Why I keep on praying

Nyangwe zviome seyi (though things are tough)

Zirwadze seyi (though it is painful)

Ndichanamata (I shall pray)

These are part of lyrics from a song sung at today’s service. It still rings in my mind hours later because the lead singer sung it with such poignant conviction that I allowed my mind to wander past the service into the surreal world of spiritual battles.

In this world that I withdrew into I pondered what would drive a person to declare that however hard and however painful it is, their default would be to pray. I pictured a person who has run out of solutions, endured all pain, lost all social currency and is seen as irredeemable. Until they pray.

I pictured a person so hurt that no human salve or balm could help, so downcast that no cheer would lift their spirits. I pictured a downcast person so lost such that the only outlet is to pray and plant both feet firmly on the faith centred on a God who does not shy away from handling soiled hands and muddy feet.

I identified with these lyrics because in my life I have come to learn that almost all that I am would have come to a terminal end if no one had prayed. I identify with miracles that jolted me forward when I was supposed to sink into mud. All because someone prayed.

I have been in a luxury bus that is more fibre and glass than metal. In the same bus my life froze as the bus hit a broken down truck over hill, swung to the right only to be hit and turned 180degrees by another truck coming from the opposite direction !! In between the impacts I was thrown out of the bus, missed being crushed as it toppled on its side and woke up thirty minutes late to find myself coiled in a foetal position in the middle of the road one metre away from the upturned bus I had been in, mumbling an incoherent prayer.

I have faced the terror that flies by night. That surreal terror that pins you to the bed and moves forward to strangle you and you cannot even scream a word. All that terror cannot do is touch your heart and I have survived many such terrors by starting a prayer in my heart and battling till I wrest my consciousness from the dark grip only to come to full senses, uttering a prayer.

All bridges I have crossed, all battles I have won have a common spiritual currency. Prayer. When I hit rock bottom and scrapped the doldrums of filth, all that I could manage to say was “—– oh my God—,” and apparently that is all God was waiting for to bring in the brigade!!

The sum of it all is that outside prayer all that could be me would a mark at the graveyard. Outside that communion of prayer I have nothing else to explain how I have escaped death, how I have been granted strength to endure, how I have been given so many chances to escape doom and how I continue to be alive.

So, in the face of it all I still identify with the singer,

Nyangwe zviome seyi (though things are tough)

Zirwadze seyi ( though it is painful)

Ndichanamata (I shall pray)

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