Nicki Minaj is taking plenty of flak these days for her "Anaconda" song and all-out pornographic video—and well she should. Any song that chants about looking at people's backsides and otherwise opens up women to sexual exploitation is shameful at best. But I'm holding out hope for Nicki Minaj.
In late September, former Charisma editor Lee Grady penned a column called "Why I'm Praying for Nicki Minaj." In it, he acknowledged that the 31-year-old diva is a powerful force in rap music today. Indeed, The New York Times has dubbed her the most influential female rapper ever.
"But what intrigues me most about Minaj is her religious background," Grady writes. "Her mother, Carol Maraj, is a born-again Christian who found God during a traumatic time when her husband was abusing her. In a recent interview in The Christian Post, Maraj said her encounter with Jesus healed her marriage and gave her a ministry to women who suffer in abusive situations."
Minaj also claims to be a Christian, but her public persona—including her song lyrics and dress code—defies any definition of biblical modesty. Grady bemoans the fact that Minaj could have changed the course of rap music if she had taken cues from her Christian mom instead of her male counterparts in the rap industry.
"Let's agree with Carol Maraj and pray for a miracle," Grady writes. "If God gets a hold of Nicki Minaj, her music could be used to restore women's dignity instead of tearing it down."
I agree with Grady. Can somebody say amen?
Meanwhile, Pastor Larry Tomczak is praying for teens who listen to Minaj. As he sees it, our nation is at a tipping point. He calls it a meltdown and argues that, barring a transformative revival in our nation, our nation will not survive.
"I care deeply about young people. We have four children, four grandchildren and one more on the way," Tomczak writes. "I am passionate about informing and challenging pastors and parents to awaken to the cultural realities of our generation as we increasingly awaken to our desperate need for heaven-sent revival before it's too late. The future of our families and nation hang in the balance."
I agree with Tomczak. Can I get another amen?
I have no idea if Minaj or her mother read either one of these columns. But I found it fascinating that within a few days of these articles she was tweeting about prayer to her 18 million-plus Twitter followers:
"Ppl pray for riches. Remember to pray for wisdom," Minaj tweeted. One thing I know about God: If we pray for wisdom, He'll give us wisdom. Let's pray that she heeds what she hears.
Call me overly optimistic if you will, but that tweeted prayer gives me hope for Minaj and the teens who listen to her. I imagine Minaj still has a prayer life—and I know she's still got a praying mother. So, I join with Grady in praying for her, and I join with Tomczak in praying for the teens who listen to her. I pray that God will break in with wisdom and this rap diva will have a life-changing testimony all her own to share with her millions of faithful followers—a testimony that will turn hearts to God. Amen.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and author of several books, including The Making of a Prophet and Satan's Deadly Trio: Defeating the Deceptions of Jezebel, Religion and Witchcraft. You can visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.