What about revelations through prayers?

By Rev. Fr. Eva Chuma Nnamene

As we saw from last week's edition, in several places in the Scriptures beyond the following (Lev. 19: 26; Deut. 18: 10-12; Jer. 27: 9; Ez. 13: 3; Acts 8: 9; Acts 16: 16; Gal. 5: 19-20; Rev. 21: 8; Rev. 22: 14-15), God forbade the use of soothsayers, sorcerers, astrologers, magicians, dream interpreters, and so on. The main reason why they are condemned is because they are devilish.

They come from the evil one. They promote the worship of Satan. But wait a minute, do Christians not pray, and do they not get revelations on what they prayed for? What then is the difference between what Christians get in prayers and what people get from afa, ugegbe, odu, oju ese and so on? First and foremost, it is pertinent to note that revelation as such for the Church has been concluded in Jesus Christ.

However, the Catholic Church accepts private revelations - even if it is not obligatory or dogmatic. The fact is that God could reveal things to people. And so whenever people got actual revelations from Him in Christian prayers - say at one place or at different places and at different times; and even revelations given to same person or to different persons, we see similar results that are observable in scientific investigations.

From last week's presentation, we identified some characteristics of scientific investigations, namely, objectivity, reliability, and verifiability which are necessary for results to make them acceptable. Of course, revelations in prayers are subjective experiences, and may not immediately be objective. But objectivity of revelations is guaranteed by some measures the Holy Roman Catholic Church applies.

One sterling example where we see the measure the Catholic Church uses to guarantee objectivity is in the process of making someone a Saint called Canonization. The process of Canonization involves verification of the claims of holiness and miracles attributed to the candidate to be canonized. Through the verification period, our Church searches to verify objectivity by counter-verification of the claims made in favour of the person in the process of canonization.

If a saint-to-be is acclaimed to have cured a cancer patient, for instance, the Church would verify to know if the said person was ever diagnosed to be cancerous; what was the healing process - would it be applicable to normal medical healing or is it mysterious that it can only be attributed to some divine intervention; and then, some further investigation would be used through appropriate medical tests to see if the person acclaimed to have been healed still have traces of the ailment.

If traces of ailment are still there, the purported cure would be questionable and subsequently denied. This system is always applied whenever the Church investigated any revelation. Counter-investigation helps to objectify revelations got in prayers. Such counter-investigations help the Church to guarantee objectivity, reliability and verifiability of revelations through prayers. That is why the Church is slow to accept claims of revelations made by people.

That is why the Church encourages her members to have a childlike trust on God rather than go from one miracle center to another. That is why we all have to believe that God has great plans for every one of us for progress (Jer. 29: 12-14). Let us trust God's plans for us.

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