By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan
Oh, 2020. What a memorable year you will be. At the end of 2019, we looked forward to starting the New Year with a blast and we were hoping it would be one of the best years but now, we still have five months left and we can’t wait for it to be over. I must say that it is one of, if not, the worst years of the decade. The nations are not yet done mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic and in fact, in some nations, the worse has yet to come, but it seems like one tragedy after another keeps battering the world. At the time that the world’s hope is already up, believing that things will be better, another wave of challenge comes tossing. Can we still hope for the year 2020 to end on a good note?
The Philippines has now reached more than a hundred thousand active COVID-19 cases. In the midst of this battle, the country has already lost dozens of its premiere medical practitioners. Thousands of our frontliners, passionately working to fight the virus, are already exhausted, and are clamoring for timeout. What has made this issue worse is the news of the Philhealth funds being embezzled by its executives.
South Korea, though victorious in its battle against the pandemic, is facing another war. It has been raining continuously for several weeks now causing landslides and flash floods in several regions. There are more than a dozen people who died, many are missing and thousands are left homeless.
One of the most heartbreaking news that the world has faced this August is the explosion at the port of Beirut in Lebanon, killing more than a hundred people, wounding thousands, leaving many homeless and destroying the city. Seeing the videos and pictures of those affected had brought tears to my eyes.
These are just some of the things happening in different nations. Every single part of the world is facing difficult challenges as economies are crashing, businesses are failing, and many are dying.
But what can we do? When things are getting out of control and bad things are happening, shall we mope and lose hope? Shall we be angry at the world, be in despair and curse life? It’s tempting, isn’t it? But it is my hope that we continue hoping, that we continue living and keep fighting. When things are getting overwhelming and all I can see around me is darkness, I bow my head and kneel before the One who gives light and sees the bigger picture, the One who holds the world in His hands.
Here is my prayer for the nations. I urge you, whatever you believe in, to be in faith, to speak hope and healing upon this dying world.
I pray for wisdom upon government leaders to be able to make wise and righteous decisions in mitigating the effects of the pandemic and the different tragedies their nations are facing.
I pray for healing upon all nations and peoples – physically, emotionally, economically and spiritually.
I declare provision for those with empty stomachs and roofless heads.
I pray for togetherness despite being physically distanced by the virus.
I speak comfort to those who have lost precious family members caused by the pandemic, natural disasters and unforeseen tragedies.
I pray for joy be upon those who are in despair, hope for those who are giving up, and faith for are struggling with unbelief.
I pray for respite and peace for those whose souls are tired and restless.
I pray for grace to face each day, and for eyes to be opened to the many reasons to smile and laugh in the midst of gloomy days.
I pray for compassion to move, generosity to overflow, love to conquer and unity to reign among all nations as we all together face the challenges that ravage us.
I declare victory upon every battle we are and will be faced with.
The year 2020 is not yet over. All of us are already badly scarred and wounded. Our hearts are bleeding. Our hope is fleeting. But until our lungs are breathing and our hearts are beating, giving up will never be an option. We can continue to believe that 2020, though seemingly impossible, can still be one of the greatest and most memorable years of our lives.
This is my prayer for the nations.
By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan