Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Allied Financial Institutions, Fifi Kwetey says Ghana and the entire African Continent can never find change, solutions and transformation through religious prayers.
Mr Kwetey says Ghanaians and Africans, religious as they may be, are saying the wrong kind of prayer and therefore will not reap any transformational results.
According to him, the only true prayer that can bring transformation to Africa is a burning desire to effect practical change and find solutions to the Continent’s problems but not mere utterances of words to God.
“We tend to believe that a praying Continent should be a transforming Continent but I think that really depends on what we understand by prayer. But Prayer which is simply words coming out of our mouth is not good enough to bring about transformation. Prayer can only bring change and transformation to a person or to a nation or to a Continent when that prayer is truly in alignment with what is in our hearts. The good book says: ‘out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks’”.
Mr Kwetey said: “I think really the transformation of our country depends on us. But it also largely depends on the need for us to start having a compete re-evaluation of what we feel are the transformational tools.”
To buttress his point with real life examples, Mr Kwetey said: “Bill Gates, who may not necessarily pray or even fast or even go to Church, ponders deeply over his business. Passionately strives to bring about change and transformation. Focuses upon his business on a minute-to-minute basis, and even while asleep, is having what we call ‘deep inflows of thought’. Bill Gates is doing extremely deep prayer. The kind of prayer that brings solutions, that brings transformation.”
As far as he is concerned, people like Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and a raft of great individuals who impacted and shaped civilisation were not a praying people yet got the great solutions for the benefit of mankind “because the real prayer is not just what is said but what comes out of the heart and what we seek. And if we seek it what every passion, with everything we have, we’ll find the answer.”
The Minister bemoaned that: “…When we have counterparts of Bill Gates in Ghana operating within the same industry and somehow there is a feeling that merely by having opening prayer, closing prayer or by going to Church, somehow solutions will come, it will not come. Because the real solutions must come from a passionate heart that seeks solutions and that must transcend not just religion, but must go across any facet of all life,” Mr Kwetey argued at the launch of Esich Life Assurance in Accra on Wednesday.
In his opinion, “when we have a nation that believes so much in praying, and which heart is not passionate about transformation, change and solutions, it’s no wonder that we’ll be lagging behind and I’m not just talking about Ghana, I‘m talking about Africa.”
He said there are many countries in the world that have developed even though they were not as religious as Africa and wondered why the Continent still held on staunchly to prayers rather than spark a practical burning desire to effect real change.
“Japan may not pray as much as we do. Latin America may not pray as much as we do. China may not pray as much as we do. But they are finding solutions and seeing transformation because their heart is doing far more prayer than our hearts….”
The former Deputy Finance Minister said inasmuch as Ghanaians and generally Africans must have the God factor in their lives, “it must transcend mere enunciation of prayers. Let it be the real prayer of the heart that fills every person with true fire for transformation and the optimisation of what we want.”
“Otherwise we may continue to pray for another 30 years or another 50 years and we may not see a lot of transformation. We need a Continent that is not just praying, but a Continent whose heart is on fire for change and transformation and if the heart truly is on fire, transformation will come because that is the key to unlocking the solution,” Mr Kwetey added.
“Please let us move away from just the nominal prayer into the real prayer which is a heart asking to be set on fire for change and transformation and I’m sure we’ll be able to see the transformation that we are looking for as a country,” Mr Kwetey advised.
Kwetey’s advice and observation come on the heels of similar sentiments expressed by motivational Speaker Dr Mensa Otabil who said prayer without hard work is merely a substitute for laziness.
“Prayer is not a substitute for laziness. WORK AND PRAY,” the General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church wrote on his official facebook page on Tuesday March 18, 2014. He had earlier told his congregation the previous Sunday that it was about time Ghanaians stopped having All Night prayer meetings for the transformation of the economy since that will not help. In his view, focused vision, planning and action are the keys to economic transformation rather than prayers.
Weeks earlier, fellow Clergyman Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams of the Christian Action Faith Ministries (CAFM), had led his congregation to pray for Ghana’s ailing local currency to gain value against the dollar and other major international currencies. He got a lot of flak on social media for his prayer but nonetheless stood his ground. He offered yet another prayer for divine intervention in the country’s economic circumstances on Monday March 17, when a raft of clergymen met the President at a breakfast meeting.