As an elementary pupil in a public school, our religion teacher (usually a catechist or a nun) told us the importance of praying. We were made to understand that praying is an important aspect of our religious duties and obligations as followers of God. In fact it was even impressed upon our young minds that we need to pray together as a family of God. So here comes the slogan, “the family that prays together stays together.”
As president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is calling for respite on political bickering in the country so the government could address economic crisis the world is facing right now ranking Catholic Bishops on the other hand continue to call for a radical change and install a new government and corrupt free government. The president then turned to other “prelates” and her ever ready ‘prayer warriors’ for help. Last Friday the president and her supporters heard a midnight mass in Malacanang “concelebrated by a bishop, two monsignors, three priests and a reverend” as reported in the Sunday edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
According to the main celebrant, Bishop Emilio Marquez of the Diocese of Lucena , the main intention of the Mass was to support the president of at the ‘face of another destabilization problem’ to topple down her government in power. He clarified however that Bishop Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines was not really calling for a change of government now but on 2010. But Bishop Lagdameo during the forum said “the time to form a new government is now.”
The mass was organized by Mahal Ko Bayan Ko to pray for” peace, unity, and sobriety” and a safe and fruitful trip of the president to the United States this week to attend a UN interfaith conference. Some of those who attended the mass according to the PDI were Mrs. Arroyo’s friends from Mahal Ko Bayan Ko, Dominican and Agustinian sisters, parishioners from the Our Lady of Fatima Church in Galas Quezon City, and members of the AFP Officers Ladies’ Club. Other prominent guests were members of the lower house, Aurelio Gonzalez of Pampanga, Rachel Arenas of Pangasinan, Danilo Suarez of Quezon, and Ferdinand Martin Romualdez of Leyte.
Mahal Ko Bayan Ko chair Evelyn Kilayko is confident that president Arroyo can easily overcome any destabilization attempt against her administration. “ If there’s a talk of destabilization, our answer is of course prayers. Prayer is our best defense,” added Kilayko.
There is nothing wrong about people praying along with our leaders for guidance and enlightenment. In fact God instructed us to pray. Prayer is the only way we can communicate with God it helps us grow closer and more intimately connected with Him. Zechariah 13:9, “I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure, just as gold and silver are refined and purified by fire. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.” One reason we should pray is said in Matthew 26:41, “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!”
Prayer is very important to anyone who believes in God. It is through prayers that he can express the desire of his heart. But God is so powerful that he knows every intention that dwells in our hearts. God knows when we are sincere or merely pretending when we come to Him in prayers. We must remember that every prayer we utter in our mouth should be recited with much faith in our hearts. We should not be wearing masks when we pray to Almighty one who sits at the highest throne in the Universe. We can not pray for God’s protection and enlightenment when there is much lying, lusting, greed and evil found in our hearts.
To those who call themselves prayerful men and women of God, please remember what the Bible says in Matt. 7: 21-23 : “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
So, what are those prayer warriors in Malacanang apt too praying for national unity, progress, and stable government? Is it to promote the interest of the country or preserve only the president’s stay in power probably extending far beyond 2010? I wish to believe they were there to pray for to promote the general welfare and interest of this nation. And as patriotic citizens of this country are we not bound also to aspire on the same goals? With all sincerity I could say I am with them and spirit in praying to promote and preserve the interest of our people and government. But what about getting rid of massive corruption in the government, transparency, seeking for truth and justice against those involved in plundering the government, do they also have these things in mind? I would like to believe they do. I would like to believe the President, being a prayerful president, is also sincere in getting rid of corruption in her government thus having nothing in her mind but to see growth and progress in the Philippines. After all God can easily spot those who really keep His words in their hearts against those who are merely pretending.