• Rev. Prof. J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu (inset) delivering the lecture in Accra
• Rev. Prof. J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu (inset) delivering the lecture in Accra

Prayer must be backed by pragmatic solutions — Rev. Asamoah-Gyadu

PRAYERS can only turn the country’s economic fortunes around if they were backed by time-tested pragmatic solutions.


Such solutions were suitable in dealing with developing economies such as Ghana, the President of the Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, Rev. Prof. J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, has said. 

Given the supernatural approach to religion, he said it would not be surprising to see charismatic leaders, preachers and pastors mobilise warfare prayers in the face of the current difficulties.

“Whatever it is, we have learnt a prayer cannot be used to miraculously bring a country out of its economic mess.

“Currency will be hit when prayer is not backed by time-tested pragmatic solutions suitable for dealing with developing economies like ours,”  Prof. Asamoah-Gyadu said at this year’s J.B. Danquah Memorial Lecture in Accra last Wednesday. 


The lecture, which was organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS), was designed to fit into Dr Danquah’s passion for intellectual study of the Akan religion, culture, politics, and by extension everyday affairs, including Christian citizenship.

It was on the theme: “Africa politics and the mystical realm: Religion and governance in postcolonial Ghana”.

Rev. Prof. Asamoah-Gyadu was speaking on a sub-theme: “Healing our currency: Prayer, the cedi, and the quagmire of prosperity in contemporary Ghana”.

The lecture also sought to proffer ways in which the importance of critical thinking and empirical approaches to national agenda should not be sacrificed on the altar of unbridled religious faith and activity.

The lecture, which was chaired by the Vice-President of the Sciences Section of GAAS, Prof. Isabella Akyinbah Quakyi, was also attended by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

Others were students from the Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, and the School of Theology of the Pentecost University College.


Prof. Asamoah-Gyadu used news stories and cartoons from the 2014 edition of the Daily Graphic newspaper which covered the use of prayer as an intervention by charismatic leaders such as the General Overseer of the Action Chapel International (ACI), Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams during an economic downturn, and said few months after that prayer, coupled with some interventions by the government, there was some recovery of the economy despite the media backlash over the action by the Archbishop.

He said similar problems the Archbishop prayed over seemed to have returned with more vigour, adding, “the country is having to deal with distressing images of pensioners picketing against the domestic debt exchange programme and resistance to other interventions meant to save the economy from further deterioration”.  

“God answers prayer and even tells us to “call on me on the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you will glorify the promise of God's stands”, but said it had never been a substitute for a deliberate, systematic and scientific approach to solving modern economic problems.

“That means no matter how religious we may claim to be, or no matter how forceful and authoritative our prayer language may be, with a thriving black market, international currencies, and the dollarisation of the economy, even among churches, not to talk about corrupt practices and underhand dealings, it does not look like we are serious about healing the country,” Prof. Asamoah-Gyadu added. 

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