Prayer session drama at Parliament sends us strong learning lessons

Prayer session drama at Parliament sends us strong learning lessons

There was an awkward moment at the National Assembly when a Member of Parliament who was called upon to pray had his prayer interrupted by the House speaker.

Gabriel Lokabang, the lawmaker took to his feet and read biblical verses before beginning his prayer with the following remarks: “We have come from a long history, and we have a nation. Our past leaders spoke, and we still remember their words. We shall use the oil money to boost agriculture. But here we are, no food. If we cannot produce food, what is the use of the Minister of Agriculture?”

But the speaker, Jemma Nunu Kumba, read much into his remarks and forthwith warned the lawmakers against using the session to express their political opinions.

Kumba said the following: “We have question times that we can ask the Minister [a question]; [that is] why he or she exists. Not in the prayers, because now the prayer becomes like a joke.” She added, “So, political prayers are not necessary. Let us just pray to God and ask Him to help us with the problems we have.”

This incident may have been dramatic and rib-cracking but the certainty that both of these leaders were right is beyond doubt. Indeed, as the speaker advised, a prayer session should be divine and not reduced to a platform of “jokes”, ridicule or settling personal scores, if any. For believers, this is the time to connect to the creator and to express verbally or spiritually all that they want to be addressed by the Supreme Being—God.

On the flipside, Lokabang was also within his right to question the commitment of the country’s leaders to the previous pronouncements they have made, or that which our founding fathers deemed to be just. All the two leaders were within their rights to air their opinions and this sends a message to the citizens to be reliable custodians of their vows and speak truth to power.