PERSPECTIVES: Praying Nations Vs. Playing Nations! Should We Pray To Win or Play To Win?

By Shutdown Brown

In the game of life, there are 3 types of countries
in the world: 1. The Praying Nations (PrN); 2. The Playing Nations (PlN); and
3. The Praying-Playing Nations (PPN).
To which group do you think Nigeria belongs? Just
wait a while; let us list the features of these groups.
Members of the praying nations are countries
where religious zealotry and intolerance run high. The citizens hide their
laziness and cowardice under religion. They do little or nothing and leave
everything to God to do. Consequently, corruption, killings, maladministration
and poverty run high in these countries.
On the other hand, the playing nations are the
countries that believe strongly in the efficacy of hard work. They play hard,
and pay little or no attention to religion.
The third group, which is the praying-playing
nations, believes that hard work achieves better result when combined with
prayers. The countries in this group believe that man should do his best and
then allow the unseen hand to come in where the wisdom or strength of man
cannot reach.
If we wish to expatiate on the features of these
three groups, we can say that the praying nations are self-righteous, bigoted
and intolerant of other faiths. They are blinded by religion, crippled by
religion, and enslaved by religion. Once religion is mentioned, their sense of
reasoning goes on leave. They fight for their deity, kill for him and destroy
property in his name. Even among those of them that are not violent, religious
discrimination against those who don’t share the same religion or denomination
is high. A good candidate can easily be voted against just because of his
religion or denomination even within the same faith. A less qualified candidate
can be employed instead of a more qualified candidate purely because of the
candidate’s religion or denomination.
They see their religious leaders as gods that can
never go wrong. Nobody dares to criticise or question any act of the religious
leaders. They therefore hero-worship them. Whatever their religious leaders
tell them to do is done without questioning.
Praying nations are very religious but usually
ungodly. Bribery and corruption is rife in such countries. Service to humanity
is almost non-existent. Citizens focus on taking care of themselves and their
immediate family, which therefore leads to embezzlement of public funds as well
as crimes of all sorts.
Superstition is rife in such countries.
Everything has a spiritual interpretation. If a man is not successful in his
life endeavours, he visits a religious leader, who immediately attributes it to
a witch or wizard in the family, and goes on to prescribe a special deliverance
session and some sacrifices. Depending on the type of the religious inclination
of the religious leader, he may even recommend human sacrifice that will
transform the man into a wealthy man. If one’s children are wayward or
drug-addicted, it is attributed to witchcraft. If a woman cannot conceive or
she has a child with Down syndrome or dyslexia, it is attributed to a
demonic attack.
Citizens of these nations are lazy-minded. They
have an unusual belief in miracle and magic, depending on the type of religion
they profess. Based on religious conditioning, most people walk around believing
that they can go to bed jobless and wake up as one of the richest people in the
country, with many mansions across the globe, exotic cars and private jets, and
companies in many countries of the world. Anybody who tries to reason with such
people is accused of confessing negatively or having a poor mentality. Students
spend all day browsing, chatting and pinging and yet pray to break exam
records. People stay in their homes, complaining about the state of affairs in
the country and believing that soon, the Almighty will send angelic warriors to
destroy the leaders and make their country the dream land.
In spite of the high prayers and religiosity in
the praying nations, they are among the poorest of the world. They are mainly
Third-World countries that struggle with poverty and diseases. And it is not
because their countries are not blessed with natural and human resources. It is
just that there is so much ungodliness and greed in their land, which keep both
the leaders and the led on a race to strip the nation of all its wealth. Some
individuals may be super-rich but the country is poor and unsuccessful. The
more the people pray, the poorer they become. The more religious they get, the
more trouble in their land. This is because their claim to religious piety is
However, the playing nations are different. They
are nations that believe purely on working. They believe that religion is the
opium of the masses. They believe that God does not exist, and that man has the
capacity to achieve whatever he desires. They even make it a law that religion
should not be practised within their nations. They dictate what human beings
should think and believe in. This reduces the creativity of the people and
makes them feel caged and controlled.
These countries also struggle but they are better
than the praying nations, because the citizens are hardworking and productive,
which makes the nation have some form of progress.
Some members of the playing nations recently
realised the futility in suppressing people’s right to pursue their religious
beliefs. They therefore relaxed their hold on religion and enterprise. This led
to a boom in their growth and development.
In contrast to the two groups, the
praying-playing nations are balanced. These are nations that combine religion
with hard work and creativity. Citizens of these nations experience religious
freedom and other forms of freedom. Religion is made a personal issue. People
are first treated as human beings with dignity before anything else. Religious
discrimination, religious oppression or religious violence is rarely heard of.
People in these nations don’t relinquish their
duties and responsibilities to God on the pretext of religiosity. They commit
themselves to working to develop themselves individually as well as build a
peaceful, free, rich and progressive nation. They are less corrupt, more
honest, more caring and more human-focused. They serve God and their fellow men
with honesty. Even those among them who don’t believe in God are
straight-forwarding and not victimised.
These nations prepare adequately for emergencies
like natural disasters and epidemics but pray for deliverance. They don’t leave
anything to chance.
Consequently, their nations are exemplary, rich,
and developed. They are high on all human development indices like life
expectancy, literacy, standards of living, and quality of life, and low on
issues like infant mortality, maternal mortality, etc. Because of high
development and freedom from religious persecution in these nations, citizens of
the praying nations and playing nations flock to these countries. Ironically,
once in a while, some citizens, especially from the praying nations, who have
been welcomed into the praying-playing nations, end up polluting these nations
with their religious intolerance, religious violence and religious
exploitation. But they always arrest and deal with such people.
In summary, in the game of life, countries who
merely pray to win always fail; countries who only play to win sometimes
succeed; but countries who pray and play to win always succeed.
So to which group does Nigeria belong? Well, it
is left for you to answer.

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