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21.10.2021 Article

Prayers, Preparation, Patience, Praises, and PEACE: Introduction to the 5ps of Life for the 21st Century’s Peace

By Benjamin Pulle Niriwa
Prayers, Preparation, Patience, Praises, and PEACE: Introduction to the 5ps of Life for the 21st Century’s Peace
21.10.2021 LISTEN

Introduction

In one of my Peace Messages on Facebook (05.11.2015), I touched on the 5Ps of Life when I said that: “Life is not a race” (Niriwa B., 2015-2016). On that same day I likened life to “Planning, Preparation, Prayers, and Patience”. On 30th November, 2015; 27th April 2016; and 17th September, 2016 too, I re-emphasized that life is about: “Preparation, Prayers, and Patience”.

In all these I am trying to say that we should take it easy with life and see it as a journey, but not a competition or it should be a healthy competition as partners in the journey of life. This is a book that I am writing and it agrees that Life on earth is just a transit (Mahankali, 2021; Madry, 2019) we are all making. In this book, the journey of life has five (5) destinations – Good, Bad, Life on Earth, Everlasting Life in “Heaven”, and or Everlasting Life in “Hell” (Al-Issa et al., 2019).

The 5Ps of Life, applying the Holy Books/experience, touches on how we can have peace on earth and use it as the light to lead most souls into Heaven. The opposite of peace is violence and if there is violence, people can accidentally die at the time that they might not have done “confession” (Bibleword., 2015) of their sins or repented. Their souls can end up in “Hell” (Al-Issa et al., 2019) since they have not confessed their sins or repented at the time of their accidental death.

What the 5Ps of life is saying is that life is very simple and exciting, we are the ones who make it difficult! The first 4Ps of the 5Ps of life is saying that: Life is about “Prayers, Preparation, Patience, and Praises” (or prayer of thanks giving) after God has answered our Prayers and turned our Preparation and Patience into Blessing(s). The 5th P is talking about the PEACE that follows when we Pray, Prepare, Patiently wait on God, and Praise God after He turns our 4Ps into Victory.

In the Holy Books (Bible and Quran), our fore fathers have to travel from one place to another in search for peace! Using the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to their promise land, the 5Ps can be seen at each of the various stages of their journey (Exodus, 3-13. 1611. KJV). It first starts with Moses thinking of how to prepare their minds to accept his message and believe that he is actually sent by God. The interactions that Moses had with God before he goes ahead to meet the elders of Israelites, the Israelites themselves and later, King Pharaoh is made up of Prayer, Preparation and Patience at the same times (Exodus., 3:1-22, 4:1-29. 1611. KJV). He did not just rush to meet them, he takes his time (he has Patience) to communicate with God (Pray or talk to Him) to Prepare him before he goes.

His first complaint to God is that he is a ‘nobody’ who cannot speak fluently too, but God insists that he is the one that He has chosen and would be with him. God’s constant assurance that He would be with Moses and teach him what to say or do, is enough to take away any fear(s) from his mind. Before, Moses meets the elders of Israelites in Egypt and King Pharaoh, He has repeated that he would be with him by reassuring him thirteen (13) times (Exodus a. , 3:12, 17, 20-21; 4:5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23).

The rod in Moses’ hand and the miracles that he performs are signs that God was really always with him! When Moses and Aaron broke the message to the Israelites who were tormented in Egypt, they believed them and this is where the fourth (4th) and fifth (5th) Ps also come in. They: “Looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped” (that is Prayer of thanks giving, they thanked God) (Exodus b. , 4:31. KJV. 1611.). This was followed by a feeling that they would be relieved from their sufferings (they would have PEACE, the 5th P of life).

Why the Need for the 5Ps of Life?

