Residents respond to call for prayer

Residents from all parts of Grand Cayman gathered in Heroes Square on Thursday, answering the
national call to prayer that Premier McKeeva Bush issued just one week earlier.

His concerns about the economic
recession and rising crime became the themes of prayers offered by various
church pastors through the Cayman Ministers Association.

In addition to the several hundred
people who walked, drove or cycled to downtown George Town, thousands more had access to the
event through live broadcasts by Radio Cayman and Love 103.1FM. CITN was also
on hand to record excerpts.

Pastor Al Ebanks, who was asked by
Mr. Bush to organise the devotion, said because of the broadcasts, it had been
decided the pastors would focus on separate issues in brief prayers.

Topics included relationships and
stresses within the family, businesses and employment, young people seeking guidance
in difficult times.

One prayer leader noted that people
were asking God to stop the crime – but God is not committing the crime, he
pointed out. People are. “Ask for strength to do what we must do,” he suggested.
People must co-operate with authorities and speak to friends or family members
who are doing wrong.

Pastor Felix Manzanares, featured
speaker, lamented a time limit. Maybe that was the problem, he said. People can
spend hours watching football, but they have only been giving Jesus five minutes.

The pastor did not blame
individuals alone for the difficulties these Islands
face. “If the church was awake in Cayman, these problems would not have
happened,” he declared.

Mr. Bush addressed the crowd
briefly, sharing his thoughts on the need for prayer. He urged parents to not
let their children forget about Sunday and Sabbath School, calling it the best
grounding they can get.

He noted there were calls for more
things for young people to do, but said there were many challenges for them
through youth groups and sporting activities.

“We have a good tapestry of
churches in these Islands,” he said. Thanking
the ministers for their participation, he exhorted, “I want them to continue to
speak out from the pulpits and elsewhere because people need to know every day
where we go wrong.”

Mr. Bush told the gathering that
when he needs something the world cannot give, he knows God is there to hear
his prayers. He then asked everyone to join in singing “I cast all my cares
upon Him”.

Members of the Legislative Assembly
and their spouses were then called forward for a prayer and blessing.

Pastor Al encouraged everyone who
could to kneel for the final prayer and many did even though the surface was
granite, concrete or brick.

He invited people to not only
continue praying but also become more involved in the community through good
works. To help, the ministers association is spearheading a campaign called “Do
Something Cayman”.

LOCALprayerSTORY

Members of the Cayman Ministers Association take turns leading the crowd in prayer from the steps of the Court House.
Photo: Carol Winker
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