you, Jesus died on the cross. We were all in sin! God loves her! Your Grandma isn’t the enemy.. Your aunty isn’t.. They are prisoners of the enemy! Relate with them from the throne room, like Jesus did to the demon possessed. Walk also according to the leading of the Spirit! And if you prayed a, ‘fall down and die’ prayer and someone died, you partnered with satan to see a much beloved soul leave this world without salvation. God doesn’t kill.. We see in Christ, he is PRO LIFE. When you see a demon, the right response is utter disdain..Refuse fear..Refuse ignorance! Know who you are! You are seated far above the devil IN Christ”

    13+
  10. G B
    I remember those times when I used to go with my pop to some of those his ‘prayer mountains’ and some barefoot man starts with the prayer points, bells rung periodically for emphasis. The thoughts would come one by one:
    “why are we on a hill? Is reception better from here?”
    “why can’t we wear shoes? These rocks are killing my feet!”
    “I’m a young man who has almost zero money. What could an enemy possibly have against me?!”
    “Where can one even hide one’s destiny when one isn’t using it? The enemies are not smiling!”
    “Jesus! What kind of prayer point is that?! No sane person should even think of this! I’m sure the devil is picking up pointers from these guys!”
    Around this time, I notice I’ve been standing silently for about two minutes and am starting to draw attention so I add a lot of aggressive head movements to the mix.

    Then I think, if I’m here in the middle of nowhere on a weekday at three a.m., the enemies have already won!

    23+
    1. ray
      ‘“why are we on a hill? Is reception better from here?”’
      Loooooooool.
      ‘Then I think, if I’m here in the middle of nowhere on a weekday at three a.m., the enemies have already won!’
      LMAOOOOOOOOOOO!
      This is what baffles me about those churches that hold vigils on monday mornings. Like don’t they have members that have real jobs?!
      5+
    2. Tee boy
      “if I’m here in the middle of nowhere on a weekday at three a.m., the enemies have already won!”…..this really cracked me up.
      Something valid to think about though.
      2+
    3. Nelo
      Ewoo. Am laughing so loud all alone in my room. My neighbours must be wondering what jackpot I hit. Honestly, your thought pattern needs to be ‘delivered ‘. Gawd! Am still laughing.
      1+
  11. Raymond
    I love this post. I believe the best way to approach prayer is to understand what prayer is in the first place. Commune with God shebi? So how do you talk to God? I mean if I begin to shout my earth father’s name and command him to kill and shatter Fam the truth is I will wake up with broken bones and common sense in the hospital. So where people got the idea of die by fire I have not got a satisfactory answer and so I simply can’t indulge.

    As a corollary guys just think about this. The whole point of Praying is that there is an omnipotent being listening yeah? Who knows all right? Is in heaven yet He sees your heart abi? Yet it’s at this precise moment when you are connecting with Him you begin to dive like Neymar in an opponents 18 yard box? Dancing advanced shoki as your imaginary demons flee from the anointing?

    I think you have simply reported yurself straight to Baba God. Congratulations. You played yourself

    2+
  12. Raymond
    Also more importantly eh.. the disciples asked Jesus (tatamount to asking God if you understand the holy trinity that way really) teach us how to pray…

    Brethren I testify the Lord’s prayer was Jesus’ template of what true Prater should look like.. AND NOT A SINGLE DEMON WAZ HURT IN THE MAKING OF THAT PRAYER!!

    With your 666 prayer points wyd? You Sabi pass Jesus????

    3+
  13. Enn
    Is it just me or is this fast becoming a the trend?…I mean people focusing on the every fault in the church…why not just focus on your relationship with God.
    0
    1. teminiran
      Hi Enn, this wasn’t meant to focus on fault in the church, but to bring a bit of humor to some of the things I’m sure we’ve all observed at one point or the other during service. Thanks for reading and commenting.
      2+
    2. SeryxMe
      Enn, if you ask me, I think this is very necessary for two reasons:

      – Many Christians are just following religious rituals and are not asking enough questions. This is why the general perception of critics is that Christianity is just an I-lead-you-follow system without critical thinking. Like Od has said severally, this cannot be further from the truth. We need to shake things up.

      – Following the above, it provides an opportunity for clarifications, not just for the critics, but for the Christians who are also looking for answers. Accepting Christianity is not supposed to be a do-don’t-ask process. It is a choice you select based on realizing it is actually better than all other alternatives you have, not just because someone said it is.

      What other better platform to open this up than on TNC? Let ’em keep coming. Let the Christians really ask themselves why they’re practising what they do. Then maybe we can really see some genuine growth.

      8+
  14. Gidi Mallam
    Even as a teenager with my extremely limited understanding of God and Jesus’ example, and the meaning of the New Testament, I knew there was something fundamentally wrong with those “fall down and die” prayers. I got tired of talking to people about them and just decided if I was in any church and those prayers came up, I wouldn’t be saying any amens.
    Ultimately, like a lot of earlier comments have said, I believe it is a combination of ignorance, and a lack of understanding and a strong personal relationship with Jesus and the Father He taught us about that lets Christians be led into such prayer lifestyles.
    1+
  15. Drizzle
    I remember one time when this pastor laid hands on my head for one of those fire prayer sessions..Before he got to my turn he seemed to be on a roll that day cause every youth he laid hands on fell to the ground and supposedly caught the H.G.

