Prime Minister Andrew Holness is calling on Jamaicans to use the Lenten period, which begins on Ash Wednesday (February 14), to pray for the nation.
“There are so many challenges facing our nation and, indeed, there may be challenges facing you personally. Pray; give thanks, pray in supplication. Prayer recognises the limit of man and at the same time acknowledges and is humbled by the awesome power of God,” he noted.
Holness made the appeal during a prayer session with members of the Cabinet and the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches today at the Office of the Prime Minister.
During the session, he delivered a scripture reading from 1 Timothy, Chapter 2 v 1-4.
Prime Minister Holness encouraged all citizens to use the Holy season to petition before God the desires of their heart.
“You may not know any special prayers, but the National Anthem is a prayer in itself. I encourage you to whisper that in your quiet time. You don’t have to know a special prayer to communicate with God. Let Him know your needs, your challenges,” he said.
“There are so many things beyond our control. So many uncertainties in our lives, so many fears which we have to face. Take time out to connect spiritually with God. Ask for His comfort and direction. Pray for protection against evil powers, for wisdom, for knowledge and understanding. Pray for the safety and security of our people. Pray for the increase in peace and productivity. Pray for the sick, infirm, and vulnerable among us. Pray for God’s blessings on Jamaica, land we love,” he further appealed.
Chair of the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches, Dr Elaine McCarthy, urged the prime minister and the Cabinet members to put God at the centre of their activities.
“In these days, leadership is a very challenging role, and… unless you allow God to be the central focus of what you are doing, then your labour will be in vain… . I want for us to make sure that we recognise that, except the Lord is in it, then we will have challenges as we seek to navigate through the business of the country,” she said.
“In your various ministries and carrying out your given portfolios and duties, I know that you need the Hand of God to direct you, so that you will be able to execute in an excellent manner the things that need to be done for this country.”
Dr McCarthy encouraged the leaders to continue to give of their best in service to the nation even when the job seems thankless.
“I want for you all to think of this fact, that ‘it is not unto man, it is unto God’. In spite of not getting the gratitude for what you have done, you know that your heavenly Father is pleased with what you are doing. I really appreciate all of you for what you are doing and the contribution that you are making at this time,” she said.
The Lenten season is a time when many Christians dedicate time to reflect on the life and sacrifices of Jesus Christ.
In observance of the period, many persons participate in fasting and prayer during the 40 days leading up to Easter.
This year, Lent will be observed from Wednesday, February 14 to Thursday, March 28.