The 5Ps of Life are applicable in every aspect of humans’ lives, be it at the personal or individual level; or at the family, community, political, religious, national and international level. How good or bad you apply these 5Ps would determine whether you would get good or bad result(s) and whether you would enjoy life or suffer on Earth; and or, whether you would have everlasting life in Heaven or Hell. In the COVID-19 pandemic, more than ten (10) of my articles were on the 5Ps of Life (Niriwa B. P., 2020; Niriwa a. B., 2020; Niriwa b., 2020; Niriwa c., 2020; Niriwa d., 2020) using “self-assessment” (Taylor, 2020) which is another book that I am writing.

If the world were aware of COVID-19 pandemic and has prepare ahead of it, probably it would not have had persisted and kill many people till now. The first (1st) and second (2nd) articles that touched on physical preparation also revealed some mistakes in our spiritual and mental preparation to prevent COVID-19 pandemic from further spreading to others (Niriwa B. P., 2020; Niriwa a. B., 2020). These articles also talk about national or political preparation where all the 5Ps of Life are applicable. In six (6) of the articles, they talk specifically about political (Niriwa e., 2021), religious (Niriwa f., 2020), or physical preparation using face masks (Niriwa g., 2021), and mental preparation in health using confidence or trust (Niriwa h., 2021; Niriwa b., 2020).

These 5Ps of Life are interconnected, just as the various forms of preparation in life are also interconnected. Example, though these articles are talking about preparation to prevent COVID-19 pandemic from spreading; they also talk about how good physical, mental, political or national and religious preparations are interconnected (Niriwa e., 2021; Niriwa B. P., 2020) for peace.

If people carefully apply the 5Ps of Life in their lives, the feeling that everything on is about money (Edd, 2021; Adom, 2021) would be reduced. You do not need to kill another person before you can be successful in life, like it is happening nowadays (Adom, 2021): you can make it through careful application of the 5Ps of Life. Money is really very important but it is not everything; else rich men or women would not be going to prayer centers to cry for “fruit of the womb” (Chinedum, 2018) and other problems like healing from sickness (South & McDowell, 2018; Newton, 2018).

Now that COVID-19 is coming down small or now that there is a vaccine, people are beginning to have some relief and this is the PEACE (the last or 5th of the 5Ps of Life) that normally follows after their successful application. The only things that would make application of the 5Ps a waste are “sabotage” (Chowdhury & Gürtler, 2015) and accident(s). But “self-assessment” (Dyer, 2015) inherently imbedded in the 5Ps can help victim(s) notice that early, and know how to handle it. Dealing with discrimination (Gennaro, 2020; Wofford et al., 2019), stigma (Demirtaş-Madran, 2020) and sabotage (Chowdhury & Gürtler, 2015) through both physical and spiritual preparation is one of the ways of ensuring that your application of the 5Ps of Life bears fruits.

When you live your life according to the 5Ps, you do not compare yourself to others; neither do you envy others because of their wealth (riches) but you are always alert at all times. Because people generally see life as competition; Solimeo, (2000) found out that: “We are in a world where irreligion, practical materialism and an horrific tolerance of vice and evil are dominant”. This is the behavior of King Pharaoh as he was threatened by the increasing number of Israelites in Egypt, which created an impression in his mind that, they would one day take over their land (Exodus c. , 1:6-14. 1611. KJV). But is any human being having a land on earth? We are all strangers (Bunkers, 2003) passing by and we need to have it easy with each other! Who has ever been buried with all his/her material properties or lands? No one!

His thinking that life on earth is competitive is what made him has the dirty thought of trying to destroy them; but it failed (Exodus d. , 1:15-22. KJV. 1611), because God is with them as He promises Moses. But interestingly, when the Israelites also decide to leave as were told by God, he still decided not to allow them to go until God punishes Egyptians for that with sicknesses and even deaths of their first bornes (Exodus, 3-13. 1611. KJV).

When he finally releases them too; he pursues after them (Exodus e. , 14:5-31). So, the Israelite did not have it easy leaving Egypt nor getting to their promised land, Israel. But God has already told Moses that He would be with him! This was then the time for him to demonstrate his faith in God by constantly praying (talking) to Him any time the Israelites are in trouble and cry to him.

