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Gospel artistes call for National Day of Prayer

Published:Friday | July 22, 2016 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Papa San
Kevin Downswell
DJ Nicholas

The local gospel fraternity wants the Government of Jamaica to take a stance against the rising crime rate by "actioning" a national day of prayer.

The call was made by a few well-known gospel artistes at the recently concluded Fun in the Son event held at the National Heroes Park.

This is not the first time that a public cry is being made for the heads of the country to action such a day, but the gospel fraternity believes the time is right, given the gruesome killings happening in the island over the last few years.

The Sunday Gleaner, spoke to veteran gospel artiste Papa San, following his appearance at Fun in the Son, recently, and he urged the Government to look into the positive influence that such a day could have on the country.

"We must have a national day of prayer, we have to and we must start from the head, the Prime Minister," he explained. "Call a national prayer meeting, involving every church in every parish, every city, and every town. We must come together and seek God's face for this country and we should do that. If we can come together and pray, great things will happen for Jamaica."

Minister Kevin Downswell agreed with San, as he says the Government should move quickly to get the plans to host this life-changing event.

"I would support a national day of prayer and if that comes to pass, it would be the start of great things to come," he said. "The word of God says that 'if my people who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray', so if a nation realises that it needs to do a prayer together, knowing our country, that would be a massive step. Nineveh did that and God turned everything around."

Like San, Downswell also believes that the move should be actioned by the Prime Minister and urged Mr Holness to act quickly in bringing this massive prayer event to fruition.

"It should start with the head because that's where the greatest influence is and if the head kicks off, everything will fall into place."

DJ Nicholas also believes that a national day of prayer could be the turning point in Jamaica's crime situation, but believes that other countries worldwide should be seeking divine intervention as the gruesome killing occurring these days is not unique to just Jamaica.

"It's a world problem. It's just sin really getting out of hand," he said. "It's time for us Christians to stand up on the word of God more, believe the word more and try to be the light that God called us to be, to influence others. It's time for us to evangelise more."

He then went on to say that if things are to turn around in Jamaica, then the national day of prayer should be followed by Christians also doing other practical things to spread the word.

"Praying is important, but the Bible says, 'Faith without works is dead, so the practical part of Christianity is also important," he explained. "Praying is good, but I also believe in the practical part of Christianity. So we pray but I believe that we should also do everything we can to assist in making people's lives better. If we can go into the inner cities and help provide jobs or help a man when he is released from prison, then we should."

The entertainers also believe that the secular part of the entertainment industry should also throw their support behind a national day of prayer, as he says the effects of crime are being felt by everyone nationwide.

"You don't have to be religious to support an event like this, because crime affects everyone," San said.

While Downswell reassured, "If we act, God will react, but if we continue to resist and say, 'what one day of prayer a guh do?'. We may never know."

This is not the first time that calls have been made for the country to seek divine intervention as it relates to the country's growing crime rate. In 2013, the then Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting, said despite the best efforts of the security forces, the country's crime situation would only be rectified by divine intervention.