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Zion hosts first online prayer conference

Zion RC Community, through the Association of Catholic Intercessors, Zion’s Ministry of Prayer, launched a Year of Prayer for Trinidad and Tobago on the first Sunday in Advent, 2019. Prayer events would end in a conference at the same time 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, daily prayer events were done on Zoom and culminated in a virtual conference. The theme was focused on United Prayer, Restoration for Holiness in Trinidad and Tobago.

At 9 a.m., the faithful gathered online November 29, 2020 to pray, be inspired, empowered, and support the spiritual restoration of our beloved country. The programme was structured to include individual and group prayer for varied issues.

Valarie Walters guided the day’s  programme with praise and encouragement. The opening was done by Margaret-Mary Woods followed by greetings from the southern vicar, Fr David Khan and the National Anthem played by Jeremy Granado.

Youth expressed praise through the Dance for Jesus Dance Group and the Spoken Word on ‘Restoration’ was truly inspirational by Emmanuel Pierre. Mary Baptiste delivered the first talk on ‘Intercession for Restoration’. Baptiste called the Church to arise with a new determination in united prayer and self-sacrifice, to overcome evil and empower persons experiencing sin and brokenness in our nation. The Church, sharing in Christ’s priesthood, must be totally dependent on the Holy Spirit.

Archbishop Jason Gordon delivered the inspiring and challenging feature address on ‘Restoration for Holiness in Trinidad and Tobago’. He explored the meaning of restoration: the return of human persons to bring about God’s plan of salvation. Communion with God in Eden before the choice for sin was noted.  Considering Advent, the Archbishop called the Church “to stay awake” to the voice of God and to do His Will. True restoration is dependent on us, bending our will to God in order that the ‘kinks’ in our life can be straightened out making space for God’s grace to flow.

Fr Urban Hudlin OP and three intercessors, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament led a moving time of healing. Mary Hudlin and Mary Baptiste prayed fervently, seeking the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit for prayer ministry and personal and societal restoration. Empowered for service!

The afternoon session led by Anthony Rawlins opened with a panel led by Dr Peter Timothy and Fr Hudlin. They responded to questions regarding ways to foster restoration in conflicts, atheism, multireligious situations and unfaithfulness.

Family issues were central. The urgent need for honesty, united prayer and counselling or spiritual guidance by trained and mature Christians were stressed. The ten workshops all focused on key areas for restoration; these were effectively done by trained graduates of Zion’s Gethsemane Institute, Taresa Best-Downes, and the Timothy family.

Skills for prayer stressed the use of scripture. There were breakout rooms which were interesting, stimulating, and new for some.

Fr Hyginus Ekwuazu led all in a prayer of Entrustment to the Virgin Mary, and Roger Mc Kenzie concluded with thanksgiving.

There were glitches at times in showing pre-recorded work, but live praise drew persons in deep prayer. Glory to God! —Zion RC Community