Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and the Power of Belief
It is paramount for your well being to imagine God. Spirituality and religious rituals affect people’s psyche. That is what Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, the preacher, bestselling author and the head of the multi-million-dollar Christ Embassy, believes.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome life’s work spans the globe in the form of churches and academic fraternities. He has helped set up institutions where children are taught and given a chance for a better start in life. Pastor Chris, as his many followers like to call him, has a heart of gold. He often says that he was born and put on this earth to help people. And it is his mission to spread the word of Christ to as many people as he can the world over. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome believes that even a little belief is enough to change a person’s life.
How do spirituality and religion affect a person’s psyche and therefore his or her body? In the past, such questions were often dismissed as irrelevant or scientifically inaccessible. How should one check if faith helps? The power of science changes the way many academics think – the human mind is made up of many levels, and not all of them are rational and easily quantifiable – that is a claim made by more and more psychologists who have spent countless hours studying the phenomenon of religion on the human mind.
People also have senses and an active imagination. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome believes that even after two hundred years of enlightenment and scientific development that there remains something mysterious in human life that cannot be resolved. There is a need for spirituality – a kind of magical thinking.
Pastor Chris truly believes that rituals are incredibly important for the human psyche. There is nothing social without rituals. People are social beings. Rituals create community, they give order and thus security, and in rituals, one learns to move as one in one’s culture. It also works on the body and the senses. Getting together in prayer is the best way to connect with others and share in the power of God.
And that trust in a higher power relieves the psyche. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome knows that faith solves puzzles and that the belief in a higher power strengthens the community and offers protection to the people in the group. ‘Religion is demonstrably healthy,’ says Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.
‘Believers overcome addictions and anxiety disorders more easily.’ The good reverend knows how effective religion and the belief in God can be when dealing with problems. He gets his cue from God. However, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome never puts all of his eggs in one basket. He falls back on science to make his point. He asks the following questions:
- How do people deal with mishaps?
- How hopeful or optimistic do they feel when confronted with a seemingly impossible situation?
- What about their self-esteem?
If one believes in the evaluation of countless research studies on groups of people – Believers performed better on all these issues in the vast majority of studies. Even with severe mental illness, it helps to trust in a higher power – Faith can thus alleviate depression.
Above all, believers are better at overcoming addictions of all kinds. It’s easier for people to get rid of alcohol dependency with the help of God. Pastor Chris also believes that believers have lower blood pressure, a better immune system, healthier hearts – and they live longer.
In a way, it is understandable that faith relieves stress and that religion provides for an orderly life with its rules. Take alcoholics at AA meetings for example – they believe that they are powerless in the face of their addiction. They are confident that by putting their sobriety in the hands of God that they will ultimately prevail and remain on the path of sobriety. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome is confident that religious belief helps us with everything. He brings another example to make his point.
Imagine the end of your yoga class in the gym – you can lie quietly for a while and focus on your breathing. Or you close your eyes in the office chair and count down slowly from ten. Even children, who count sheep in their head while falling asleep, practice some form of meditation. Techniques to calm the mind by directing people’s attention to the interior are practiced in many religions and cultures.
At this point, many of you may think of cross-legged Buddhist monks. They meditate in an upright position in which they remain as immobile as possible, and in complete silence. But Buddhism also knows meditation while walking. Even in Christian monasteries, monks meditate while walking or practicing silence. In Sufism, an Islamic religion, there is the dance of dervishes, which has a meditative character.
Prayers also have a meditative effect. By speaking the same formulas and following the same sequence of movements in the form of the position of the hands, the knees or the bows associated with prayer, we free the mind and rid it of our problems. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists use prayer.
‘It is all about the path to enlightenment or better said our approach to God. One could also say: prayer is an outburst from everyday annoyance – a path to freedom.’ It almost sounds romantic when Pastor Chris Oyakhilome puts the voice to his words.
Meditations or relaxation techniques are proven to reassure people. The pulse and muscle tension drops when a person meditates. Neurobiologists have shown that people who regularly meditate also change processes in the brain. Some schools of thought even believe that meditation can also strengthen people’s ability to sympathize.
‘What you see with the eyes of faith is more real than what you see with your optical eyes.’
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome knows what he is talking about. He has believed in God all of his life. It is his mission and drives to share that belief with his brethren that keeps him going. It is the reason why he preaches to millions of people on a daily basis. It is the story of one man fighting for all of humanity, and he is confident that God will help him succeed.
Chris Oyakhilome (also known as “Pastor Chris”) (born December 7, 1963) is a pastor who is the founding president of Believers’ Loveworld Incorporated, also known as Christ Embassy. Based in Lagos, Christ Embassy. Oyakhilome’s ministry holds meetings in the United Kingdom and the United States, and has “healing school” sessions in South Africa and Canada.
Oyakhilome also hosts Higher Life conferences in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, UK, US and Canada, and organized the Night of Bliss South Africa event at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. Oyakhilome also operates an International School of Ministry, which held one of its Ministers’ Network Conferences in 2016 with 5000 ministers in attendance from 145 countries, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Oyakhilome runs an online prayer network using social media to send messages to Christians in several countries. He had over 1.2 million followers on Twitter in 2013, over 1.9 million followers on Facebook and operates a smartphone messenger called KingsChat. Oyakhilome is also the author of the daily devotional “Rhapsody of Realities”.
On Rhapsody website the “Rhapsody of Realities” devotional is only available for download in over 143 languages either on Apple or Android. Oyakhilome also hosts Higher Life conferences in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, UK, US and Canada. In 2015, Oyakhilome was given an honorary doctorate from Ambrose Alli University, and Benson Idahosa University.