Public urged to support ‘Jamaica Pray’

BY JAVENE SKYERS Observer staff reporter skyersj@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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THE public is being called on to support this Sunday’s ‘Jamaica Pray’ initiative by adding their voices in prayer for the nation.


The call was made Tuesday by the Jamaica Umbrella-Groups of Churches (JUGC) during the launch of the event at the Guardian Life building in New Kingston.


"On Sunday, July 31st, between the hours of 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, there will be a mass gathering of the Christian community in Half-Way-Tree on the occasion of ‘Jamaica Pray’. This will be a very significant historic moment as it will be on the eve of the anniversary of our emancipation as a people and we will gather to seek God’s face to our nation that is struggling to bring crime and violence and road fatalities under control," JUGC Chairman Reverend Cassel Dunkley told journalists at the press launch.


He said that the prayers will be directed at the youth, the family, the church, the nation, leaders and law enforcement agents, among others.


Dunkley said that, while the church will not lose its main focus to making disciples for Christ, it will be looking to God for empowerment by the Spirit which is needed for more practical and long-term solutions that will lead to a peaceful society.


"The afternoon’s activities, significantly prayer will be the object of the day, it is a mass prayer meeting as a matter of fact, it’s not a rally, not a convention…it’s a grand national prayer meeting and seven significant prayers are going to be prayed," explained Bishop Dr Alvin Bailey, chairman of the ‘Jamaica Pray’ Planning Committee.


"But before those seven prayers, there will be an opening prayer and closing prayer and the opening prayer will take the form of a prayer of consecration and the closing prayer will be a time of facilitating repentance and, of course, reconciliation," he continued.


Bailey stated that, while there will be choirs present, the occasion will not be about the entertainment but about solemness and a call to prayer and for prayer.


"Our decision to pray is in response to what we believe God is saying to us and we have read the scripture and we believe that the signs of our times and the nation cannot speak any louder than it has spoken. Those of us who know the God of peace should pray that the God of peace will bring peace to Jamaica, healing and reconciliation to Jamaica and we pray that God will hear our prayers," Bailey said.


In his remarks, Minister of National Security Robert Montague commended the JUGC for using its "considerable influence" to call Jamaicans to unite in prayer for peace and security.


"We encourage Jamaicans from all across the country, Jamaicans from all walks of life, of every religious persuasion, of every social and every political strata and colour to join us in Half-Way-Tree square. Let us make a powerful statement for peace and lawfulness in our country and take a united stance against crime and the criminals who threaten the very future of Jamaicans," Montague stated in his remarks.


"The blood of our brothers and sisters cry out from the ground, babies, children, mothers, grandmothers and the many innocent lives viciously taken away at the hands of heartless, cold, dirty criminals. It cannot be business as usual for any of us," Montague added.


The minister stated that it’s important "not to point fingers" as every sector of society has contributed to the problem of criminality and so all must be a part of the solution.


‘Jamaica Pray’ will be held in Half Way Tree Square and will see the roads in and around the area closed as early as 6:00 am on Sunday. Details about alternate routes and traffic changes will be made available before Sunday.

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