When will Christians start demanding guarantees for paid prayers? No builder takes your money and does not deliver a house. We pay storekeepers or street hawkers for bread and bread is given to us. Yes, If you do not demand guarantees from Prayer Warriors and Pastors, who demand fees and tithes respectively from you, how are you certain that your blessings and favors are not the result of your own hard work, prayers, luck, or a combination thereof? The following story illustrates the need for prayer guarantees.

A friend of mine that we would name Mr. B, for confidentiality lives in Ajabu, Anajiri. Mr. B is a successful contractor, but he did not become successful by praying, alone. He became successful by hard work supplemented by prayers. This is his story. Twenty years ago, he was laid off in the middle of an economic downturn by his company, A & Z Ventures Ltd. A & Z did no real work but obtained contracts through I.M. (Ima mmadu or man know man or connections). A new government came in with its preferred I.M. contractors. A & Z was left hanging. Mr. B decided to try his luck at contracting. After all A & Z started from somewhere. He got up early every morning and visited all the various contract awarding agencies in Ajabu. He will sit outside a Minister’s office for 6 hours without being acknowledged. He made rounds visiting all the ministries. Then an old friend suggested that he try his luck at the Ministry of Sports. After visiting and sitting outside the Minister of Sports Office for 5 consecutive days, the minister, one Alhaji, Chief, Professor, Sir Sule Otakankpo, was curious about the mission of the young man. On his way to the mosque for Friday prayers he stopped by the young man and the following conversation ensued. “Young man, I have been seeing you outside my office for one week running. I hope that you are not spying on me,” the Minister said to Mr.B. Mr. B in response said, “Oga, Prof, Alhaji, Chief Minister, thank you, thank you, Sir.” The Minister cuts in and almost scoldingly says, “Young man, what do you need from me, I need to go for Friday prayers.” Mr. B was almost overwhelmed with joy and tears started streaming from his eyes. The minister was moved, and he held his hand and said, “Is there anything I can do to help you.” Mr B. narrated his story about A & Z, and to compound issues, his wife is pregnant with a set of twins. He blurted out in a halting fashion, and choking with emotion, “Oga, please can you give me small contract to survive.” The minister was moved with pity for him and wrote on the back of his business card thus: “Mr. Okojaba, find something for this young man.” Mr, Okojaba is the Director of Procurement for the ministry. On getting his first contract, Mr. B. paid the usual tithe of 10% plus 2% making his tithe 12%. He became the highest tither in Ajadu and in a few months, he became the preferred contractor not only for the Ministry of Sports but for all the ministries. He was on his way to immense riches.

One day, unannounced, a pastor from one of the new-fangled or if you prefer new age churches, came to his office in the highbrow section of Ajabu. He offered to pray and fast for Mr. B with his Prayer Warriors and the result will be a big contract award thereafter. Mr. B would consequently pay the usual 10% tithe. Mr B offered to pay 12%. The pastor’s pupils dilated so much that you could see his retina without any external light. Mr B had some conditions for the pastor. He said, “Reverend, you know that contractors have to pay tithes to the Ministers to get a contract. No tithe, no contract. I will pay you and your warriors 12% of any contract awarded to me as a result of your prayers. However, to ensure that the contract is a result of your prayers, you must tell me the following in advance: 1. The amount of the contract. 2. The awarding ministry, and 3. The date of the contract award. As you are aware, I am a Christian and I also pray. If you tell me these 3 things, it will be obvious that your prayers facilitated the contract award.” The pastor’s joy turned into gloom; his radiant smiling face turned into the mask-like expression of a corpse. He wanted the ground to open and engulf him. He muttered, “Mr. B, I heard what you said, and we will get back to you.” That was the last time he ever saw or heard from the thieving, fraudulent, and fake pastor. He could not wait for the pastor to leave to call his wife Abigail. They had a good laugh over the incident, which probably had some health benefits.

The Lesson is: If a pastor or Prayer Warriors requests a tithe or payment respectively before praying to God on your behalf for a favor, you should also demand a guaranteed result or your money back. However, if there are no monetary demands, you can tithe the pastor or pay the Prayer Warriors at your discretion. We are always working hard and praying for success. If some entity also claims to be praying for us, it becomes difficult to decipher the source of the success as the external prayors will claim credit for your hard work, hard work plus prayers, luck or a combination thereof, which may be the source of your accomplishments. Buyer beware!

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