By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
President Benigno S. Aquino III attended the 2012 Global Day of Prayer Saturday morning in Greenhills, San Juan City, underscoring the importance of prayer for national unity and progress.
In his message, the President said he gathers strength from prayer as well as the support of the Filipino people to faithfully fulfill the responsibilities of the presidency.
The President also acknowledged the importance of prayer, saying his family also resorted to prayer during the dark days of martial law when the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was imprisoned. Prayer unified the Aquino family during those difficult times, he said.
“Today we invoke the same power of prayer to unify, to remind us that despite some gaps in geography or perhaps even some gaps in age, we are all brothers and sisters in our faith,” he said.
“Filipinos are known all over the world for our faith, especially now that we are also becoming known for our initiatives to change our own lives for the better. After all, prayer is not simply trusting in God’s divine providence; it is also letting His divine providence work through us,” he added.
The President encouraged the people to always think that everyone is always in the presence of God, noting that prayer could help them overcome temptations, especially those in public office.
“Let us remember that the strength we gain from prayer is not individual strength — it is a strength that has roots from God, and from the people around us. And thus, it is this strength we can rely on as we move forward along the straight path – towards better lives for our countrymen and of those in the world, but also towards a closer, more prosperous, and more peaceful world,” he said.
Also during Saturday’s event, Christian church leaders, led by Dr. Hugh White, prayed over the President for his success as the country’s leader.
The Global Day of Prayer started in Africa in 2000 when South African Christian businessman Graham Power called all Christians from all denominations in Cape Town for a Day of Repentance and Prayer.
On May 2, 2004, history was made when Christians from all 56 nations of Africa participated in the first ever continental Day of Repentance and Prayer for Africa.
At a meeting of the International Prayer Council in Malaysia in November 2004, the invitation from Africa went out to the nations of the world to participate in a Global Day of Prayer process.
On Pentecost Sunday, May 15, 2005, Christians from 156 of the 220 nations of the world united across denominational and cultural borders for the first Global Day of Prayer. In the months following this day, Christians were overwhelmed by the testimonies of God’s powerful work in answer to these prayers, and in the years to follow the numbers kept increasing.
Global Day of Prayer has gained momentum in the last 10 years and has now laid the foundation to saturate nations in prayer. Last year saw even greater participation from many nations, cities, towns, communities, local churches and prayer groups. Organizers hope more people join the Global Day of Prayer this year.