St. Maarten Prime Minister urges small crowd to stand in gap at sparsely attended prayer day

POSTED: 01/9/12 4:56 PM

“Our national identity demands that we sever ties and move forward.”

Prophetess Aster Allen calls St. Maarten to “sever ties with its past and follow God as it moves forward with its national identity” during her short sermon at Sunday’s National Day of Prayer on the Clem Labega Square. (Leo Brown photo)

St. Maarten – Prophetess Aster Allen has called for St. Maarten to “sever ties with its past and follow God as it moves forward with its national identity.” The pronouncement was made during her short sermon at Sunday’s National Day of Prayer at the Clem Labega Square, which was themed “Thank you Lord for watching over us, as we go forward”.

“In order to move forward with a national identity, we must follow God and sever ties with our past. St. Maarten has determined that inspite of all of our inadequacies, we will go forward. The number twelve speaks of government and authority… so our focus will be to bear them up in prayer for us to live peaceful and quiet lives,” Allen said.

The church leader called 2012 a year filled with expectation, trepidation and one where St. Maarten will “have to pursues its destiny.” She also said that while there are many criticisms, challenges and questions the country must rely on God.

“Our confidence must be based on God,” Allen said.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams called for the people gathered at Sunday’s National Day of Prayer to “stand in the gap for all St. Maarten” because of the rows and rows of empty chairs at the seventh annual event. The first to highlight the sparse crowd was Wally Havertong of the St. Maarten Council of Churches. The prime minister would then reply with the biblical phrase – stand in the gap – which means being the representative of others who are not actively engaged in a particular religious observance.

Wescot-Williams, herself a Catholic, issued her urging because of her belief that prayer is important for wisdom, peace, courage and as a weapon to “fight the ills in society.” She also sees it as a unifier.

“Today there is no separation of people or government or church. We are all one,” Wescot-Williams said.

In her vote of thanks Arrindell urged the public to be thankful to the nation’s forefathers, whose prayers have led to continuous peace between the Dutch and French side. She also urged people to not just talk to God, but also to spend time listening.

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