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The power of mass prayers at The SCOAN

Prayers are broadly speaking, the soul of man’s true connection to God. They represent the focused dialogue between man and his God or, when rendered in a quiet manner, they are dedicated monologues in which man passionately seeks God’s love, touch, feeling and favour at any time he so wishes.

The idea of prayers has since become the only major way in which man discusses his interests, dreams and aspirations with his Maker, especially in moments of tribulations, trials, discomfort and helplessness. Moments of sorrow, disappointment, frustration, unease and confusion demand that man turns to the Creator for assistance, attention, support and help. Such expectation becomes intensified when solutions cannot be provided by other men, regardless of their positions in life. In any case, man can be a source of disappointment, betrayal and insensitivity and the required response may never come.

Prayers serve as solutions to human problems because the Creator is not unlistening, unconcerned and unmoved about our circumstances, individually and collectively. God is a symbol of love, understanding and wisdom; He attends to people’s needs but only according to His own wishes because He would not give what will eventually destroy the answer. In the words of the author (An Unknown Christian) of the book The Kneeling Christian, “prayer is the key which unlocks the door of God’s treasure-house…all real growth in the spiritual life – all victory over temptation, all confidence and peace in the presence of difficulties and dangers, all repose of spirit in times of great disappointment or loss, all habitual communion with God – depend upon the practice of secret prayer” and that “the greatest thing we can do for God or for man is to pray. For we can accomplish far more by our prayers than by our work. Prayer is omnipotent; it can do anything that God can do! When we pray, God works. All fruitfulness in service is the outcome of prayer – of the worker’s prayers, or of those who are holding up holy hands on his behalf”.

Prayers progressively signify total submission to God; they are the connecting threads between man and God and significantly symbolize purity of mind and spirit of confidence and courage in what God can do. At The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), the mass prayer occupies a good place in the Sunday service. It often happens at the end of the service as a “purgative measure” since the congregants must have specific prayer points which draw them to God. When it happens, the service must be getting closed and people’s peculiar trials and tribulations must be addressed.

Most often, people are locked up in the dark bottles managed by evil forces and their experiences may be quite extensive – spiritual wives and husbands, joblessness, ancestral curses, overdue pregnancies, frustrated ambitions, bedwetting, nightmares, attacks on family members, etc. Evil forces have often manifested, so impiously, from different angles, reducing people to a mere shadow of themselves. Quite a high number of people had died from overdose of such problems, who were unfortunate to experience spiritual deliverance and breakthroughs. Wicked forces have often been released by the devil to destroy high dreams, pampered ambitions and noble pursuits.

The SCOAN’s mass prayers are often charged with much power. As specific prayer points are dished out by Prophet T.B. Joshua or the Wise Men, people energetically respond to the spiritual rhythms of action to move God into instant response. The prophet addresses the demon who is “using bad habits to connect you to himself” or those crude agents of darkness who have negatively influenced people’s occupations, careers, marital homes, health, businesses and destiny – such forces are ceaselessly attacked in such charged moments to give way to effective deliverance and freedom for the people.

The mass prayer is crafted to reduce to nought “every influence of satan” because “satan is powerless in the face of the sword”, to use Prophet Joshua’s words. The prayer is meant to achieve “salvation of our souls” and to disconnect people from gloomy forces of backwardness, stagnation and negative experiences. As people (those being disturbed by evil forces) drop on the floor in the heat of the earth-shaking prayers, they manifest the ‘spirits’ plaguing them and there have perpetually been such revealed problems as epilepsy, barrenness, immorality, drug addiction, drunkenness, body infections, lunacy, poverty, failure in business and life, curses, etc. Liberation is achieved by people as the Holy Spirit touches them in the ‘arena of liberty’; they are disconnected from inhibiting forces of retrogression and impotence.

One aspect of this situation is that people who fall on the ground start ‘revealing’ themselves as the spirits of destruction and death, speak the kind of upheavals and travails they have created in the lives of the victims. Through this, the congregants are spiritually purged of the spirits of crocodile, pythons, lust, lizard, marine powers and of ancestral idols. Also , some people are restlessly moving up and down the church, stating what evil powers have done in their lives. As the prayer goes on, they are released!

