Unnecessary, Null & Void Shouts

Is there an unwritten rule that you have to shout at the top of your lungs if your prayer is to be answered?

I was in a church service – or should I say, heaven knows how many I’ve been in 🙄 – where screaming at the top of your lungs was the apparent guarantee that your prayer will be answered.

I don’t know what spirituality culture we… wait. I don’t even know who the “we” are because I would never advocate for such. I don’t know where those who teach us to scream at the top of our lungs if our prayers are to be answered in a congregational church service learned it from. 😐 I’ve actually tried to figure it out, but I can’t. 

For me, there are health inconveniences that come with screaming at the top of my lungs in a place with auditorium-level acoustics, along with at least 200 other people screaming. It’s like grinding my teeth when my gums are sore. My ears feel tingly, I squint and have spasms from the deathly shrieks, my head is likely to start banging, and you still want me to join the screaming amidst all those reactions from my body? 😐

That’s just me. 

That this screaming and shouting of “amen” and whatever else the speaker asks the congregation to scream is made out to be their tickets to answered prayers, is problematic. We are told, “If you can shout the loudest ‘hallelujah’…”; “If you can shout a thunderous ‘amen’…”; “If your ‘amen’ can swallow that of your neighbour…”. 😐 It becomes a battle of voices. Hypothetically everyone wants their shout to swallow the ones they can hear. That’s the first part.

The second part of this problem is that a lot of these people are doing no more than plain shouting. There is no faith behind those shouts. The goal of the shouter is simply to swallow the other voices; they forget that they need to ignite their faith for their prayers to actually be answered, as opposed to thinking that swallowing the other voices will do it. They’re so carried away by supposedly impressing the heavens with the volumes of their voices that there is no faith to catapult that prayer into takeoff. Prayer without faith is pointless; it’s void.  

That is the problem I have with this shouting business in churches – void and faithless shouts to God. 

The other minor problem I have is the mentality that you need to shout before God can hear you. What the what?! God is not deaf that He cannot hear you! Why do we need to scream, then? Even when we don’t speak out in our moments of weariness and hopelessness, God hears and sees the thoughts of our hearts. He knows what we want before we even ask! Where then did we get the idea that we need to scream if He is to hear us?

Believe it or not, some church leaders have good motives behind getting the congregation to scream – they believe it gingers the congregation, some believe it wakes the congregation up, others believe it’s an effective way to get the otherwise apathetic or minimally active members of the congregation to pour their hearts out to God. Some other church leaders just like noise – maybe for the ostensible buzz, or due to a warped understanding of God’s hearing abilities. 

I actually hate praying in public or around other people – I get distracted by the noise from their loud prayers and chants. I sometimes struggle to hear my own self amidst all that noise and raucousness. 

Generally, I have nothing against screaming to God – be it in moments of emotional tension or enthusiasm. I do it at times. However, do it where you wouldn’t be selfishly inconveniencing others. Even in a congregation, there will be people who would rather you don’t scream. It startles some, it unsettles some, it irritates some, it gingers others. More importantly, whether you’re screaming your prayers or not, let faith be in the mix or you’re wasting all that energy. 😕

That’s all for today folks! 😁

P.S. I think I might start saying “I ♥️ you” at the end of my posts. It’s something I’ve picked up from this person I dutifully follow on IG – Professor Phanor. 

Until you see me again, ✌🏾. I ♥️ you!

You Are All The Fuel You Need

They will help you “rationalise” your visions, telling you to be “more realistic”…

A lot of people want to be involved in your life… wait. Let me rephrase that to match reality. A lot of people want to feel relevant in your life; they see themselves as stakeholders. In my language, such people often “overpatakilise” themselves; it means that they often overstate their importance in your life. I have such people in my life too, but I don’t take kindly to them.

I don’t know if you have these oversized visions for your life, but I do. Additionally, I’m a believer of the principle that you don’t beat your own drums in public; you let your music speak for itself. If I’m going to do something that’s massive, I don’t want enemies of progress all over my business so, I won’t announce it.That’s one small part of the discussion, though. If you also have dreams/ visions that are larger than yourself and scare you, carry on reading, soulmate. 😍

When it gets down to the nitty-gritty of taking our visions from “virtual” to “reality”, it’s only natural to want or think that we need support from others. We want to tell those that matter to us about our visions because we want to carry them along on our journey. Consequently, we may start to seek validation for our dreams from these people.

Seeking validation from people is only you looking to get your dreams crushed and buried before they’re even developed. The vast majority of people you’re seeking validation from cannot even see where you’re going with your dreams! They cannot grasp it! It’s like trying to sell laser eye surgery to someone who is decidedly and conveniently short-sighted. It’s that pointless.

Depending on the kind of people you surround yourself with — or you find yourself surrounded by –, you may or may not get the support you want. The thing is that there will be people that will actually support your visions and will have the ability to visualise your dreams with you. However, as is everything with life, you may not be so fortunate to have those people in your inner circle. Matter of fact: you may not even know them yet; or you could, but just not consider them relevant to you. That’s your cue to re-evaluate.

On the other hand, there are people that you’d expect to “understand” you, at least, but they will disappoint you. They will help you “rationalise” your visions, telling you to be “more realistic”; they will find indirect ways of telling you to “forget it”. They mean no harm, often; they’re only looking out for you and hoping that you don’t have your head buried in the clouds. 

The majority of people you come across will tell you that your visions are impossible or that there are more “worthwhile” things to dabble into in the now. The uninterested bunch will tell you that your visions are a waste of time and unnecessary. Although I wonder what — if any — place of love these ones could possibly speak from, most are simply myopic or faithless. But which ones do you listen to?

This is where it gets tough. This is where you realise that you may have to start your trip solo and pick willing and necessary passengers along the way, since you only budgeted for yourself. You’re going to have to push yourself because no one else will. Matter of fact: it’s no one else’s job to push you.

Hey, that is not to say that every single person around you will either discourage you or fail to see where you’re going. It’s your job to apply discretion and recognise those who do; those are the people you need on your journey. When you grow weary from pushing yourself, they’re there as backup.

For those who cannot see your destination — even with a telescope — you’re better off without them. Saddling them on your journey is only loading your boat with dead weight. They’ll be there every step of the way to remind you that you’re wasting your time.

At the end of the day, you need to be attentive to those whom you need to journey with you; those who want to but may be dead weight; and those who don’t even want you to start the trip because it’s a waste. The people you surround yourself with will either build you up or tear you down. In so far as you can visualise where you’re going and your faith is alive, that is all the fuel you need.

P.S. Jesus is the sailor of my own boat. I’m just chilling, letting the breeze blow away my anxieties… beneath my aviator shades. 😎

Until you see me, ✌🏾