Sunday, August 4, 2019
does praying naked work
 A Naked Petition

What do you do when a woman gets too close to your husband?

Answer: Pray NAKED at 3am (A tweet from Glory Jaiye @glojaiye).

I don't know Jaiye, neither do I use Twitter nor fully understand how it works (though I have an account). I just happened to stumble upon an online forum where people were contesting the efficacy of going naked to make something you want happen and someone posted the tweet and it seemed fitting for this post.

What is the thing with nakedness—extricating yourself from the imprisonment of clothing— that holds seemingly potent powers to achieve one's heart desire?

People go naked for all sorts of reasons. People go naked during protests to make a point (And they always deliver that point with a precise amount of shock value). People go naked as a requirement for a heathenist ritual. People go naked because they've been wronged and believe their nakedness adds a certain stinging potency to the curse they lay on their offender. People go naked because they somehow believe their nakedness startles God, embarrassing and pushing him in a corner where he is compelled to give in and answer their prayers. People go naked because something in their mental consciousness has snapped and they are indeed losing their minds.

Is there really an invocation of some sort of magical power following the unglamorous task of taking off ordinary clothes and baring one's body for what it truly is, a stark body, an ordinary body stripped of the decent composure clothing affords, bereft of the many protective layers of garments and accessories? Is there really power in a naked body—a body without the carefully fitted molding of high-waist skirts and snug-shouldered suits?

In the days of my early childhood in the 90s, there were waves of rumors concerning a south-eastern Nigerian governor. It was said that a woman while returning home late at night from work saw the sight of her life. There on a corner of the road was the state governor, naked, being bathed with red liquid. The red liquid was blood, according to the very fantastic rumors. The governor was naked, engaged in a heathen ritual to fortify himself with power against people who may oppose his government. The ritual performers soon caught whiff of the woman's presence and tried to seize her but she ran for her dear life. Oso ndu! It was said that she left the state and never came back.

Of course I cannot prove the veracity of the story. There is, however, a video on YouTube of a supposed Nigerian politician who is seen standing naked, a cluster of green leaves behind him, holding a small clay pot, chanting in incomprehensible Yoruba what is assumed to be incantations and mentioning Nigerian security agencies such as the EFCC and ICPC in his chants. I can still see his image in my mind's eye, a man in the ordinariness of his body, his face scrunched up and strained from the seriousness of his desire, his petition, one hand holding the clay pot, another hand concealing his groin. He is a man who believes his nakedness and other associated ritual performance will yield him the earnest desire of his heart.

Like an impressionable child whose mind is shaped by observing the people and the world around, the church in Nigeria has evolved, more like it has undergone a cultural mutation, taking from here and there bits of practice that are alien to biblical Christianity so that it becomes multi-limbed and horned, a freak of nature compared to its unadulterated original form. I say "biblical Christianity" because in today's world, Christianity needs the qualifier "biblical" to separate it from the new brands of Christianity where practices such as praying with a coconut or stripping naked at midnight to get God's attention is encouraged.
Nigerian christian church
To the eye that keenly observes, the church has become a sort of infirmary where soul-sickened people gather and the preacher takes on the role of a physician, prescribing medicine for their ailments. 21 days dry fasting to deliver you from the spirit husband that is hindering men from seeking your hand in marriage. When you pray, break this coconut as a symbol that you are breaking the ancestral curse responsible for your stagnant life. Wake up by midnight and strip before your God so that he'll see your seriousness for a child and sort you out.

But the heart wants what the heart wants and when you are trying to conceive, what your heart desires is a child of your own and you don't bother with the correctness of the process involved in getting what your heart wants as long as it does not involve you inflicting pain on another person. So on a certain night, while my husband was away on a night shift, I stood before my window, egged on by a heart weighed down by an unmet longing. Through those netted windows, I peered intently into the night sky as if looking at God, a naked woman who intends to use the power of her naked body to cower God, to twist his arm, until he has no choice but to make my belly swell with child.

Reflecting back on that night, I'm almost certain God might have had a good laugh, saying to one of his angels, "Go tell that woman to put some clothes on." So here is some advice, go put some clothes on. Wear make-up. Do your hair. And pray like one who is deserving of God's kindness because if you are in Christ, you are deserving of his kindness.

Postscript: Do not bother looking up Glory Jaiye on Twitter. I had to fictionalize that name to spare myself any problems if I used the name of the original handle that made the tweet.


  1. Thank you, Anonymous reader. #smiling

  2. It took me quite a while to get here, but then I am absolutely blown away. I mean you're this good with words? I knew you were smart and all, but this good? Men I didn't see it coming! This is class!

    1. Hey Mezie, thank you very much for finally landing here and for your nice comment. It made me happy. Thank you.


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