But not every person drops to the floor. Some still manifest while standing. The prophet and Wise Men move around the congregation, touching the people and delivering messages from on high. Most people have forgotten their past, their history and what events shaped their lives in the past. Mistakes were made in the past whose effects may just be revealed today. Even, performances of past ancestors which influence people’s lives today are exposed. People who experience a life of drugs, robbery, cultism, retrogression in work and marital homes, lunacy, joblessness, failure and destruction have been known to have ancestors who performed badly or wickedly in the past. Deliverance and healing are administered and people are freed from odious devourers, demonic powers and fruitless toiling. Breakthroughs are unquestionably obtained through favours, protection, success, abundance, prosperity and grace of the Most High. Sometimes, the enchanted congregants reveal stories of how they saw Prophet Joshua in the dream, working through for their liberation.

Equally important is that the mass prayer is often directed at “viewers from all over the world” (and this is achieved through Emmanuel TV). People are encouraged to touch their screens because “distance is not a barrier”. There had been thousands of testimonies of people who were delivered by obeying the ‘anointed’ voice by touching or pointing at the screen; they were liberated from drunkenness, suicide, drug addiction, cancer, impotence, ulcers, sickness, ritualism, infections (including HIV/AIDS), marital instability, poverty, nightmares, migraines, painful body parts, charcoal and sand eating, fear, etc.

The mass prayer in The SCOAN is an opportunity for mass deliverance and healing; it is a forum for remarkable experience of freedom from plagues of social inconsequence, sicknesses and moral recklessness. It supplies spiritual energy into people and encourages their spirit of confidence in what God can do for them. It provides foundation and a reason for their faith and strengthens their spiritual desires. Shortly after such a prayer, the congregants’ spirits become renewed and reinvigorated. Millions of people are always prepared to give testimonies on what the mass prayer has done for them, over the years.

Fajenyo and Patrick are authors and Fellows of the Social Engineering and Research Initiative (SERI)

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in International

 

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TB Joshua, Upthegrove and the rest of us

His sheer presence in The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) headquarters to fully participate in the affairs of the Easter celebration on Sunday, 8th of April, 2012, created much interest. As he was introduced, thereafter, by Prophet T.B. Joshua to the congregation, the 83 years old cleric still full of vibrancy and spiritual power, moved to the pulpit, where he was to speak on elements of vision which was revealed to him over 40 years ago, on The SCOAN.

Naturally endowed with spiritual grace and self-assuredness, Pastor C.S. Upthegrove was filled with the spirit of happiness as he looked around and asked the enchanted congregation to praise the Lord.

A man called to preach the Word of God from age 15, this respected American served with the likes of A. A. Allen, Oral Roberts and Robert Schuller in the work of the ministry, moving from one part of the world to the other. He has always been happy and fulfilled doing what he has been called to do and he is determined to remain faithful to His grace and work till he breathes his last, so he told the congregation.

Pastor Upthegrove had come to share that significant moment of grace with T.B. Joshua, the General Overseer of The SCOAN, and to make it known to the world that he was told in a vision that T.B. Joshua is one of the twelve end-time prophets anointed by God, to perform His service. While doing that, the seasoned minister of God provided a short speech, followed by the handing over of some of A.A. Allen’s personal mementoes, suggesting confirmation of the continuity of service in the Lord, on T.B. Joshua.

Referring to the 1960s when the world was yet to know scientific technology, especially the internet, this father of four said serious ministry work involved movement from place to place, and it was then A.A. Allen had prophesied to him, while driving in a car, that a prophet would soon emerge, greater in impact and spiritual strength than all of them; and that the prophet would preach to a multitude of people all over the world, and be widely accepted.

