The Power of Prayer

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There are many people who do not believe in God. They dismiss Him as “a mystical illusion.” Carl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto (1848) called religion “the opium of the people.”

Though himself a Jew, Marx and all the other non-believers had—or have—no regard for the Creator of the universe, for the Progenitor of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph the Dreamer, David—people whose names and accomplishments ring throughout history, even until today.

And guess whom else God created: the Chinese, Indians and others, only few of whom acknowledge His love and supremacy in the universe.

And whom else did the Creator create? Many men of science and industry, in Europe and America, China and elsewhere—like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison—USA, William Gilbert and Thomas Browne—England (all of whom helped discover electricity); Henry Ford (the automobile), the Wright Brothers (the airplane); Abraham Lincoln (the Emancipation); Franklin D. Roosevelt (who led America from the Great Depression into the world’s first superpower; Madam Suacoco (powerful and visionary first woman Paramount Chief in Bong), who helped establish the Liberian government up country). Yes, God created all these people and helped them to achieve greatness not just for themselves, but for humanity, the world. And they all believed in Him.

God also created Nelson Mandela, who liberated his people from the cruelty and bondage of the white racist South Africans, who thought they were impregnable, even possessing nuclear power.

Who today remembers what the powerful American politician, Henry Kissinger, President Richard Nixon’s diplomatic emissary and Secretary of State, said in 1974? He said, “The whites in South Africa are there to stay, and there is nothing anybody can do about it.”

This capitulation to white supremacy in Southern Africa turned out to be what Canon Burgess Carr, then General Secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), called “a monumental miscalculation!”

And whom else, we may ask, prevented the seemingly all powerful white South African racists from killing Mandela, when they had all the time and power to do so, just as they killed Steve Biko? Who else but Almighty God?

Yes, the oppressed Southern Africans had millions of people around the world working and praying for them.

Among them were the people in the churches of Africa, and the Pan African church body to which they belonged, the AACC, headed by Canon Carr, a Liberian-born theologian. It was Canon Carr who, during the AACC Third Assembly in Lusaka, Zambia in 1974, predicted that it was only a matter of time before Angola, Mozambique and all the other Portuguese colonies were liberated. Sure enough, while the AACC Assembly was yet in session, the racist Portuguese dictator, Caetano Salazar, was overthrown, and in a matter of months, in 1975, Angola and Mozambique declared their independence!

Canon Carr’s second prediction during the 1974 Assembly was that by the end of the decade Southern Rhodesia—Zimbabwe—would be free from white racist domination; and that not long after that, Southwest Africa (Namibia) would be free. Sure enough, Zimbabwe declared its independence in 1980, followed by Namibia in 1984.

Canon Carr, during that Assembly, made a third prediction: that by 1990, 16 years after Lusaka, South Africa, too, would be free!

We recall that it was during that year (1990) that the racist South African government, led by President F.W. de Klerk, released Nelson Mandela from 27 years of prison. From then on it was a swift march to majority rule, encapsulated in the landslide victory of the African National Congress in the 1994 elections.

Another question about Mandela: Who gave him the will power to endure 27 years of prison, yet inspired him to emerge without one ounce of bitterness or vengeance against his and his people’s oppressors? Who else but Almighty God?

It is that same God that moved Liberian leaders in 1883 to declare each second Friday in April as Fast and Prayer Day. In her Proclamation declaring the Day a national holiday, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called on all Liberians to gather in their homes, churches, mosques and wherever they are to fast and pray to Almighty God for His protection of us and our country. It is through His love, goodness and mercy that He has protected and sustained us as a nation all these years.

We have misbehaved, we have done evil against one another, we have misused the bountiful blessings He has given us these 169 years, leading us, Africa’s oldest republic, near the bottom of the development ladder. Yet God continues to be gracious and good to us, protecting us from ourselves, and from the government that has made and continues to make mistakes, threatening our peace.

So we at the Daily Observer join the President in calling on all Liberians, believers and non-believers, to STOP tomorrow and bow in humble adoration and supplication and pray for our country, that God will continue to deliver us from ourselves. For let’s face it, we are our own enemies.

We pray that He will deliver us from greed, selfishness, lust and lack of patriotism and inspire us to love one another and our country. That is the only way He will lead us to success, prosperity and happiness. There is power in prayer. If we pray fervently enough, He will answer us, as He did during the Ebola attack last year.

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