THE SERVANT GENERAL
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
THE POWER OF PRAYER
Indonesia proceeded with the execution of 8 convicts on death
row, mainly for drug dealing, but held off the execution of
Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina. The Indonesian government had
already rejected appeals coming from VP Binay, President Noynoy
Aquino and Pacman. President Joko Widodo of Indonesia had
stood firm, even under the threats of the Australian and other
governments (the gall and arrogance of these western governments
threatening their good relationship with Indonesia for the
sake of drug smugglers and dealers!).
not our government officials claim credit. President Joko
already rejected their appeals. The stay of execution could
only be a miracle, wrought by prayer of the Filipino people,
who are helpless against powerful drug syndicates and oppressive
do not know if Mary Jane will be pardoned or will still be
executed. We can only continue to pray and leave the matter
in the hands of God.
It was national prayer that caused this miracle, particularly
the Oratio Imperata by the Catholic Church in the
Philippines. This prayer tempered the full wrath of typhoon
Mekkhala (Amang) that would have affected the pastoral visit
of Pope Francis to Tacloban (it did cut short his visit there),
the devastation of which by a previous storm (Haiyan/Yolanda)
was the very reason he visited the Philippines. This prayer
also miraculously blunted the expected super-typhoon Chedeng
which would have devastated the country during Holy Week.
This prayer now is being invoked by the CBCP for peace in
of what governments do or fail to do actually contribute to
the darkness and evil in the world. Many top government officials
(or course not all and there are some very good ones) are
corrupt and are not public servants but only serve themselves.
The world is indeed under the dominion of the evil one. How
can we weak ones cope and overcome? Prayer is our primary
In my From the SG article on Synodos (Part 63), we
see the report of the German Church that found out that 42%
of German priests do not pray every day. No wonder the Catholic
Church in Germany is in disarray, with Church attendance way
down low, and some German bishops being liberals who want
to make accommodations with practices contrary to Church teaching.
is so important that it is the very first element in our CFC-FFL
covenant. It is also the very first element in the LCSC covenant.
Prayer is the foundation of our life in Christ, and for effectiveness
so it is that the first Christian community (the Church) established
on the day of Pentecost “devoted themselves .... to
the prayers.” (Acts 4:42). And so it is that the apostles,
the pastoral and servant leaders of the community, did not
want to get bogged down with handling the daily distribution
of food but wanted to “devote ourselves to prayer ....”
(Acts 6:4). And so it is that in the face of intense persecution,
the people of God “prayed” (Acts 4:31a). What
was the effect of their prayer? “As they prayed, the
place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled
with the holy Spirit, and continued to speak the word of God
with boldness.” (Acts 4:31).
is powerful! Prayer is essential to our life and mission.
But it must be fervent, heartfelt, humble, not self-referential,
desiring only what is good for God’s people and what
will give glory to God. Prayer must be a reflection of our
intense personal relationship with Jesus. We must be filled
with the Holy Spirit, but that means being worthy to be temples
of the Holy Spirit as we grow in holiness and imitation of
Christ. With such prayer, we are emboldened and empowered
to continue to speak the word of God, to proclaim the gospel
of salvation in Jesus.
Miracles still do happen. We look to the miracle of spiritual
revival in the Philippines and in all other nations, enabled
through the rapid and massive proclamation of the gospel.
every day. “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thes 5:17).