Honourable Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica
My Dear Wife Clara
Honourable Reginald Austrie, Deputy Prime Minister and Mrs. Austrie
Honourable Alix Boyd Knights, Speaker of the House of Assembly
His Excellency Eliud Williams, former President of the Commonwealth of Dominica and Mrs. Williams
Honourable Lady Catherine Daniel, Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs, Family and Gender Affairs
Other Ministers of Government
Honourable Lennox Linton, Leader of the Opposition and Mrs. Linton
Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps,
Reverend Father Nigel Karam, Dean of the Cathedral
Fellow Dominicans at home and abroad, good afternoon.
The preamble of our Constitution asserts that: “the people of Dominica have affirmed that the Commonwealth of Dominica is founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God, faith in fundamental human rights and freedoms, the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions, the dignity of the human person, and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed by the Creator.”
The Motto which appears on our Coat of Arms proclaims: “Apres Bondie C’est Later”, that is, After God is the Earth which means that God comes before power, before politics, before party, before religion, before wealth, before silver and gold, before everything.
On this National Day of Prayer, Repentance and Reconciliation, it is therefore fitting that we recall the preamble of our Constitution and the words of our Motto and that we make our peace with God the Almighty Father and with each other through Prayer, Fasting, Repentance, Forgiveness, and the Rededication of our lives and our Blessed and Favored Land to God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
As Head of State and as a person who has had a miracle in his life, I thank the Almighty Father to be alive today and for the privilege to greet you all, in the Most Precious Name of the Lord our God. I also take this opportunity to thank the Government of Dominica and the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Family and Gender Affairs for calling the Nation to this very significant occasion where we can humble ourselves as a people before Almighty God, the Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, seeking His blessings, grace, mercy and peace.
My fellow brothers and sisters, I humbly ask you to join me in acknowledging God’s grace and faithfulness towards us as a people and a Nation. This is evident as we look around and see the recovery of our natural environment and the rebuilding which is taking place all around us, less than two (2) years after the terrible events of September 18, 2017 when we thought all hope was gone. We acknowledge the invisible hands of our Lord and Savior which continue to hold us together and lift us up above our own expectations.
In Deuteronomy 28: 1-3 we are assured of God’s blessings for obedience to the Lord as follows:
“1If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: 3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.”
And in John 17: 6-8, Jesus prays for His Disciples saying:
“6 I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.”
Having regard to the verses of Scripture just referred to, I therefore offer this Prayer for the Nation:
Lord Jesus we stand before you today in our human imperfections, seeking forgiveness for our sins be it in words, thoughts and deeds. Lord Jesus, for the many times we have not acknowledged your supremacy in this land, notwithstanding our solemn pledge in the preamble of our Constitution, we ask for your forgiveness;
For the many times we as a Nation have neglected to acknowledge Your countless blessings and to show gratitude, we ask for Your forgiveness;
For the many times we have failed to put You first as stated in the Motto on our Coat of Arms, we ask for Your forgiveness;
For the many times we have not opened ourselves to serve, we ask for Your forgiveness; and
For the many times we have not humbled ourselves before Your thrown of grace and mercy, we ask for Your forgiveness.
Shower Your Holy Spirit upon us who are gathered here in Your Name. Just as you have enlightened the minds of the disciples by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, may you bless us and give us the gifts of the Spirit forever. May that same Holy Spirit direct and inspire us to work together for Your honour and glory and for the good of your people. As a Nation, help us to desire righteousness more than rights, and to mirror sacrifice more than selfishness. You know us well and You understand our flaws. Turn those weaknesses into strengths, bathe us with Your grace, mercy and peace, and open our eyes to see others as you see us with godly potential and value.
Heavenly Father as we approach the peak of the hurricane season, we call upon you and seek your protection from all storms, from the winds and from the rains, from raging rivers and rough seas, and from harm and danger of all kinds. Send your Holy Angels from Heaven to guide and protect us and help us always to live as children of light, now and forever. Amen