Every individual on Earth goes through these stages that the Israelites experienced in their lives; right from pregnancy through birth to death. Example, every human being during pregnancy is at risk of being miscarried (Dugas, 2021); after birth till adulthood too, you could have also died prematurely (Hammitt, 2019) except through God’s divine protection. In both, whether miscarriage or premature death, all the 5Ps of Life are applicable! The first 4Ps of Life: Prayers, Preparation, Patience, and Praises are needed to escape both miscarriage and avoidable premature deaths. When you successfully avoided these, then the PEACE (the fifth P of Life) that you need to live a healthy happy life, automatically follows.

King Pharaoh is not the only one who sees life as a competition and therefore Israelites as threats! When Jesus is borne the King at that time, King Herod, was also threatened about his birth and wanted to eliminate him too; but God in His own wisdom also protected the child “Little Jesus” from the king (Matthew, 2:1-16. KJV. 1611).

There are still people on earth who thinks like these Kings! These fears are not only targeted at individuals; but sometimes, it can also be targeted at a whole tribe/race (Nlasia, 2020; Ijon, 2018), profession: mostly favoring highly “Educated elites” (Ijon, 2018), religion (Nlasia, 2020), or a political party (Nlasia, 2020; Ijon, 2018) as seen in the COVID-19 Pandemic (Devakumar, 2020) and most national politics (Nlasia, 2020).

These fears can also be seen between nations where other nations could see another nation or other nations as threat(s). This is why every nation physically prepares by having a military that would defend her on land, in the sea/water and in air (O'Hanlon, 2021). The United Nations also has a special military (Hyams et al., 2002) that is there to support any nation that cannot overcome an attack on her by any another nation or a terrorist group(s) (Chuang et al., 2019). So, applying the 5Ps of Life would help individuals, families, professions, religions, and nations to prepare both physically and spiritually in life.

All religions have some beliefs or faith that God exists, except very few. Even the belief by the few that God does not exist is their faith (Speer, 2016)! No matter how powerful a military is, the power of God cannot be ignored. The 5Ps of Life is also about applying your faith! If you do not have faith, then you cannot live according to the 5Ps of Life. Physically and spiritually, seven (7) is seen as the number that brings about “completeness and perfection”; it is used seven hundred and thirty-five (735) times in the Holy Bible (Biblestudy.org.).

There are seventy-seven (77) verses of the Bible about faith alone (Godtube.com., 2013) just like Jesus told us to forgive those who wrong us seventy time seven (70x7) times (Matt 18:22). This 7 is applicable in our lives, only when we pray and have faith in God in each of the 7 days. As I have posted on Facebook, 13th September 2017, “Our lives are controlled by a divine power” and this agrees with most religions/faiths on earth especially the three (3) major religions (Nicholson, 2017). We are connected to this Divine Power by prayer and faith!

Example, Islam attaches importance to faith just like Christianity! The five (5) times compulsory daily prayers that are said by Muslims is an expression of faith; the pilgrimage that Muslims all over the world make to Mecca and all other pillars of Islam that they practice are expressions of faith (Speer, 2016; Elias, 2015). They are important for their spiritual preparation in life since life is made up of both the “Physical” (Rips & Hespos, 2015) and spiritual (Salander, 2007) world.

Faith in Arabic originated from the word “amn”, meaning safety (Hamad, 2014). In Arabic, faith (al-iman) simply means “To affirm something and to comply with it”; Islam sees faith as believing in Allah, affirming His truth, and obeying His commandments (Elias, 2015). There are six (6) pillars of faith in Islam that are to be believed and obeyed (affirmed) by every Muslims: Allah, His angels, His messengers/prophets, His books, The Judgment Day, and Providence (Elias, 2015).

Phrases such as “Have faith”, “Keep the faith” as well as other familiar sayings about faith (Hamad, 2014) that are used by Muslims daily in their interactions, confirm the importance that they attach to faith. Faith in God helps us to be constantly connected to him by prayer, supplication, and reflection (Hamad, 2014). Therefore, God Himself said in (Surah, 2:257. 1924) of the Holy Quran: “Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light” when they cry out to Him in prayers.

