JUST A THOUGHT: ‘In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.’ —Philippian 4:6
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PRAYER PROLONGS LIFE: A study conducted some years back revealed that prayer can help extend the lives of the devout, a finding that is as valid today as it was in the beginning.
The study was conducted among 4,000 senior citizens (65 years and above) who were also mostly Christians. They were asked about their health problems and whether they prayed, meditated or read the Bible.
According to the report, researchers discovered that relatively healthy seniors who said they rarely or never prayed ran about a 50 per cent greater risk of dying during the six-year study compared with seniors who prayed at least once a month.
The finding is but one of many benefits one can derive from the simple act of praying. Sadly, more and more people seem to have lost their connection to God. The daily dose of blood, gore, and violence that floods our consciousness through media is a sad commentary on how people have lost their faith in prayer.
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A WORLD AT PRAYER: The situation has prompted Archbishop Socrates Villegas, in cooperation with film industry leader Marichu Maceda, to launch a campaign through a series of short films, ranging from 60 seconds to three minutes, on the importance of prayer to one’s life.
Fr. Socrates says it’s time people were reminded on the importance of prayer in the light of too much violence obtaining in the country at present.
The campaign is hinged on the theme: “A world at prayer is a world at peace.” It was produced within five days on a shoestring budget of 400 thousand pesos only, given that industry bigwigs like Tony Tuviera, Jim Baltazar, and Rody Lacap (cinematographer) donated their services.
Fr. Soc initially requested Marichu to ask if Susan Roces would be willing to lead the brigade of praying stars.
Happily, Susan conceded, and she was followed by a big number of Filipino celebrities. The project rounded up 27 stars in all, representing channels 2 and 7 (2 and 7 equals 27, see?).
The result is a star – studded package of well-known actors and actresses telling the public why they pray and how it affects them.
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27 STARS IN PRAYER: There’s Vic Sotto, for instance, who says he never leaves the house without his rosary in his pants’ pocket. It’s all right, he says, if he leaves his wallet or cell phone at home “but not my rosary.’’
Alden Richards wears a rosary bracelet day in and day out. Many others are Marian devotees, Catholic in faith, holders of rosary beads.
The featured stars spoke freely, extemporaneously, without benefit of a script or professional fee. In an arena where many of their colleagues have turned to born again movements, their bold efforts to speak their truth is much appreciated.
Featured artists from ABS-CBN in the faith advocacy are Susan, Kim Chiu, Judy Ann Santos, Matteo Guidicelli, Maricel Soriano, Bayani Agbayani, Sylvia Sanchez, Arjo Atayde, Joshua Garcia, Julia Barretto, Karla Estrada, Melai Cantiveros, Coco Martin, Jolina Magdangal.
Featured stars from GMA-7 are Vic, Alden, Pauleen Luna, Maine Mendoza, Wally Bayola, Ryzza Mae Dizon, Baste, Eric Quizon, Dennis Trillo, Ai Ai delas Alas, Christopher de Leon, Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera.
Their testimonies will be aired on GMA, ABS-CBN, radio, cinemas, and various social media platforms starting mid-April.
The short film series is directed by Eric Quizon, based on a concept by Lawrence Tan.