Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Work must accompany prayer

Published:Monday | October 6, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: If we
would like to know why we have been failing so badly to make any real
progress as a nation, take a critical look at the words of our National
Anthem. Here you will see we are praying to God to do everything for us,
totally oblivious to any obligation on our part to do anything in the
process but to pray. This an ode to superstition and theological
ignorance, not a national anthem.

In the 52 years we have been
singing this anthem, work the math and see how many millions of
petitions must have gone up to God to imbue us with all those blessings
and virtues alluded to. Try identifying any manifestations of them in
national life and what you will doubtlessly find are diametrical

If any betterment is to come to us as a people, we will
have first to wake up from our stupor, disabuse our minds of
superstitious reliance on so-called prayer and come to the stark
realisation that it is only through conscientious personal and
collective efforts that we can achieve the outcomes we desire. Prayer
may have its place, but it was never intended to be a substitute for
appropriate action.

The Bible itself says we must walk humbly,
love mercy, turn from wickedness and do justice, all of which require
effort on our part. In other words, we can ask God's blessings on our
work but it is we who must do the work.