This is what Jesus himself said about faith. His disciples were asking him to increase their faith in Luke 17:5. Then Jesus replied them: “If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou pluck up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea: and it should obey you” (Luke, 17:6. KJV. 1611). In (Matthew., 17:14-21. KJV), Jesus said something similar to this when a man brought his son to his disciples and they could not heal him! So, in Matt 17:17 Jesus said: “… O faithless and perverse generation …? …”.

His disciples wanted to know why they could not heal him (Matt 17:19). He said: “… if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matt 17:20). He stressed the importance of prayer, saying that this kind of sickness can only be healed through prayer and fasting (Matt 17:21). So, prayer is peace the 5Ps of Life is about peace! Can you pray when you don’t have faith? This is why those without faith cannot live according to the 5Ps of life.

How Comparing My Early Life and Now, Proves the Need For the 5Ps of Life: Growing up as a child, Ghana has always been the admiration of not only her citizens but most African nations and even some developed nations. I used to always be proud of everything about Ghana not just because I am a Ghanaian, but because our ways of doing politics and most social interactions were always full of respect for one another. Evidence of this can be confirmed by description of Ghana as the: “Gateway” to Africa/West Africa (Weiss, 2017) and or “Beacon of hope” of Africa (Acheampong, 2021).

Unfortunately, nowadays, the only Ghanaian that is still respected without any form of stigma/discrimination is one who does not show his/her opinion(s) on social or national issues. Due to the nature of our politics, though I am forever proud to be a Ghanaian: I am never proud of our current ways of doing politics where some citizens are tagged in their own country as foreigners (Bedzrah, 2020; Stev, 2020). Let us see life as a journey: not competition!

Ghana is still a shining example for nations across the world when it comes to religious tolerance (Emmanuel, 2019; GTV., 2019). But, politics is gradually becoming an “All-die-be-die” (Ata, 2015) or “Do or die” (Gyamfi, 2021) affair! Political opponents or anyone who shares his/her opinion(s) on politics or social issues is tagged as an enemy. The situations under which both leaders made these utterances are very important but they have been left out in people reactions!

These sayings have exposed hypocrisy in Ghana’s politics again: this is likely to throw this peace-loving nation into a civil unrest one day, if not addressed. Both leaders reacted to the situations at those times which are never the same and the statements too are never the same, as rightly pointed out by Hon. Peter L. Toobu and a renowned Journalist, Kwesi Pratt Jnr (Aklorbortu, 2021).

Whilst there was no shooting incident, increased mistrust in the EC, or no questionable supreme court’s ruling at the time that Nana Akufo-Addo made his statement; there have been worst happenings before (Ametor-Quarmyne, 2020), during (Bayar & Abu-bashal, 2020) and after (GhvoiceonAdmin., 2021) the 2020 general elections. The Supreme Court as the last resort has given a ruling which many citizens, though have accepted it for the sakes of peace, are still not satisfied. So, Former President Mahama in the same program where he makes his “Do or die” statement, though I am not against that he should apologize, has explained it with reference to the above; stressing clearly what he means (Provencal, 2021).

The National Peace Council did well by asking him to withdraw, but with weird explanations (CitizenOne, 2021); though the Former President added an explanation immediately and after that (Provencal, 2021). Ghanaians should also take notice of this very important observation! This selectivity of the National Peace Council has already created a mistrust as revealed by reactions of some citizens (Etvghana.com., 2021). This is not supposed to be so; we should not panic but we must be worried that! Why selectively asked him to apologize but ignore the threats on his life?

Nana Akufo-Addo or his family are never threatened with death by any Ghanaian for his utterance, but Former President Mahama and his family despite the immediate explanation he gives (Kasapafmonline.com., 2021), are threatened with death (Fullah, 2021; Fullah a., 2021). What did the National Peace Council says about that? They ought to have condemned such utterances too! We can regain our lost glory if we carefully and strategically apply the 5Ps of Life in how we prepare for our internal, national and international politics. As I always say, your political opponent must never be your enemy but friend or partner in nation building!

