I do not know what difference would Malacañang’s call for a national day of inter-faith prayer on January 20 makes compared to the daily prayers that are being faithfully said by concerned individuals and the religious sectors of our society for the interest of this country and for the well-being of its people.
I do not know if God would allot special time listening to an orchestrated inter-faith prayer dubbed ‘One Nation in Prayer’, more than what is and has been being sincerely uttered by many already, especially after a series of killer disasters have struck our country.
Though a lot has still to be done in ways of rehabilitating the community and individual lives of the victims, the fact, however, that many of the afflicted are up and about, and even with smile on their faces, can be attributed to their strong faith in God.
In welcoming the New Year during the annual vin d’honneur, President Benigno Aquino captured the essence of what a Filipino is when he told his audience, especially the foreign diplomats, “Some of you have marveled at the resilience of our nation, a people who’s fate though challenged remain constant and only deepened. Our unbreakable spirit and ability to recover find root in our firm belief in a benevolent God who has the perfect plan for all of us. These tragedies tell us that despite all our efforts, we are indeed powerless without God.”
This is the part that bothers me because even in our quest for a progressive country, better future and improved quality of life for its citizens, we seem to leave it up to God still.
This was confirmed by no less than Aquino’s Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., when he urged all sectors, saying, “The National Day of Prayer and Solidarity with the theme ‘One Nation in Prayer’ is going to be held in accordance with the Filipino people’s recognition of the guidance of Divine Providence in our forward movement towards a more progressive future.”
This is short of telling the people that if government fails in delivering good governance and stopping corruption, thus stagnating the progress of the nation, as it has always been, that it has been willed by Divine Providence.
That is simply lack of political leadership.
Political leadership is about political power and the political will to use it and inspire even your political opponents with it, such that it will make a positive impact in the state of the nation and the lives of its people.
Calling for a national day of prayer is not enough to move us forward.
What is needed is a prudent exercise of political power by a political leader geared towards the holistic approach of public welfare and interest of the country.