The following are excerpts from a Filipino Community Internet forum.
Forum Member #1:
Sometimes I wonder if the Filipinos in the Philippines realize that each one of them must help solve corruption everywhere in that country. Do they really believe that the government will do it for them? Most, but not everyone in office, fought for their position to become rich and/or get the power to tell the more ignorant people what to do so later, they can easily persuade them to become corrupt.
The need for an honest government must begin from everyone's home. Then honesty will filter up to the government. The first thing to do is have the parents not only teach their children to be honest but show their children "how" to be honest.
Our prayers from outside the country may reach God, but do you think that God will answer our prayers if the people in the Philippines continue the way they live their lives? I will "not" stop praying for them, but as surely as the sun rises in the morning, God will not take each dishonest person there and make that person suddenly honest.
Each Filipino must take a good look at his/her morality and analyze it. If it does not meet God's qualifications to enter the kingdom of heaven, then it is time to change.
The government of the Philippines will stay corrupt unless the people themselves do something drastic to change it. A handful of people will not be able to do that. But with the Filipino attitude, "when you and your children are hungry, nothing else matters." And so the cycle begins... So what should we pray for?
Forum Member #2:
By her own admission, Gloria M. Arroyo rightfully assessed that "over the last decades, our republic has become one of the weakest, steadily left behind by its more progressive neighbors."
Forty years ago, we were only second to Japan in economic stature, and way ahead of Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand. Today, at our present growth rate, it will take us 30 years to get to where Thailand is today.
By the year 2030, our children will experience far worse conditions than what we have today if nothing positive will change in our country:
1. A population of 160 Million
2. Of those, 70 to 90 million (equivalent to our current population) will live below the poverty line
3. Our national debt is estimated to be at US$200B (compared to US$28B when Marcos fled, and US$53B today)
4. We will be competing, not against Thailand or even Vietnam, but against Bangladesh
5. We will be the most corrupt nation in Asia, if not in the world (we are already ranked 11th most corrupt nation by Transparency International)
The signs are clear. Our nation is headed towards an irreversible path of economic decline and moral decadence. It is not for lack of effort. We have seen many men and women of integrity in and out of government, NGOs, church groups and people's organization devote themselves to the task of nation-building, often times against insurmountable odds. But not even two people's revolutions, bloodless as they may be, have made a dent in reversing this trend. At best, we have moved one step forward, but three steps backward.
As a people, We need a force far greater than our collective efforts can ever hope to muster.
It is time to move the battle to the spiritual realm. It is time to claim God's promise of healing of the land for His people. It is time to gather God's people on its knees to pray for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation.
Is prayer really the answer?
Before you dismiss this as just another rambling of a religious fanatic, I'd like you to consider some lessons we can glean from history.
England's ascendancy to world power was preceded by the Reformation - a spiritual revival fueled by intense prayers.
The early American settlers built the foundation that would make it the most powerful nation today -- a strong faith in God and a disciplined prayer life. Throughout its history, and especially at its major turning points, waves of revival and prayer movement swept across the land.
In recent times, we see Korea as a nation experiencing revival and in the process producing the largest Christian church in the world today. No wonder it has emerged as a strong nation when other economies around it are faltering.
Even from a purely secular viewpoint, it makes a lot of sense. For here there is genuine humbling and seeking of God through prayer, moral reformation necessarily follows. And this, in turn, will lead to general prosperity.
YES! We believe prayer can make a difference. It's our only hope.
Today, we launch this email brigade, to inform Filipinos from all over the world to pray, as a people, for the economic recovery and moral reformation of our nation.
We do not ask for much. We only ask for 5 minutes of your time in a day, to forward this email to your close friends and relatives.
This is the kind of unity which can make a big difference. Of course, if you feel strongly, as I do, about the power of prayer, you can be more involved by starting your own prayer group or prayer center.
We have tried people power twice; in both cases, it fell short. Maybe it's time to try prayer power. God never fails.
Is there hope? If we humble ourselves and pray as a people, God will heal our land. By God's grace, we may yet see a better future for our children.
God bless and God save our country!
If we, the people, who are called by God's name, will HUMBLE ourselves and PRAY and SEEK God's face and TURN from our WICKED WAYS, then will the Lord hear from heaven and will FORGIVE our SIN and will HEAL our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Forum Member #3:
This message should be sent to the Filipinos in the Philippines so they can see how they are perceived by other countries. Their actions combined with our prayers will make a big difference. But our prayers are not enough. Someone has to do the leg work.
This year 2007, is crucial for us Filipinos because this is an election year and it is a great opportunity that God has given us to HUMBLE ourselves and PRAY and SEEK His face and TURN from our DISHONEST WICKED WAYS so that He will hear from heaven and will FORGIVE our SIN and will HEAL our land.
Four years have passed since that Cyber Filipino Community initiated the prayer movement (of which I too was once a "passive initiator" of topics). This year is God's appointed season for that prayer to start being fulfilled. And the one important factor for its fulfillment is this: that we must TURN AWAY from our WICKED WAYS -- from our mind-set of dishonesty that corrupts our nation.
The root of our society's corruption is our culture of dishonesty which has already been hardened by years of experience. From the lowest to the highest members of our society, there is a strong mental attitude to lie, cheat, deceive, steal, or falsify without fearing God.
Dishonesty triggers a chain reaction of miseries; from corruption to poverty to hunger to crime to violence to rebellion to anarchy to chaos.
Because of dishonesty, in one aspect of our society, we are entangled in a vicious political system that we find ourselves hopeless of being freed from. Consider our elections in our recent history. Can any one of us cite an election where there were no massive vote-buying and fearless cheating happening? In another aspect, how many of our businesses and citizens are honest in paying taxes? How many are not engaging in bribery? How about leakages in professional licensure exams, how many have occurred during the recent years? All these and many more are manifestations of our DISHONEST WICKED WAYS that we must TURN AWAY from so that God's grace can work to heal the miseries that our nation is suffering.
Forum member #2 said: "We have tried people power twice; in both cases, it fell short. Maybe it's time to try prayer power. God never fails."
The true power of a people to change a nation is in the power of their collective prayer, together with their contrite and genuinely repentant hearts pleading to God for the healing of their land. This is the true spirit of patriotism -- not any form of ideological patriotism.