I have been thinking lately why Nigeria has remained the way it is, despite her being one of the most religious countries in the world. We are a praying nation, and we have more churches and mosques than we have tertiary institutions in the country. Our towns and cities boasts of the finest and largest church auditoriums you would see around the world. A foreigner visiting Nigeria for the first time needs no stress in feeling the ambience of our religiosity. The signs are just everywhere! Our streets are filled with countless number of churches and mosques.
But amidst this, you can as well see the current condition that Nigeria is. She is currently the poverty capital of the world. She is not as economically viable as she should, looking at all the natural endowments that God has blessed her with. Politically, there has not been much improvement. The Political arrangement still has little or nothing to offer common man. But we pray a lot.
So, I began to wonder, who really changes the course of nations: is it God or is it man? How long are we going to continue to pray to God to fix the basic problems of this nation? But the answer is simple. God would not come down to fix Nigeria’s problems, it is Nigerians that will fix Nigeria’s problems. Someone may ask, how? Since we all cannot be politicians and people in power who takes the shot. How can Nigerians change Nigeria in this instance?
This is how it is going to happen. 1 Timothy 2:1-3 says “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior..” Now, from that Bible passage, it is evidently clear that God is interested in what is going on in any nation, be it Nigeria or the United States of America or Israel. Because sometimes, based on the happenings around; it is possible for one to think like; does God really care about what is happening in Nigeria or elsewhere?
God knows everything that is happening everywhere, even in the remotest and in the tiniest part of the world you could ever imagine. God is aware of everything. That is why He is the Omniscient God, the one who is all knowing! He knows everything. He is aware of what is happening in the polity, how politicians swindles and dribbles themselves to secure their election victories, how the economy is faring, due to bad leadership and policies, how there are almost 90 million Nigerians living in abject poverty. These matters are before Him, and He sees them.
For you to know how serious this is, God knows the numbers of hairs in your head (Luke 12:7). He knows for every individual like that on the surface of the earth. Almost 7.5 billion people on the earth. If a single hair strand falls off anyone’s head anywhere in the world, God is aware.
That is how detailed and how far God is in the know concerning anything and everything that takes place in every nation. Now, you may now wonder, why is He not doing anything about what is going on here? Why are everything in a mess when God is aware? Is He just folding His hands in heaven doing nothing? Can’t He just do something? Why is He not killing all the bad people and replacing them with good ones?
The truth is, God has given us the power to change the course of our destiny as a people and as a nation. God would not step down into every countries of the world fixing their problems, No. The time when He is going to do that has been spoken in Isaiah 9:6, and it is not now. But until that time comes, God is not going to do anything about any nation. The responsibility is in the hands of man.
So largely, and to a reasonable degree of extent, God changes the course of nations through men, physical men that we can see and touch. If we want a change for our nation therefore, the best thing we can do as a people is what Apostle Paul admonished Timothy in the Bible passage above. We pray for God’s intervention for a godly leadership who would bring about the necessary and the needed change.
When prayers goes up to God concerning those in authority, at every levels of governance, God can cause their hearts to do the right thing. Don’t forget the Bible says the heart of kings are in the hands of God like rivers of waters, and He can turn it to wherever He wishes (Proverbs 21:1). So, instead of praying to God to fix our bad roads, fix the deplorable healthcare system, fix our educational system; God won’t answer those prayers. The right prayer should be; God, send men or raise men, godly men, in every sector of our society, to begin to do the right thing. Men and women whom you have steered their hearts to make the necessary impacts and fix the problems.
Men like Oholiab and Bezaleel (Exodus 36:2) whom God has given the ability to fix the numerous problems. Men like Joseph with the right vision to see what a whole nation ought to do in a difficult time. God’s part in changing the course of nations is done when men prays to God to send the right men, the bright people with the mind of God to make the necessary changes happen. This is why part of your prayers to God should include your leaders. They are to be prayed for, that God grants unto them the wisdom and knowledge to pilot the affairs of their nations.
As much as I criticize the leadership of my country Nigeria, in some certain areas on some certain issues, I still pray for them in my closet. The same energy with which you criticise your leaders, at the National, state and local level, channel the same energy to pray to God for them daily. In summary, this is the point. God changes the course of nations, but He uses men and women whose hearts have been steered unto good works to achieve this purpose.
[Centre for New Dimension Leadership]