“Some men of God” in Ghana also create bad picture about Christianity because of their bias criticism of serious national issues! Before, during, and after the 2020 general elections, in particular, so many ugly incidents that needed national condemnation irrespective of one’s religious, political, tribal/racial belongings were overlooked. Unfortunately, though no Ghanaian is on record to have said that President Akufo-Addo’s Agenda 111 is not good; a man of God is insulting people who rather see the need of these important projects and have raised questions about how they would be completed (Adu, 2021).

Example, the president is on record of promising to build eighty-eight (88) health facilities within a year (CitizenOne., 2021; Ankomah, 2020). That was not full filled. So, if concerned citizens reminded him of his promise which is repackaged, and some abandoned health facilities started by the previous administration that he inherited, as the reason why they think that he cannot fulfill this current agenda, does that make them “Witches and wizards” (Adu, 2021; Gyesi, 2021)? Former President Mahama’s concern is about increasing debts or whether there is funding to start and complete them (Adu, 2021; IMF, 2021). But the man of God falsely claimed that some citizens are “Angry about Agenda 111” (Aklorbortu a., 2021).

Is it not logical for citizens to question whether the project would be successful since there are similar projects started by the previous government that are still not completed for the good of Ghanaians (Justice, 2021; CitizenOne., 2021)? Mr. Alex Segbefia acknowledges the importance of Agenda 111 when he says that they were doing something like that before they are voted out, but his problem is that it is an idea of the NDC’s manifesto (Adu, 2021). Is it not beautiful that the Former President wants to have been involved or consulted (Adu, 2021)? This is the beauty of democracy; it also confirms that he supports President Akufo-Addo’s good project, Agenda 111!

Unlike previous, now some traditional rulers openly also apologize to a political party because their people did not vote for that (Boakye, 2021); even after the inhabitants of the regions are disrespected because of how and who they voted for (Nuseli., 2020). What is happening in Ghana’s politics? No one is supposed to be harassed for how he/she votes! Others also openly declaring that their traditional areas are now strictly for a particular political party (Mensah K. , 2021; Primenewsghana.com., 2021) is worrying and completely wrong!

Aside God, our opinion leaders our hope! People may begin to lose respect for them if it continues, and this would be a disaster for the country. This is because in case of any conflict/violence, opinion leaders mostly play very important role in negotiating for peace (Olademo et al., 2021; Schliesser, 2020; Igwubor, 2020). If these very important people in our vulnerable societies are losing their integrity/respect because of “dirty” politics (Tholen, 2019; Fiske, 2018), what would happen if there is violence? So, I am touched by Prof. Ransford Gyampo’s open condemnation of some religious leaders’ involvement in dirty politics (GhanaNewsPage.com., 2021).

Our opinion leaders, like chiefs and religious heads, are also human beings with the rights to support any political party. But they are fathers to all! Even if they belong to any political party they must not be bias against any political party or their members nor any inhabitant of their communities. This is because they mostly resolve local disputes amongst people (Olademo, 2021; Dieng, 2013). Once inhabitants of a community know that they are politically bias, even if they neutrally judge a case, losers may still think that they have been victimized.

What Does Each of the 5Ps Stands for?

The First of the 5Ps of Life, Prayer: The 5Ps of life is saying that God is the provider of everything in our lives. Proverbs 10:22 says that it is the blessing of God that makes us rich without pains. So, no matter how hard you might work, without the divine favor and blessing of God, you can still remain the poorest person on earth. You can get this divine favor and blessing from God through prayer. God can also bless you and the blessing is withheld by some people or someone who might think that you do not deserve it. At this time, you need serious prayer(s) before you could be able to claim what rightly belongs to you.

Prayer is a communication (Allaboutprayer.org, 2002) so, as you talk, you listen. Prayer “requires preparation” (Lotz, 2017) it can also be said before, during, and after any preparation in life. The Second P which is Preparation can be done before and after prayer(s). We must prepare our minds; preparing small before we pray helps us to greatly benefit from that prayer.

