The Seventh-day Adventist Ministerial Cell for the parish of Westmoreland hosted a virtual All-Night Prayer service from 7:00 p.m. on Monday, August 30 until Tuesday morning, August 31, 2021. With faith in God and confidence that “prayer changes things”, the twelve-hour long service was open to individuals within and outside the parish. The growing number of COVID-19 cases and the increasing loss of life in the parish of Westmoreland and across Jamaica was part of the reason for seeking God’s intervention on behalf of the parish and the nation in the specially called service.
The event included powerful seasons of prayer, testimonies, prolific and influential speakers/presenters from the West Jamaica Conference, Jamaica Union Conference and the Inter-American Division. Approximately 2,000 persons made up the live audience with persons from across West Jamaica Conference and the diaspora logging on.
Pastor Glen O. Samuels, President of the West Jamaica Conference, drew the attention of the online audience by a series of questions to which he provided the hope-filled answers through the Biblical example of King Solomon.
“Where do you go, when you don’t know where to go? Where do you turn, when you don’t know where to turn? Where do you stand when the ground beneath your feet is like sinking sand?” he asked. “For those who would question us, ‘Why pray?’ When it seems to them an act of stupidity,” he continued. In answering, Pastor Samuels noted that even Solomon, the wisest man who has ever lived, understood that prayer to God is man’s greatest assurance of answers. He referenced 2 Chronicles 6 and 7, which records Solomon’s extended prayer.
“We come to this platform recognizing that, ours is a Sovereign God, He reigns over pandemics, in good and bad times; He reigns when our songs are filled with jubilant notes and he reigns when the notes of our songs are sad ballads,” continued Samuels as he shared expressions of assurance of God’s sovereignty.
Frank Geneus, the newly elected Health Director of Inter-America Division, another of the special invited presenters, commended the initiative of the organizers.
“I consider this to be one of the most important titles that God’s children can bear, that is to be called ‘men of prayer’.” said the Medical Doctor. “I would like to commend you all for gathering tonight, because in prayer, you believe that the power of the Lord goes beyond anything we can do for ourselves, to confront the challenges of life that we have,” he added.
During his brief presentation to the online audience Dr. Geneus encouraged the listeners not to fear but trust in God and do their part in the fight against this terrible disease.
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“What the church needs to do to overcome this fear (of COVID19)?” he asked rhetorically. “Make sure to know everything about the disease...wear your mask, mingle less, social distance, and figure out what we are going to do about immunization.”
“However, the most powerful decision to make is to rely on God’s mercifulness,” added Geneus. “As children of God we are under the wings of the mighty God, so we should remain in prayer and trust in God, because he will be with us in the midst of the [pandemic],” he noted.
Also joining the prayer vigil was Pastor Everett Brown, President of the Jamaica Union Conference, who reminded the viewers that God has called the church to claim His power, especially in these difficult times.
“Tonight we have come to open up our hearts to God, to pray, worship and claim the promised power that God has bequeathed to His church,” declared Pastor Brown. “We have come, not to beg, but to pray. We have come to pray for Westmoreland...West Jamaica and Jamaica. For people who are distressed, who are in need of deliverance, for a people whose God is the Lord.”
Pastor Horace Locke, during his introductory remarks explained that they are “Seeking God’s deliverance [from] the COVID-19 situation in Westmoreland. We are really having a challenging time in this Parish and we believe it is time for people to seek God...man Can do so much and no more, but there is no limitation to what God can do,” he added.
According to the programme’s main host, Pastor Fitzroy Bailey, “We have the weapon, why are we allowing COVID-19 to destroy Westmoreland like this. We know what to do and that is to pray!”
Some of the other presenters included, Dr. Dudley Hosin, Health and Publishing Director, Jamaica Union Conference and Dr. Michelle Sterling, Medical Officer for the Parish of Westmoreland.