DOES GOD STILL ANSWER PRAYERS?
(Tributes to Toyin Akanbi)
I am amazed at the volume of prayers that Christians in Nigeria say daily. From my personal observation there is a church to every ten house on Nigeria street, especially in the southern part of the country and Nigerian Christians take up a huge 55.2% of the entire population (even though there are controversies surrounding statistics in Nigeria).
Nigerians pray and they pray a lot. The streets are practically empty on Sunday mornings in southern part of the country because everyone is in church; we block the highways every now and then when we go for prayer conferences. We pray on various issues ranging from marital problems to national issues. We see a couple of such prayers coming to pass. For example, many people ascribe the death of the late head of state to the prayers of Christians. But a huge chunk remains unanswered. Latest among our series of unanswered prayers was the prayer Chain/ group I joined on my Blackberry messenger for a certain missing young man- who was kidnapped and murdered recently. Toyin Akanbi is a man I never met in his lifetime but I benefitted from his generosity. In 2011, I was to travel to Scotland for a visit but I did not have enough money and a mutual friend of ours told him about my predicament and he decided to borrow me the money. Even though I never went on the journey eventually, but I was thrilled by his generosity.
As Christians pray in churches so do their Muslim counterparts pray in their mosques on Fridays. However I am writing this article from the Christian point of view as I am convinced that God answers prayers of non-Christians based on mercies as prayers of a sinful person are abomination to God. You can read about the encounter of Jesus and the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28 for better understanding.
My question however is that why is our prayers as God’s children not having the impart that it ought to have. Like the children of Israel, i want to ask, ‘Why are we not seeing the miracles that our fathers described in the time of old?’ Judges 6:13. Why do we pray for a better government and nation and things seems to be getting worse. Why are we constantly being killed and our churches being burnt on a daily basis? Why would God allow a generous and kind person like Toyin Akanbi be kidnapped in the first place let alone being murdered. Why would God not tell anyone of us participating in the prayers about what was to happen, after all he said would not do nothing without revealing it to his prophets.
These were the questions that troubled my mind after my wife told me about the death of Toyin Akanbi?
God is a sovereign God and he does things in ways which seems right to him. No man can question his authority. That is why the Yoruba people of Nigeria call him KABIYESI. What so ever he does is right and good. And when he permits an event to happen like the death of our dear friend Toyin Akanbi , it is for a greater good. We love Toyin Akanbi but God loves him more than we do. I pray for his wife, daughter and his entire family that God will console you.
A greater lesson that we need to learn from this incident is that it is important that we know what the mind of God is concerning every issue we want to pray about and surrender to God’s will, so that what James said in his book, ‘that you ask and don’t receive because you ask wrongly’ will not be true of us. See James 5:3.
James 4: 13-15 Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
Adieu Toyin Akanbi