    But see ehnn,I just couldn’t fake none of that so I stood still even when he pushed my head backwards with the force/ strength of Hercules (Baba thought he was going to have it that easy). But,apparently this pastor was ready for me too. So what did he do? He laid hands on my head again but this time he started twirling my head. Man! it looked like i was on some manual merry-go-round..I could feel the fluids in my inner ear slosh all around, and alas! the inevitable dizziness hit me and I lost my balance and fell..
    I was so pissed that day cause i somehow felt manipulated,I just felt like the pastor successfully created a scenario that was far from what it looked like.
    That gra-gra type of prayer is not just for me..never has been.

    2+
  16. Chinedov
    Went for night vigil one of those Fridays and the Pastor was really in the mood. People were falling around left, right and center and I was the lone survivor.

    Pastor walked up to me and mumbled in tongues for several minutes while laying his hands on my forehead. The next thing, he was pushing my head real bad and called the prayer warriors to come and surround me.

    He continued this casting and binding for like 7 minutes at which point the intercessors/prayer warriors joined the chorus. After all this, I was still standing.

    Pastor got tired and told me to see him after service. I no even wait.

    4+
  17. Tobi
    It’s almost two years now, I went for a vigil and this Pastor started laying his hand on people and they were falling like the Olympus. When he got to me, I didn’t even feel anything. Baba started slapping my head, the kain headache I got that night ehn…
    1+
  18. MizzD
    I live (far too) close to the MFM headquarters. One weekday afternoon, when they were pouring outta church, my brother asked my dad why these people were always in church and don’t they have jobs. Dad goes “God is probably a very expensive assasin.”
    1+
  19. Shynaa

    lmaooo. sincerely I have laffed & laffed & still laffing o. All comments are very sensitive & full of lessons to learn from.
    One thing I do know for sure, & which I do tell folks around me is that, as Africans especially in Nigeria, anything we learn from the “white men” & start practicing are always turned d other way round. we always overdo our own stuffs, we put too much swags and too much branding, +rebranding. wen we wear ‘foreign cloths’ we wear them absurdly, wen we eat ‘foreign foods’ we put too much swags, normally wea u suppose behave ursef and eat like an African man, no!, u see pple trying to form, and they fumble, wen we speak, we speak big big grammar!, chai. wen we pray & worship whether as Christians or Muslims, we overdo them. The missionaries & crusaders that brought these religions to Africa never practise them the way we do, nothing like ‘enemy fall down & die’ in those countries, nothing like going to events & ceremonies & all these alfas wit big big turban collecting money upon money for, ‘praying for alubarika for a new born baby’, or praying to Allah so that ‘your new born baby can be fulfilled in life’.
    Africa needs deliverance really. We really need to free ourselves, our thoughts from mental slavery.
    0
  20. Od
    Oh my God! This thread has killed me! Y’all are so funny. “God is an expensive assassin.” Lmao!!!

    Please o, prayer is just a child telling his/her dad about things that are important to them. Sometimes, you’re distraught and in a lot of pain. You may speak with a lot of emotion then. Sometimes you’re deliriously happy about something and you sound very excited when you talk. Sometimes you just want to hang out and there’s really nothing you want to talk about. Being natural is what makes it worth it.

    Let’s leave all the formulas and crazy theories alone. Jesus already gave the only formula any novice needs. We call it The Lord’s Prayer. He didn’t teach anything about killing demons and enemies in that formula. And none of his later disciples did either. The only thing that comes straight through is that he makes it personal and conversational and involves both God’s concerns and ours.

    I especially like the taking an hour long walk to pray. I do that a lot (not necessarily an hour long but I don’t place any limitations on it). I like to have exclusivity when I want to talk with God. It’s not a show just a personal conversation and I really don’t often like to have other people listening in. So I walk or shut my door and sometimes just sit on the floor. I do it when I’m doing the dishes and there’s no one about. I do it whenever and wherever I have something to say and I can get rid of company.

    0
  21. Anon
    The comments tho, i’ve never been 1 to fall under the annointing until they started deliverance service in my church, am not gonna lie the reason i went for it was cos i heard people were really falling and i just wanted to watch film (amebor will not kill me) then it got to my turn sighs lets just say things i never expected happened and no the pastor did not push my head, i was extremely shocked cos i dont have any problem so i dont really know what was fighting what, i stopped going cos i got tired of bashing my head on the ground, trust now momsi didnt let it go easily but i cannotcomeandgoandkillmyself
    0
  22. TheWeird1
    Lol really? I’ve never been to any vigil whr d priest will go around and be pushing ppl. Usually dey stay at d altar and ppl will just be falling up n dan anyhow whreva dey r. If u fall some ppl will come and carry u up to d altar
    0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+