Launtia Cuff, Gleaner Writer
SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth:
WITH THE announcement that this year's murder statistics have already surpassed that for the corresponding period of 2012, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen said it is an even more crucial time for the nation to accept the need for God's help in tackling Jamaica's crime problem.
Up to Saturday, 1,026 murders were recorded as opposed to 1,025 for last year's corresponding period,
"Let us, therefore, open ourselves to be empowered by God's Holy Spirit as we go forth to reduce the high levels of murder and other crimes which threaten our social and economic development and the very future of our country," Sir Patrick said on Sunday during the 21st annual National Prayer Vigil held at the Sharon Baptist Church in Santa Cruz.
He added: "There are many aspects of national life which need fixing, and these cannot be fixed by mere human hands, but by the right hand of God."
"Some may question the wisdom of a prayer vigil for the nation when our problems and social ills aren't abated. Some cynically declare that these prayers are ineffective, and that our time would be better spent working on solutions. Others believe God is not hearing our prayers because of the iniquity which is widespread in our nation, but I say to you, let us not be deterred, let us not be diverted from our focus and our mission.
We, as leaders and citizens alike, must acknowledge where we have failed, and seek God's enabling and live in accordance with His will."
While imploring all Jamaican citizens to pray for the healing of the nation, the governor general, asked them to remember the people of South Africa in their prayers as well.
"In addition to sending a letter to President Zuma of South Africa on Friday, I want to take this opportunity to publicly express our support for the people of South Africa who are mourning the loss of the legendary and loyal leader Mr Nelson Mandela. We offer our comfort for his family who deeply grieve his passing. In tribute, I say his life of faith and forgiveness is a model and inspiration for all people of the world, especially leaders. Tonight, we pray also for the people of South Africa as we pray for our nation," Sir Patrick said.