Writing Competition: The Power of Prayers by Godwin Ukpai

Writing competition
James was a hardworking young man that loved God so much and never jokes with the things of God. He married Obiageli who was also a faithful christian. Due to their devotion to the works of God they were blessed with four children (two boys and two girls). Mr James had a brother called John, who was his elder and only brother. John married Amara, a pretty looking young lady, but they had no child because he was a wicked man. He care less about others, very cunny and deceitful. He neither go to church nor pray at home, even though his wife does. His lack of interest in the things of God brought about his misfortune. It continued for years until one day, he decided to take the hard way.

On one fateful morning, Mr James was having a family meeting with his family. They were discussing on what to have for breakfast. Mr James asked the children to make their choices. They all took turns in choosing their food of choice. Ikenna chose FRIED RICE, Ekene chose INDOMIE, Chioma chose SHARWAMER which got everybody laughing and while Chinenye was about to make her choice, they heard a knock on the door. "Go and check who is on the door Ikenna". On opening the door, he was surprised "wow! its uncle and Aunt!" he shouted. The children ran to greet their uncle and his wife as their parents stood and join in welcoming their guest. "Ok! children back to your room let me attend to your uncle we will talk later" said Mr James. "yes daddy!" they echoed as they joyfully entered their room. Mr James welcomed his elder brother and they had brother to brother conversation. But on seeing those children, Mr John wasn't himself knowing the fact that he has no child. He hurried the conversation inorder to take his leave. "ehmm nna! I think we should be on our way" "ah! so soon?" asked Mr James. "I have an important appointment in the next 10minutes, we went to visit mama Ada, the widow so we decided to check on you people" he lied. "its alright! just take care o!" replied Mr James. "we will come some other time", "ok! my dear see you next time o!" referring to Mrs John as they wave good bye and leave.

Mr John was already fuming in anger like an angry Lion ready to devour a prey. Getting to their house, he began with his wife. "you see!" "see what?" she asked. "so you didn't see my brother's children?" "And so? what happened to them?" she asked surprisingly. Mr John got more angry at his wife's questions, "eh! how many children do you have? how many?" he asked his wife. "What type of question is that?" she replied. "oh! so am asking you question, you are doing as if you don't know what am talking about abi?" this words made his wife furrious "what do you mean? is it my fault that we have no child? is it my fault? am asking you! is it my fault!?" she shouted. "then whose fault? if its not your fault" Mr John replied in a loud voice. Mrs John could no longer stand those harsh words from her husband,"I see! listen if you don't have anything to do just go and sleep and stop disturbing my peace! mtcheeww!" (she sighed as she walked out from his presence. "eh?? so it has gotten to that? am talking and you are walking out on me? don't worry" he replied angrily pointing towards her direction. (he started soliloquising) "but what o! why! why me! why can't I have my own children? even though a child I wouldn't mind, who will inherit my wealth? who will posses all my properties? will it be my brothers children? no! no! no! that will not happen, over my dead body! what am I going to do?" (he thought for a while) "I think I know what to do" he speedly walked out in anger. 

Otanjere was already in his shrine doing some incantations before Mr John rushed in. "young man! whats the problem? you looked disturbed, please have a seat, I hope all is well?" as he was looking at Mr John. "The great one all is not well atall, you know our people says 'IF IT ITCHES AN ANIMAL IT RUNS TO A TREE BUT WHEN IT ITCHES A MAN HE RUNS TO HIS FELLOW MAN' replied Mr John. The native doctor was looking at him and nodding his head as Mr John was telling him his plight. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. "Kill them! I won't live to see them inherit my wealth", Mr John replied. "Are you ready for what you just demanded?" looking at him with a mean face. "Yes the great one, I'm ready" he answered. "Ok! then you have to provide the following; four white goats, four white fowls, four white kolanuts and four piece of clothe with these your wish will be granted". "hmmm! the great one can't it be done in cash? because it would be difficult to provide all these you just mentioned within a short space of time". "Let me consult consult the gods", he made some incantations and replied him "if you really want it to be done is cash, the gods have heard you its worth in cash is One hundred and seventy-five thousand naira (N175,000)". Mr John dip hands into his pocket brought out some cash and counted out the money; "here is it" showing him the money "drop it there" (pointing at a brown skin leather on the ground) he dropped the cash. The native doctor brought out a whitish substance and gave it to Mr John."Take! when you go call out the names of those children one after the other and blow this surely they will all die" Mr John collected it and thanked him as he leave.

