Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has encouraged Jamaicans to continue to pray and seek God’s guidance, even as they celebrate and reflect on the nation’s achievements over the last 50 years.
Sir Patrick, who was speaking at the 32nd staging of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast (NLPB), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on January 19, said this year must be regarded as a remarkable time of renewal, re-affirmation and recommitment.
“We have just installed a new government and we are 50 years old, so I think it is a grand moment, if only for these two things that we gather for prayer,” he said.
This year’s NLPB was held under the theme, ‘Jamaica 50: Reconcile…Rebuild…Rejoice’.In attendance were leaders and dignitaries from the political, church, academic and business communities. They included Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Andrew Holness, and Convenor, Umbrella Group of Churches, Rev. Dr. Lenworth Anglin.
The Governor-General said this jubilee year also provides the nation with the “wonderful opportunity” to celebrate and rejoice in its achievements of the past 50 years.
“Indeed, we have accomplished much, and most importantly, we are conscious that although the journey is still difficult, we have no fear for the future,” he said.
He asserted his belief that prayer and hard work are the key to creating the kind of nation that all Jamaicans desire. He therefore encouraged Jamaicans to continue to pray, even as they remain steadfast in overcoming the many social and economic challenges that they face. “I believe that it is the prayers of the faithful that have kept the nation of Jamaica steady, even as we cope with the challenging social and economic climate,” he declared.
The Governor-General reminded the many leaders present of their enormous and enviable role as shapers of society. “We must always, as leaders, remember that the people have given us their hands to hold. We should honour that confidence reposed in us. No matter how challenging and difficult the journey, let us give them the assurance that every little thing will be alright – that we will not release their grasp,” he said.
He also told them that as leaders of this present generation, they are tasked with the critical responsibility to make the country a place where people can feel safe, where people can work and share their lives with each other.
“As we move forward, it is my hope that we will more intentionally involve our young people in leadership and decision making, thus nurturing the next generation of leaders,” the Governor-general urged.
The NLPB, which is held under the patronage of the Governor-General, is held annually to foster greater unity in the nation, particularly among the nation’s leaders at all levels, through prayer and fellowship.
This event was first held in January 1981, arising out of the church’s concern for peace and justice, reconciliation and unity in the nation. The Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) has been sponsoring the event since 1985.
The NLPB Committee will this year focus on renovating the Glenhope Place of Safety, in St. Andrew, a section of which was destroyed by fire last year, from funds raised at the event.