Not in control

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    THE social media has never been deluged with an avalanche of prayer petitions, as well as an unprecedented surge of thankfulness to the Lord. Daily, we desire God’s attention with hearts so heavy and laden, not unlike during the horrific Japanese occupation. The lamentable prayer habits from a life of complacency and comfort have suddenly been broken by a prayer chain that does not end. Friends and relatives who commonly abhorred prayers and family devotionals have warmed up to biblical verses.

    In 1986, no one seemed to take Pastor Dave Wilkerson seriously. He was the head of the LIFE Tabernacle Church in the US when he predicted the present pandemic.

    “I see a plague coming on the world and the bars and church and government will shut down. The plague will hit New York City and shake it like it has never been shaken. The plague is going to force prayerless believers into radical prayer and into their Bibles and repentance will be the cry from the man of God in the pulpit. And out of it will come a third Great Awakening that will sweep America and the world.”

    The second “Awakening” or Christian revival was started by the great Billy Graham in the early 60s and carried out by hundreds of Charismatics and Pentecostal pastors and missionaries in the US, in South and Central America and in Africa.

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    His unprecedented satisfaction ratings have turned President Duterte into the nation’s most formidable political figure that also decreed his control of the people. But, the real test of a leader is confronting and overcoming the real tough times when they come. Some political experts have warned that the social and economic consequences of this health crisis could be likened to the ravages of the Second World War on our country. And, for the first time in his presidency when he seemed to be always in control, the President is now unable to deal with the present circumstances that, he thought, have swiftly gone out of control. It is said that no one really is prepared for the worst.

    George Washington was not prepared to do battle with only 300 men left against more than 5,000 British soldiers at Valley Forge. He had started his military campaign in the Revolutionary War with 900, but death, sickness, hunger, injuries and desertions had taken it down to only 300 men. The overwhelming odds mattered little to Washington who did not spend the night sulking or playing with his troubled thoughts. He was down on his knees praying. And so, in the eerie and first light of dawn, Washington’s forces swooped down on a disheveled British army broken by drunken revelry the night before. The first President of the US would later tell the world that no one can govern a country well without the Bible.

    Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev threw away his popularity at home as a renowned leader by changing the world. After recognizing that the US-Soviet arms race was futile, he and US President Ronald Reagan decided to destroy a whole class of weapons that would have triggered a nuclear war. This was followed by dialogues on strategic arms reduction and a ban on all chemical, bacteriological and biological weapons. Without meaning to, he presided over the disintegration of the Soviet Union and its European satellite counties after declaring that people should choose their own governments. He became “a monument in his lifetime.” The Protestant President Reagan had confronted the “evil empire” with hours on his knees. He was the first US President to openly deride the Soviet Union and called for the abolition of its communist system much to the chagrin of the Pentagon and the State Department. Can’t President Duterte learn a thing or two from these great men of history?

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