By Abiodun Olumide Ogundare
I tossed from side to side on my bed. I prowled at my bed clothes like a wounded lion and punched it hard as if it was the one who stole my sleep away. The noise from the speakers was revibrating in my room and in my brain. The shouts of prayers at intervals filled me with rage. All efforts made towards deaden my ears to the shouts of repetated prayers from a nearby vigil and go back to sleep proved abortive. I felt like bursting into the prayer house and ask them to keep their voices at a low ebb. But I could not bring myself to execute such a fantasy. Sleep deserted my watery eyes and my mind wanders. It wonders to what my brother and I did to our neighbour when he disturbed the serenity of the our compound.
It happened that one of my neighbours who wanted to entertain his guests during a Christmas celebration some years ago run an electrical wire from his room to a socket positioned inside the compound and plugged into it, a karaoke radio connected to four home theatre speakers mounted close to my window apartment. The sound from those speakers at about midnight was shaking the whole building to its foundations. It was unbearable. It dawned on my brother and that I we need to take steps to stop the maniac.
In a frenzy, my brother cut off the connected wire before going to put off the generator while I engaged the man in a battle of words. Meanwhile, other neighbours too, were not happy with the man’s action. So they joined to wag war at him.
This church now occuppying a space formerly used as a bar in my neighbourhood has members of five congregants who are the pastor’s immediate family. I do not see the need for amplifier and drum set during a vigil of three congregants including the pastor. If the congregation was a Large crowd the use of a voice projector would not be questioned. And I would understand the “need for a disturbed neighborhood”. Do you even need to shout while you pray? Is God deaf to hear prayers said silently? Does God accept loudly spoken prayers speedily than silent ones?
The hypocrical aspect of this argument is that religious centres located in places where the rich resides have sound proofed walls and do not believe in “fall down and die” prayers. In contrast to places where the common men lives. They have been made to believe that witches in their village is the cause of their backwardness. Thence the need for aggressive prayers. Pastors who just started their calling uses these techniques of prayers in contrast to those who have spent years in the ministry and are already using exotic cars and private jets.
God is not deaf to hear and answer prayers. You do not need to disturb the neighborhood with shouts of prayers. God answered Hannah’s quiet prayers even when the pastor thought she was mad. Only sins and ignorance delays people’s prayers.
If your ways are right before the Lord He will make your enemies to be at peace with you.
Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Psalms 4:4