SVG gives thanks at 40 with National Day of Prayer
by Bria King
Chants of “Hallelujah” and “praise the Lord” could be heard in the heart of Kingstown yesterday as members of the public gathered at Heritage Square for the National Day of Prayer rally.
The 13th annual rally was held under the theme ‘Giving thanks at 40’, in commemoration of this country’s 40th anniversary of independence.
“What a St Vincent it will be if all our leaders get serious in the worship of God and bow down to the King of Kings!” Bishop Gilbert Porter said in the sermonette. “Picture a nation where all citizens and residents pray for peace onto the Lord God Almighty, it will be the eradication of crime and violence from our lands. Jesus is still the answer. The gospel is still the cure for sin.
What else can turn the vilest of hearts? What else can eradicate eruption?”
Porter encouraged the crowd to go to God in thanksgiving for all the things He has done and to apply the word of God to their lives so that the community can be positively affected.
“As we celebrate this 40th year, we give God thanks for what he has done, but we look forward. We must make an intentional decision that we will follow the Lord God,” he said.
Both Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves and Opposition Leader, Dr Godwin Friday delivered brief remarks at yesterday’s rally.
Gonsalves said there were many things to be thankful for, particularly since this country’s 40th anniversary of independence was a symbolic moment in history.
Linking the milestone to the Bible, the prime minister also noted that there were several symbolic pieces of scripture surrounding the number 40.
“This is a very symbolic moment. Now when we are blessed and there are so many things that we have to be grateful for and thankful that if we don’t say thanks for those blessings, we will sound as though we are ungrateful…We must not behave as though Almighty God has not given us many, many abundant blessings,” Gonsalves said.
The opposition leader, in his remarks, said that the nation must give thanks for the developments that have taken place in the country.
He also said that gratitude must be shown to the people who have contributed in all sectors to help build the nation.
“The national day of prayer comes at a critical time when we are confronted with crime and violence in our society. We have seen in the news and elsewhere, the incidence of serious crime, of violent crime, the sadness that has beset our country. There is also the incidence of sexual violence and …complaint of the rape culture that has developed in our nation,” Friday said.
He further said to church leaders; “I urge you to be our moral compass, to help us as a nation to chart a safe course forward. Let your churches, our churches, be not only our refuge from the storms of life but also a beacon shining brightly so we can see from a far where we as people must go”.
Along with prayers and words of thanksgiving, religious ministers and christian groups also took to the stage to pray for several other things during yesterday’s ceremony including national repentance, crime and violence, the health of the nation, protection from disasters and families.
The Harvest Bible Chapel worship team and the Bethel High School band also sent up praises in the form of song and the Cara Dance group also performed a special item.