“Prayer” is very necessary and is needed in the life of every human being, depending on his/her faith, right from the time of thinking to conceive (be pregnant) (Chinedum, 2018), during pregnancy (Regoli, 2020; Hodges, 2018), throughout life (Sweat, 2013), and after death (Anderson & De Souza, 2021; Cheraghi et al., 2019). It can be used as a form of stress management strategy especially amongst certain professional groups like nurses (Cain, 2019) too, and so on.

The Second P of Life, Preparation: “Preparation” which is peace (Niriwa d., 2020; Niriwa a. B., 2020) and is very important in our lives; is needed before, during and after we finished praying. After every prayer, we must prepare ourselves for what we prayed for. From life’s experience and (Graham, 2016; Graham a., 2007), “patience and faith” are your ability to wait “upon God”, and this is why the Holy Bible associates the patience of the saints to their “faith” (Revelation, 13:10. KJV. 1611.). We do not rush to pray: we need to patiently prepare before, during, and after prayers. So, the third P (Patience) comes in before and after you have finished praying; and is preparing yourself to receive answers from God. During every preparation in life, there might be the need for you to wait. But, “Waiting is hard work, and, at times, can test our faith” (Green, 2017).

The Third P of Life, Patience: Waiting patiently for God to answer your prayers is one of the best preparation one can make: your waiting period can be likened to when you listen after talking, during communication. If you cannot listen, there is no need to talk. Likewise, if you cannot wait for God to answer your prayer(s); then you need not pray. In prayer, your waiting time is your listening and preparation time. It is also good for your health since being too anxious or hopeless can lead to depression and other diseases like insomnia, mental illness or cardiac arrest (WHO, 2020; Assari & Lankarani, 2016).

The Fourth P of Life, Praise or Prayers of Thanksgiving: Ten (10) lepers who were suffering were healed by Jesus but only one (1) of them was grateful and went back to thank God for His healing mercy. Jesus was astonished at his behavior; but at the same time, he was sad that the remaining nine (9) could not come (Luke a. , 17:12-18. KJV. 1611). So, Jesus asked this question to register his displeasure in Luke 17:17 saying: “… Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”

Even the comment that Jesus passed: “There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger” (Luke 17:18) confirmed that he was not happy with their ungratefulness. Thanksgiving (the 4th P) is very important in our lives as believers; it is an expression of faith that draws us closer to God for more blessings.

The Fifth P of Life, PEACE: Once God answers our prayer(s), what flows is peace (the 5th P). Example, one who is sick cannot have peace as in the case of the 10 lepers, since a sick person is economically and emotionally disabled and maybe, a burden to others. Some sickness requires divine healing so that you can be happy again and be able to work to make a living.

Conclusion and Recommendations

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Fig. A. Applying the 5Ps of Life

Some people seeing others as competitors instead of as colleague strangers on earth is what mostly leads to violence. Political (Ghanaweb., 2021; Adamson, 2021), religious (Majumdar, 2020; Sule, 2015), and tribal/racial violence (Sule, 2015), discrimination or sabotage (Adam., 2013), xenophobic attack (Dailyadvent.com., 2019; Mbamalu, 2017), some mob justices (Dailyadvent.com., 2019), honor violence or murder (Dailyadvent.com., 2019; Dayan, 2019), stigma/intolerance (Brouwers, 2020), blackmail or victimization (Cauldwell & Bewley, 2018; de Vries et al., 2018) occur because of competitions. Ghana’s culture is eroded by politics where elderly people are insulted (Adizaawudu., 2021; Febiri, 2015), if our Opinion Leaders unite and speak against such, it can help save our beautiful culture for peace. Decent elderly politicians in Ghana are insulted as revealed by a writers (Adizaawudu., 2021; Niriwa e., 2021). It must be avoided!

For detailed suggestions or recommendations, wait for the book. Thank you for Reading!

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