NIGERIAN ELECTIONS 2019; TO PRAY OR TO VOTE?
A ‘CROWD THE PLATFORM’ PIECE BY COACH TOYIN
So, the Nigerian Elections 2019 are taking place this weekend (16 February 2019). Many praying earnestly towards it and also receiving some intense insights into what God’s heart is for Nigeria at this time, and into what will play out in the coming months. Some of the stuff God is showing us is scary, some is exciting … .
At the start of this week, the Lord guided me to begin a 7-day Pray-For-Nigeria series on my Social Media and Email platforms. The aim is to ignite other children of God to pray as well. I went ahead and did this knowing full well that many people, Christians included, no longer believe that prayer can make a difference in Nigeria. In fact, the idea of praying for Nigeria often comes across (even to me sometimes) as childish, possibly even ridiculous. Sad, but true. But I’ve learnt to follow God’s instructions and leave the ‘over-thinking things’ to anybody else who has time. Lol.
During this week, I’ve had varying reactions to the prayer series. Many have prayed along and have contacted me to let me know that they are excitedly trusting God to shake the status quo and usher Nigeria into a new era. Some have asked me whether I am going to vote. Others have said stuff like “How has prayer ever helped Nigeria? People need to go out and vote!” Others have said, “we already know what will happen – they will rig the whole thing and life will go on as usual in Nigeria.”
So I decided to write this blogpost to share my heart with you all and my prayer is that it ignites you to PRAY … AND VOTE!
SHOULD YOU PRAY RATHER THAN VOTE?
Friends, please, VOTE! Prayer and voting are not in a competition! They are not fighting for space. Don’t pit them against each other. One is a necessary tool in the seen realm where things play out, while the other is critical and packs power in the unseen realm where decisions are made and power is allocated. So, Child of God, do both; fervently and wisely. Do not carelessly neglect one and think the other can work. Selah.
“NAH BUT WHAT HAS PRAYER EVER DONE FOR NIGERIA? WE ARE A PRAYING PEOPLE, YET LOOK AT THE STATE OF OUR NATION?
I hear you, and if I were to respond to this fully, this would become a working draft for my next book (*grin*). I’ll summarise.
Growing up, as a family, we prayed for Nigeria daily. We stopped in my teens; not sure why. To my mind though, it was time we accepted ‘reality that Nigeria cannot be different’.
As I came into my own, I swore I would never live in Nigeria again and I decided that there was no point praying for Nigeria, or for the world, for that matter, because, well, we all know that the Bible says that in the last days, things are just gonna go from bad to worse, so … LOL!
Well, fast forward to 2019 and not only do I live in Nigeria and LOVE it, I’m here with my husband and three little kids! How did that happen? Story for another day (LOL!). But, I’m older now (I mean as a Child of God, not in physical age) and I am coming to understand a few things about prayer:
1) Prayer is a gift from God that must be unwrapped, and you cannot afford to misunderstand or misuse it.
Prayer, when misunderstood and/or misused packs very little power, which only causes the person praying to be misdirected, or frustrated and to lose hope altogether. This, sadly, is the state of many children of God all over the world, especially in Nigeria.
I am coming to understand what prayer really is and why I cannot afford to live a ‘prayer-weak’ life. Next week’s ‘Coach Toyin’s B.O.O.M TIPS‘, will address what prayer really is and how to get your life ‘prayer-strong’ so follow me on Facebook or Instagram to get those tips. Let me share a small preview:
Prayer is not just a way to report your needs to God and tell Him what you think He should do to fix them. God is not a genie in a bottle, neither is He your servant. Prayer is actually the way to align you to God’s heart and purpose, so that you are equipped and prepared to effect His perfect will in your life and in the earth. Prayer connects you to the solution to your problem and that of the world’s.
2) All through history, God has always worked with times and seasons.
Every nation, people, kingdom has a time and season, and when God’s time for a shifting comes, child of God, you better know it and align with Him through fervency in lifestyle and prayer. In Hosea 4:6, God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” A prayer-strong life is the key to gaining knowledge of God’s heart regarding your times and seasons, and that of your family, your nation, your world. When you gain that knowledge, you can align your life to Him, and thrive. You can also help others under your influence to align and thrive. This is how we heal the world friend.
3) There is a seen realm and an unseen realm
Spooky? No. There’s nothing spooky about this. Can you see your inner parts (I’m talking about the things that make you you, like your mind, will, emotions, logic, spirit, memories?) How about your bae’s inner parts (since today is Val’s day haha)? But you know your inner parts are real and they literally govern what your body chooses to do, right? Which in turn affects what happens in your life and in the world right? So yes, there is a seen realm and an unseen realm.
As children of God, we are called to live in the seen realm (physical) but strongly and consciously from the unseen realm (spiritual). In other words, we are called to be strong in the spirit, and one of the most potent ways to be strong in the spirit is through prayer. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
What happens in the seen realm is determined by what happens in the unseen realm, and sincere and heart-felt prayer is one of the most powerful tools that God has given mankind to shift things in the unseen realm, so that in the seen realm, we can effect a deviation from a sure trajectory of brokenness that this world dishes out, towards God’s loving pattern and plan.
Sadly though, sincere prayer is the most endangered practice among people who consider themselves to be followers of Christ, because we misunderstand its purpose and/or we no longer believe in it’s power. This is tragic because because the world is fallen and broken and by nature, it breaks the people within it … so if those who believe in the God who loves His creation do not rise to pray and shift things in the unseen realm, we will continue to see increased brokenness in the world … and we will blame God for being ‘distant’ or ‘uncaring’. Whereas, the state of a nation is actually always a reflection of the state of the church within that nation (whether the church is a prayer-strong church or not). Hmmmm…
Back to the imminent Nigeria Elections
Nigeria is at a critical crossroad, and is ready to shift from one season to another. I thank God for being patient with me and for igniting me to pray at this time. I pray in order to understand the seasons that we are in as a nation, so that I can align with what God is doing at this time, and mobilise others to do the same. I pray because I understand that those who desire to continue to rape this nation know that to shift things in the seen realm, they need to be strong in the unseen realm; so they are doing what they can to gain strength. If I do not rise and pray, along with other children of God, we will see this nation further destroyed. But “If My people, who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will come and heal their land,” says God (2 Chronicles 7:14).
This is why I pray. Child of God, I encourage you to do the same.
If you missed out on the prayers so far and would like to catch up, click here.
I am Coach Toyin, fully convicted by my own words and very much still under construction in the hands of the Father.