My fellow Bahamians:
As followers of Christ, we believe in the power of prayer to bring about change and transformation — in our lives and in the world around us.
On this National Day of Prayer, we come together to pray for God’s guidance and intervention.
We come together in repentance, and to rededicate ourselves to the path of righteousness.
As one nation, we share our anger and our anguish about the violence and crime which haunt our streets — but we also share faith that we can come together to do the Lord’s work, and heal our broken hearts and broken communities.
We know that when we align our hearts with God’s will for peace and justice –
When we unite our voices in repentance and prayer –
When we trust in God’s grace and his guidance –
We will see the collective strength of our faith.
However difficult the work, however long the night, the one thing we must never lose is our faith.
We must never lose faith in our power to make change, and we must never lose faith in one another.
This is not blind faith. It is faith in the love and mercy of our God, and in the courage and resolve of the Bahamian people.
So we pray, as King Jehoshaphat did when he faced crisis.
He sought God in prayer, and the Lord responded, saying:
“Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you…Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
As one nation, we stand determined to bring those who commit acts of brutality and violence to justice.
As in Proverbs 21, verse 15: “When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.”
We come together in prayer, so that we can turn the tide.
This is a battle we must win.
It’s a battle we can win.
But we must do it as one national community.
Our police and prosecutors and judges might be central to the effort.
Policies that provide opportunity, policies that address poverty, and guns, and drugs, and mental health – all of these are essential.
But as I know you have heard me say before — we still need parents and grandparents to create loving, safe homes.
We still need strong and virtuous men to stand up as role models and mentors, to offer the power of their example.
We still need neighbors and communities who care.
Just because the plague of crime is not easily solved, does not mean it is unsolvable.
We’re Bahamians. That means we’re going to step up, not give up.
And we know nothing is more powerful than prayer that is rooted in faith, and faith accompanied by works.
2 Chronicles: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land.”
My fellow Bahamians –
Together, with devotion and humility, we pray for the strength to face our trials.
We pray that justice is executed.
We pray for God to change hearts and minds.
We pray for peaceful homes and peaceful neighborhoods, in which none of our brothers and sisters live in fear.
We pray for the victims and survivors of violence.
We pray for God to strengthen their families and loved ones.
We pray for courage for those ready to walk a more positive path.
And we pray for the safety of all people throughout the length and breadth of our nation.
May God Bless every one of us, and May God Bless The Bahamas.