As Mr John was coming out from the native doctor's shrine, he went straight to his brother's compound. On his way, some distance away he saw the children playing and he began to carry out the native doctor's instructions. He brought out the whitish substance and started calling their names one after the other. As he was calling their names' they were collapsing but as God may have it Mrs James rushed to the scene before it got to Ikenna their first son. She started praying and shouting out for help. "Help! help! Papa Ikenna! neighbours come o!" as she continued praying. Mr James immediately rushed to the scene, he found out that Ikenna was not much affected (due to his mother's prayers) he ran and carried him out to a nearby hospital, before he could return to the scene his remaining three children were already dead. The cloud turned dark to his sight, he was confused, by then their neighbours have already gathered as they sympathise with them. People's voice could be heard from far and near. Oh! what a tragedy!... As this was going on Mr John didn't show up until he found out that he has succeeded. He then ran into the scene putting on a pretendious look, "brother! what happened? what am I seeing? ewoo! why is this happening to us!" all this were his words of pretence just to justify himself. (But the truth can not be hidden no matter, it must surely find its way out). Mrs James and other women cried until they had no strength to cry again, it looks as if the world has come to an End..

After the tragedy that befell the family of Mr James, he called his family together and consoled them, giving them some words of encouragement and exaltation especially to Ikenna the only surviving son. "Ikenna my son, you know you are our last hope please don't disappoint us, study hard, do not keep bad friends because bad company corrupts good manner". "Yes daddy!, I promise to do my best to make you proud" Ikenna replied. Ikenna became more focused in his studies and was the brightest student in his school. After his Senior School Certificate Exam...(SSCE) he came out with the best results and was given a scholarship award to study abroad. His parents were happy again atleast they have hope, finally God has remembered them. Not too long, he flew off to America where he was to study Medicine. (There is nothing the Lord can not do).

Ten years later, Ikenna has already grown up to become a handsome young Medical doctor. He decided to return home inorder to share his success story with his parents. On the day of his arrival, Mr and Mrs James were on the varander eating when a car drove in to their compound, they were all surprised as they watched closely only to see their son matched out majestically from the car. "Wow! They shouted and hugged him,"Ikenna my son is back o! neighbours come o!" Mrs James shoutddd with joy, people started gathering to the know the reason behind the noise, behold! it was IKENNA!. Everybody was happy "the Lord is a miracle worker, what a mighty God we serve!" Mr James said looking up to the skies. As all these was going on Mr John was not aware, when he heard noise from his brother's house he decided to go and check...from a far distance he sited Ikenna, immediately his counternance changed. "so this boy is still alive?" he was surprised and also angry because he never knew there was a surviving child of his brother. Without wasting time he ran to Otanjere's shrine. "Otanjere! the great one! there is problem" "what happened again my son? the native doctor asked. "Do you know that there is still a surviving child of my brother?" "what! thats impossible, didn't you carry out my instructions accordingly?" he asked with surprised. "I did everything you told me the great one" Mr John replied. "Ok I know what to do", he picked another whitish substance put it into his bag as they head for Mr James' compound. Some distance away from the place they sited Ikenna and others jubiliating. He blew the whitish powder, Ikenna fell down and collapsed in the midst of the celebration and they were all flagabasted, "what is really happening?" the atmosphere change once again from Jubiliation to mourning. Mr James just fell on the ground confused,"am finished! what a world! what have I done to deserve this? why me! why me!, my last and only hope is gone! what am I still living for?" as he was still lamenting tears rolled down his eyes. Mrs James could not withstand it any longer, she fainted! but after series of water spread on her, she regained her consciousness

As God may have it, a man of God was passing by, on hearing the noise he decided to check and know what was happening. They narrated the incident to him and immediately he started praying "no! no! no! thats not possible, Ikenna you shall not die but live to testify the goodness of the Lord Isaiah 54:17 have said it, sherimamama shetatakusaraba (speaking in tongues)" He continued praying and the women joined him... Lo and behold an angel appeared, moved straight to where Ikenna was lying and touched him, the angel then disappeared and Ikenna sneezed back to life. "GLORY! oh! praise the Lord! the Lord is mighty, lets bless his name" the pastor shouted as everybody started rejoicing once again. Immediately the spell left Ikenna it went straight to the native doctor he died instantly and Mr John became mad. He danced stupidly into the scene and started confessing as he was laughing unconsciously."I kill them! I kill them! I kill Ikenna! hahahahaha I kill them!" Mr James was dumb founded he couldn't believe his ears, (who could have thought that Mr John would do such to his own blood brother) he ran to hit him but the pastor held him back,"Vengeance is not of you but of the Lord" the pastor cautioned him. Everybody danced to the glory of God as Mr John ran out of scene naked. THE EVIL MEN DO COME AFTER THEM, THERE IS POWER IN PRAYERS...
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