Fast and Prayer Day in Liberia: How would the Master Respond?
In my thinking thoughts and introspection last night, I pondered the observance of Fast and Prayer Day on April 7 in Liberia and how God would answer the prayers we will be sending up there to Him. If he responded, what would the answers be? I then resolved that it would not profit us Liberians if we only submitted our petitions to God for mundane, trifling or trivial things but instead for virtues that edify.
Three answers to every prayer
Before I become remiss, God answers every prayer and there is no prayer that the Master Jesus would not answer. No matter how vile, and depraved the petitioner, God still answers. The person praying could be a corrupt government official, a corrupt teacher receiving bribe and involved in illicit sex for false grades, or a corrupt senator who filibusters for personal gains and steals the poor citizens’ money depriving the country of development opportunities. The praying man could even be a disgruntled failed politician, a USA Diaspora under-achiever or a power drunk community faction leader who lacks tenacity to face free and fair competitions but clings on to power as a veneer to his limitations, it could be a chronic alcoholic, a drug addict or even a pocket picker down Water Side or Red Light, God will still answer.
Sometimes God answers “No”
Sometimes we ask and receive “No” as an answer because of the things we ask for and the motives with which we ask. According to the Bible, “Ye ask and receive not because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume in your lustful desires…”(James 4:3, Holy Bible, KJV, 1996). Another reason why God says “No” even though our intentions may be good, is if our timing is not in sync with His plan, my fellow Liberians.
During the last elections, Oppong with good intentions, prayed to God to become president, and hence went neck-to-neck with the Unity Party. But God said, “No”, so Madam Sirleaf won. But if you consider the caliber of people in Oppong’s camp those days and the lasciviousness that availed among their lot, you would concur it was that kind of “ugly” that caused God to say “No” to Oppong. Elements of the political old order, and all kinds of people with shady characters gathered around the young man to suck his blood and use him as a spring board. So God must have looked down and said, my son, you have too much company and the leeches are too much, so, “No”, you cannot be president, find something else to do.
God has also said “No” to me over my lifetime. I had dreamed of the day my poverty stricken painter father from RiverCess would drive a car and own a house like the privileged few, as gratitude for his suffering for me and my siblings. Before I could reach age 12, Pa died and was buried like a pet. God said “No” to me that time; to this day, I only remember, grieve inside and leave it with the Master who knows best. So you see, sometimes God answers but the answer could be a big painful “No”.
Other times God says ”Wait”
Do you remember this song? “They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength…teach us Lord how to wait” (Isaiah 40:31, Old Testament, KJV, 1998). Other times, God says “Wait”. The “wait” may appear like a “No”, but if you have a discerning heart, the wait resonates. Didn’t Jesus wait until he was a trained adult before setting out to recruit disciples? Now when Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf vied for the presidency the first time on a LAP ticket, God said to her, “Wait my daughter, wait for Unity Party, your time will come” so here she is today. Who knows, maybe had she won that time, the pain from her political wounds which were almost still fresh, would have impacted her leadership, so God said, “Wait”
When the civil war started and President Doe was killed in the early years, we thought the war was over and would immediately return to our “old ways”. But God said “Wait”, it was not time for business as usual so we languished in displaced camps for years before returning. You will agree, we waited.
Many times God says, “Yes”
Now you may be wondering how I can assert that God be says “Yes” many times amidst the grave vicissitudes of life in Liberia. How can God be saying yes many times when some people are bent on spoiling the name of the Unity party by their lack of commitment to “Moral Purpose”, and wanton dishonesty to President Sirleaf’s Government? How can God say yes when some people are making the UP’s second campaign term bid difficult? When teachers cannot get their pay on time while corrupt officials ride around in fabulous cars and live in mansions? When we do not live by salaries alone but by every “MoneyGram & Western Union” ” that proceedeth (after we beg) out of the mouth of America?
Fellow Liberians, never despair. When we wake up in the morning and feel our arms and they are still moving, God has said “Yes’, do not die. Because “All have sinned…the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 3:23,New Testament, KJV 1998)
I remember a scripture that Mr. Charles Taylor used to play with when he was president but did not know its solemnity. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicle 7:14, Holy Bible, KJV).
Sometimes God says “Yes” and when he does, your body mind and soul feel it. Experience shows that before God says yes, sometimes a “No” and a “Wait” proceed.
When the Unity Party was founded, it was not as popular as the other parties which had within their folds, so-called “progressives”. Those days as a student at the UL, after the Grand Old TWP, it was PPP, UPP, LPP or NDPL, but as people were almost forgetting about Unity Party, look what happened, God said “Yes”. Again just when people though UP would dwindle and lose a second term, LAP and LUP join to make UP stronger. God to said “Yes”.
Purging our hearts
If God will answer yes to our prayers on fast & Prayer Day and not let them hit the ceiling and drop, then we Liberians need to clean our hands and hearts. Those who are stealing from government need to stop. Those who hold a grudge against the Lord’s chosen, the President, need to purge their hearts. Some of the people who bad mouth Liberia came to America, failed in life and amounted to bathing old ladies and running after crazy people; they just need shut up and start praying genuine prayers. Those who call themselves human rights people but lied to the US government for asylums statuses need to repent. Those who have acquired education and chosen to use it to incite Mandingoes against Gios and land holders against landowners need to suck their tongues before they bite it.
If these things do not stop, Fast and Prayer Day in Liberia will be completely useless. Why? Because God does not like “ugly” and when the ugly is in you and you open your mouth of filth and deceit to pray, your answer is neither a “Wait” nor a “Yes”, but a reverberating “No”.
I am simply thinking thoughts.
About the author
Mwalimu-Koh M. Blonkanjay Jackson who hails from RiverCess County, is a former senator of the Harvard Graduate School of Education Student Government, and a YALE and UPENN Fellow. This Ivy League scholar’s authorship includes curricula in physics and mathematics, and informative essays on education in Liberia. Mr. Jackson is currently a doctoral student at Temple University, and can be reached at 267 210 7531/6105343508 or firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com