When Akpabio Asked We Pray For Him.

By Udo Silas
It was a moment of great insight, far and beyond the years I had known him, as a friend and a boss. And the years are plenty.

It opened a window in that instance, to the face and candor of a man, who paid a subliminal attention, not just to the efficacy of personal conversation between man and his creator, but also to the understanding of the communal quantity as a potent supplication tool.

There is more. His request that we pray for him appeared a conviction that we, who were to pray, had a standing with God. He was not asking a conclave of cardinals, he was not asking a herd of Bishops, he was not asking a robbed battalion of the apostolic galleon, he was asking a potpourri of men and women, whom he knew, had no ‘special’ standing with the creator.

I read in his demeanor as he made that request that he didn’t care. I saw his humility. I read in that moment, that he understood far better than many a people, the dynamics between God and man that stresses the exaltation of the humbled.

And then I suffered a confluence of memory and the present. That was when it occurred to me that Akpabio was not just asking us to pray for him. It just struck me. I was staring at the brows of his face as he spoke. It hit me as a sudden spark of lightening emanating from the promise of intense deluge. It occurred to me that Akpabio was not really asking us to pray for him.

Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admissions of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart. These words of the great Gandhi were the memory that encountered the present.

I understood there and then that the man has a longing in his soul that surely brings a smile now and then, to the brows of our creator.

I saw a man who knows that ‘prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness’. Or why would he have made the request?

It was not in our itinerary to the best of my knowledge. I had joined notable South South elders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, led by Ntufam Hilliard Eta, Former acting National chairman and Vice Chairman, South South on a solidarity visit to Senator Godswill Akpabio, on his quest to become the first amongst equals, in the soon to be inaugurated 10th Senate.

 None of us was designated for the task. But the lot fell on Mrs. Comfort Chibigwe, a South South elder from Cross River State.

As she interfaced with the heavens, I couldn’t help but keep my eyes open. I witnessed the fervent disposition of the gathered. I counted more than two gathered. And I remembered the often quoted saying that when two or three are gathered in His name….

 I knew that our prayers for Akpabio, ‘delighted God’s ear; and melted his heart’, apologies Thomas Watson.

Godspeed Sir.

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