The prophecy came to be confirmed to him a few years back, when God had told him in a vision that T.B. Joshua was the man referred to, earlier, by A.A. Allen – himself an outstanding, and universally acknowledged God’s General. God had made it clear, as he prepared to leave America for Nigeria on this unique occasion of Jesus’ resurrection, that he was actually going to a Holy land, and this was repeated to him as he landed in the Synagogue premises. He had prayed earnestly to personally come to the church to see things for himself; that God would make provision for him to be personally there. But he had also been encouraged with what he encountered on Emmanuel TV over the years, where unusual deliverances and prophecies happened, and being watched by millions of people across the globe – men and women, young and old, the rich and the poor.

The writer and well-travelled Minister of God said, “T.B. Joshua is from God”; God had told him: “This is my prophet,” and that was why he picked up the challenge to personally visit Nigeria. He had narrated his personal experiences over the years in his ministry, his encounters with angels, and the resultant spiritual empowerment, occasioned by his ‘changed’ hair. He had fasted and prayed, and God has listened to him, quite extensively on many issues; he has received tremendous inspiration in which God has promised to always make way where there seems to be none. He has been privileged also to have his hands so anointed, supernaturally.

If T.B. Joshua has been using water for prayers and deliverances, according to the revered man of God, it is God’s own unique gift to him, especially as the Creator has been known to use sticks, stones and dead men’s bones to save people in moments of distress, wake up the dead, and restore lost hopes. He referred to the experiences of David (and his encounter with Goliath) and of Elisha (whose bones were used to raise the dead). He had added that God could show his mysterious self through a shadow, or through the stretching of hands (as done by T.B. Joshua). It could also be through the ‘now faith’ and ‘touching faith’ as “the answer to your problem could be within yourself” as seen in the example of the woman with the issue of blood. God can, to prove that He has power, “use me and you” – the old man said. He added that God can use anything to achieve His purpose in the life of people.

The man of outstanding spiritual performance, honour and exemplary virtues also spoke on the fact that God wants his people “to go above the snake line” because the lower portion of same is governed by aches, pains, troubles, frustrations, tribulations, tears, fears and discontentment.  To Pastor Upthegrove, T.B. Joshua is “living above the snake line and he teaches on how to live beyond the snake line”. And that “Anything between you and God is your god. When you get into the glory realm, everything is forgiven. You are free”. This credible personality of enviable versatility said God had mandated him to present some of A.A. Allen’s articles to T.B. Joshua to remind him always of the need to hold on fast to the faith and be more exemplary in performance and character. These included the symbolic personal stamp of Allen, used on every letter especially between 1965 and 1968; the “Miracle Magazine”, (published in 1960) and photographs of the Miracle Valley in Arizona, USA. Though personally handed over to C.S. Upthegrove by A.A. Allen, it was his desire to pass the “seal of authority” to another prophet of God.

The Easter celebration, 2012, was thus of dual significance. It was to commemorate the resurrection of the Lord as a symbol of God’s acceptance of man and for His salvation. In The SCOAN, it was a season of authentic confirmation of T.B. Joshua as a strong tool fashioned by God to be one of the twelve end-time prophets/ apostles, and it was significant that the message was delivered to a God’s minister in a far-away land.

Of course, The SCOAN is not a strange name among thousands of widows, widowers, the physically challenged, the poor, the helpless, the sick, the needy and orphans within Nigeria and beyond. Joshua has been massively honoured for his limitless and unsolicited philanthropic acts through award of scholarships and assistance to the homeless, bereaved, lonely, famished and abandoned, regardless of nationality, ethnic particularity and religion. Emmanuel TV has been a source of hope for the sick and hopeless; people have received healing and deliverance by placing their hands on its screen! Sharp-edged, truthful and instantaneous prophecies had been made (and still are) in the church, which is why the crowd is always tumultuous in the vicinity of the church’s headquarters in Lagos. It is the church for the leaders and the led; men and women with fervent hope of spiritual liberation. Various organizations have sprung up, in the name of Emmanuel TV Partners across the globe, and are doing well in the area of philanthropy and mass mobilization for Christ – the awards to Joshua will not end, really, and this may be confirmed with the recent proclamations by C.S. Upthegrove, the irrepressible man of God!

Fajenyo and Patrick are foremost journalists and Fellows of Social Engineering Research Initiative.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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