Prayer for Leaders More Practical Than Condemnation

His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen (centre) witnesses a symbolic demonstration of National Unity between Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller and the Leader of Opposition the Hon. Andrew Holness at the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on January 21, 2016

 

Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen has commended the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee (NLPB) for calling the Church together in prayer for our national leaders rather than condemning and berating them. The Governor-General who is Patron of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee said that for over three decades, under three different Governors-General and with Victoria Mutual Building Society as its sponsor, the committee has called on Jamaicans to petition God for mercy and grace and for wisdom for its leaders. 

His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen delivers greeting at the 36th staging of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast on January 21, 2016 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel

“What I like about this group is that it recognizes that leaders are not perfect, so rather than condemning and berating them in the public space for perceived failings, they instead publicly pray for our leaders, he said.” “This is a model that can be emulated by all citizens of Jamaica and in all sectors,” he added.

His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen (centre) looks on as the leaders of the nation prepare to read the Pledge of Unity and Collaboration. From left: Major General Antony Anderson- Chief of Defence Staff, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, the Leader of Opposition the Hon. Andrew Holness and Commissioner of Police Dr. Carl Williams

The Governor-General also spoke of the misconception which references leaders only in the political sense.  He said the understanding of leaders should be broaden to reflect everyone who leads out in the public and private sectors; the Church, judiciary, security forces, media, educational institutions and the family, among others.  

Keynote speaker Pastor Glen Samuels exudes a pensive aura just before he addresses the audience at the 36th staging of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast on January 21, 2016 and the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

Sir Patrick Allen said that the theme for this year’s Prayer Breakfast: Righteous Exalts the Nation” is a reminder that leaders are to be a moral compass for the nation, as there is not a time when leaders have been under greater scrutiny and their mettle tested in the court of public opinion. He said also that some leaders should not be fair game for criticism, even by other leaders who attract some level of anonymity.  

“Sometime in the process, undeservedly so, characters are scarred and tarnished, which an apology long after, in fine print, or a parenthetical statement, which cannot atone for the damage already done,” Sir Patrick Allen said.  “We must all be gracious even when we are critical, and recognize that as actors on the stage of life we are all being judged. Therefore we have the responsibility to leave emulative footprints,” he stated.

In closing, the Governor-General expressed appreciation to all leaders who toil to give direction, model and mentor and hold the fort; even when you feel like giving in.  “When your work is not recognized nor affirmed you continue to press against the surging tides; keep the fence from being breached; identify the gaps and weak areas and strengthen what remains.”

The 36th Annual National Leadership Prayer Breakfast sponsored by Victoria Mutual Building Society was held Thursday (January 21, 2016) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and was attended by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Mr. Andrew Holness, Leader of Opposition, Cabinet Ministers, Parliamentarians, and a host of leaders from the public and private sectors as well as the religious community.  Donations collected at the event will be used to improve living conditions for residents at the Eira Schader Home for the Aged in Trench Town.