Prayer in Igbo Cosmology: The Case of Mbieri, Mbaitoli LGA, Imo State, Nigeria
AbstractThe religious life of an Igbo man has experienced great changes through the ages. The modern religions have also influenced the people so much that the Igbo of the present generation have questioned the origin of prayers, while others doubted the efficacy of prayer. There are also arguments as to how prayer comes about and whether it started with Christians, or whether the Igbo great grandparents who followed the traditional religion actually prayed. This study is aimed at settling these arguments by exposing the originality of prayer in the life of an Igbo man, as well as significant roles played by prayer in Igbo traditional religion. This study will benefit students, teachers, researchers and the Igbo society as a whole. This study made use of the survey method in finding out the nature and role of prayer in Igbo cosmology, using Mbieri, in Imo state, Nigeria as a case study. Related literatures were reviewed, research questions were formulated and posed to 50 people through oral interview. Data were collected and analyzed critically. The interpretation of the data showed that prayer plays a significant role in Igbo traditional religion, and that the originality of prayer in the life of an Igbo man forms the basis for the implantation of Christian prayer. More so, prayers are efficacious and have existed in Igbo land before the advent of Christianity. In which case, it was not an invention by Christianity; rather Christian prayer found traditional prayer a fertile soil on which it built. The study therefore recommends that there should be cultural involvement Christianization in order to achieve a balanced religion. Christianity should be more deeply planted in Igbo culture so that Ndigbo may ever praise God with their names, their language, their music, and indeed all aspects of their culture. Attention should also be drawn to the fact that imported religion is characterized by proliferation of churches, greed, corruption, embezzlement and a lot of ill practices aimed at tricking the unsuspecting Igbo into believing that miracles abound where they are not, thereby turning the sick and needy into religious prostitutes.
Keywords: Igbo cosmology, Originality and efficacy of prayer, Christianity, Traditional religion, Nigeria
International Journal of Development and Management Review (INJODEMAR) Vol. 7 June, 2012
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