Binding the Devil: A Speech Act Reading of Selected Prayer Points in Daniel Olukoya’s Prayer Rain

Olumola Victoria Iyabo


Some of the previous studies on religious discourse in Nigeria have focused on stylistic, discourse and impressive theoretical analyses. Despite the bulk of studies on religious discourse, it is noticed that the subject of prayers in Pentecostal churches has not been exhaustively treated by previous researchers. This study is therefore, a speech act analysis of selected prayer points in Daniel Olukoya’s Prayer Rain with a view to bringing out how language is used in the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries. The prayer points were purposively selected from the book Prayer Rain. Three prayer points were selected in all. The selected prayer points were subjected to a speech act analysis, using Searle’s model of the speech act theory as a theoretical framework. In the analysis, we observe that various types of acts such as directive, declarative, commissive and representative help to communicate the different issues discussed in the prayer points. These acts are deployed strategically to achieve meanings and affirm the illocutionary intention of the speakers. Further, the illocutionary force of the prayer points tends to be mainly ‘directive’ through either commanding, pleading, requesting or confronting. The subjects perform especially directive and commissive acts to show that they have authority over those forces that work against their progress spiritually and physically. The prayer points considered are laden with African cultural beliefs. Hence, meaningful interpretations of these acts in the prayer points would reveal the thematic profundity and pragmatic richness of the prayer points.



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