Sat, 05 Apr 2003

The power of prayer

The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and global reaction to it, perhaps more than anything else, have dramatically demonstrated the rediscovery by man, at a time of despair, of the power of prayer.

Indeed, in times of peril and uncertainties, as the world has witnessed through television coverage, millions of men and women have sought solace in the power of prayer. Whatever their sympathies and religious beliefs, these people have sought and are still seeking intercession from the power of prayer in order to bring about a quick end to the hostilities before more die or suffer unnecessarily due to the unbridled egos of some selfish individuals.

In Indonesia, mass prayers, attended by hundreds of thousands of Muslims, have been organized to call on the attackers to come to their senses and spare innocents from falling victim to the calamity of a war that has already raged for about two weeks now. The majority of mankind has seen how powerless the UN, notably the Security Council, has become as the most trusted instrument of peace in the world so far.

Even before the outbreak of the Baghdad-Washington clash, the pontiff appealed from Rome to every human being, believing that there was still a heavenly administration looking after the earth, to pray for peace as man's last resort to avert the human tragedy. The pious man (Pope) undoubtedly believed that after diplomacy and statesmanship had failed, heaven might help rescue millions of innocent souls.

In the context of the Baghdad war theater, an American priest in the U.S. called, during a sermon, on his disciples to pray, to my surprise, not only for a quick end to the bloodshed but also for the Merciful to allow U.S. servicemen to find where the weapons of mass destruction were being hidden in the Iraqi battlefield. This priest has humbly admitted that resorting to the power of prayer is more effective and rewarding than waiting for coalition generals to unravel the mystery behind the failure of Hans Blix's mission impossible.