In the Malacañang Prayer Meeting on March 9, 2015 at the Malacañan Palace grounds, the Members Church of God International (MCGI) lead the closing prayer of the special gathering.
During the open forum with President Benigno Aquino III in the same event, MCGI also proposed a National Prayer Day for the country and its leaders.
Regional Servant Bro. Danilo Navales represented MCGI Overall Servants Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon in the said meeting. Members of the Coalition of Christian Movements and the cabinet of the President attended the event.
“Despite feeling humbled, we are happy to be part of this undertaking,” said Bro. Danny in his remarks before the prayer. Bro. Navales also said that it is an honor to be part of a coalition that believes in the true spirit of Christianity and doctrines of the Lord Jesus Christ.
President Aquino stressed his intention of strengthening unity among different sectors amidst trials and threats of political and economic instability in his opening remarks. Quoting Martin Luther King, he said:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
During the open forum, the president also gave an overview of what factually transpired in the Mamasapano incident on January 25, 2015. It will be remembered that despite criticisms and calls for resignation from both the political and religious realms, PNoy accepted responsibility of the unfortunate event:
“As President and Commander-in-Chief, the responsibility for any result, triumph, grief, or tragedy that we may experience in the attainment of security and peace lies on my shoulders,” stressed Aquino in Filipino.
During the open forum, MCGI representative Bro. Diosdado Cobin asked the president about the possibility of a National Prayer Day.
“I think it’s possible,” said the president. However, the legalities of the proposition would have to be worked out considering the separation of church and state that the constitution states.
“The Executive Secretary is present, who is a lawyer, who is presently now [stet] drafting in his mind exactly how it will adhere to all the constitutional provisions,” PNoy added.
In the United States, an annual observance of the National Day of Prayer is held on the first Thursday of May designated by the United States Congress.
Understanding the value of prayer in people’s lives, MCGI launched community prayer schedules on media partner UNTV four times a day. In 2011, the Church opened a 24/7 online portal with an hourly prayer and songs of praise in between.
The Prayer Meet’s closing prayer led by the MCGI representative was dubbed by netizens as the “Prayer for Unity”, and included giving the father of the nation strength to lead the nation, and for all Filipinos to place the needs of others before one’s self.
“And we do believe that this undertaking can be the beginning of a mass effort for change, not only here in Metro Manila, but in the whole Philippines,” added Bro. Danny.
“We believe that peace is the key to progress. And this will bring justice for every Filipino.” — Pres. Aquino
(Written by Rigor Arellano)