Having divine protection is the desire of many and this is why people pray for safety especially when travelling. With the holiday season just passed, the police were warning people to drive safely as a way of reducing road accidents. Some encourage the tendency to pray for safety on a journey, others argue that such prayers are irrelevant since they just portray fear. What do church leaders say? TAMANDA MWALABU seeks answers.
Christianity is synonymous with faith and this why most Christians put their trust in God and his power. For a long time, prayer has been used as a way of communicating to God for a variety of reasons including divine protection.
Realising this, many pray for their safety and this is common when setting off for a journey. But do such prayers work when offered or they are not effective as some argue?
Living waters church pastor, Gift Kayuni, believes that praying before embarking on a journey is important for Christians and it should be taken as a priority whenever people are travelling.
He however said that a prayer offered for safety of a journey should not be out of fear since God is not moved by fear but faith in what he is able to do.
“We need to pray always and ask God for divine protection. In Psalms 24 v 4, David said that though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, which tells us that if we have confidence in God, nothing bad can harm us, even death itself,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ he said.
Kayuni noted that a good relationship with God is what people should thrive for if we are to build confidence and trust in God for divine protection.
“God desires a good relationship with us and when that is effective, divine protection becomes a guarantee since he cannot allow you to be hurt. Jesus always believed that God will hear and answer his prayers since he had a close relationship with the father and this is the attitude that should be built in us,” said Kayuni.
In a separate interview, faith of God church pastor, Anderson Masamba, agreed that there is nothing wrong with praying for a safe journey describing prayer as a command from God which should be undertaken constantly.
“Prayer is supposed to be a lifestyle for every Christian and this means that we need to pray for everything. In 1 Thessalonians 5 v 17, the Bible teaches us to pray without ceasing and this has to do with every situation including our safety. When we pray before embarking on a journey, God covers us from evil plans since we are exposed to different spirits when we are travelling,” he said.
Masamba urged those who pray before departure to have a conviction that God answers prayers and not doubt what they pray for.
“Christians should be assured that God grants us protection and this is possible when you pray out of faith. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like putting God in the midst of the journey which is a guarantee that you will arrive safely,” said Masamba.
On his part, Calvarly Family church (CFC) pastor, Peter Mhone, observed that though its important to pray before setting off for a journey, such prayers are just becoming a norm as most people pray religiously and out of fear.
He cited a biblical example in Mark 4 v 35 – 40 where the disciples of Jesus called to Him for protection when they were afraid of a storm as a clear demonstration of fear which is evident when people are on a journey.
“A prayer should not be centered on fear but unfortunately, such kind of prayers are dominant when people are on a journey. Sometimes, you can even tell from the language of prayer that the one praying is afraid that something bad may happen on the way. Jesus rebuked his disciples in the boat for expressing fear in the midst of the storm while they could have trusted him for protection and this implies that some prayers are not necessary,” he said.
“When you pray in the right way, you comfort others especially those who are on their way to cheer the sick and to attend funerals since they sense the love of God and trust him for their own safety,” he added.
A resident of Chitawira Township who congregates at Fountain of victory ministries, Chancy Liabuba, concurred with pastor Kayuni that an intimate relationship with God is what brings an assurance of divine protection.
“When you have an intimate relationship with God you are able to trust him in whatever you are doing even though the Lord knows it already and this has to do with how you position yourself before God. If you know that God loves you and he is the one who orders your steps, you can never be afraid but you pray out of the relationship you have with him,” he said.
“Even if you forget to pray before departure, the knowledge you have about God is what will protect you since it is that knowledge that builds faith in you. John 10 v 12 – 13, the Bible shows us that we are His own possession and we are in His mind and understanding this takes away fear. It is the will of God to get to where we are going since is the one who orders our steps,” he said.