SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2015
PRAYER: THE WEAPON OF THE OPPRESSED
‘Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me,’ Ps. 55v1-3.
What is the strength of God’s child without prayer? Yes, it is his weapon and through it, exploits are done. Theologically, Psalm 55 is attributed to King David as the author. He composed the psalm most likely during the time of Absalom’s rebellion and Ahithophel’s betrayal, 2 Sam. 15-17. In this Psalm, he cried out in prayer to God to come to his rescue because of the oppression that was coming from within him. He said: ‘… Attend unto me, and hear me… because of the voice of the enemy.’
It is painful when supposed friends turn out to be foes. The attack or oppression is usually felt to the marrows. Notice the cry of Julius Caesar to his bosom friend Brutus: ‘E tu Brute’ (even you Brutus). This now would help us appreciate the deep wound David felt, when his son and friend betrayed him. Of course, the conspiracy was to oust him as the King.
Necessarily, we need to put ourselves on notice of the endless plans and plots of those that pretend to be close to us, when in actual fact, they are waiting for our downfall. We read of political betrayals, betrayals in offices and even the Church of God is not spared of such condemnable act. When you trust someone, thinking that you are of the same household of God, if care is not taken, it may be your greatest undoing. Church leaders are in a better position to attest to this. Jesus our Master even experienced it in the person of Judas Iscariot. What a shame!
But what should be the attitude of the believer? Complaining or crying is not a solution. But like David, we should learn to go to God, Who is the succour and confidence of the oppressed, in prayer. It is unfortunate, but most Christians are yet to learn the importance of taking their matters to God in prayer. Let it be stated that God is involved in the affairs of men. Prophet Isaiah was assured that God would intervene in the affairs of His people Israel. Therefore, he pleaded with Him to save His people and overthrow His enemies. He was aware that God had all the solutions to all human problems, Isa. 64v1-12. Yes, when we call on God to come to our rescue, He will respond.
Therefore, what are you waiting for? Your strength is not from antiballistic, biological or chemical weapons, but from on high through prayer. Remember, ‘our weapons of warfare are not canal, but spiritual,’ 2 Cor. 10v4. I, therefore, urge you to join the hymn writer A & M 193 stanza 2 to sing to God meditatively and prayerfully too.
‘Other refuge have I none;
Hangs my helpless soul on thee
Leave, ah, leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.
All my trust on thee I bring
Cover my defenceless head
With the shadow of thy wing.’
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,