Pray to halt Ebola, Liberian president urges

2014-08-06 16:32

Monrovia - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called on Tuesday for three days of fasting and prayer to ask for divine intervention against her country's deadliest-ever Ebola outbreak.

"I call on all Liberians to observe three days of national fast and prayer to seek God's face to have mercy on us and forgive our sins and heal our land, Liberia, as we continue the fight against the deadly Ebola virus", Johnson said in a statement.

More than 300 Liberians have been infected by the tropical disease, which has been raging in West Africa's forests since the start of the year. More than half of those who have caught it have died.

The fast and prayer period will last during daylight hours until the weekend, the presidency said.

Religious leaders will lead prayers for "the spiritual, moral and physical restoration of the land including prayers for the elimination of Ebola", it added.

The period will finish on Friday evening, when senior religious figures will hold a three-hour service in Monrovia, which will also be broadcast on national television.

"We are calling on all Liberians to join in this time of true national repentance and prayer against the Ebola virus," said priest Jervis Witherspoon, who is spiritual advisor to Johnson. "We believe, in accordance to the scripture, that God will hear our prayer, forgive our sins and heal the land."

The presidency said religious leaders would also pray "against any form of witchcraft activity used to spread Ebola virus" and for health workers struggling to contain it.

The tropical virus has claimed almost 900 lives and infected more than 1 600 people in four West African nations in an epidemic aid agencies have warned is out of control.

  • Neil Henry Wood - 2014-08-06 16:42

    Like that is going to help. Lets also ask Superman to help

      Brian Howard - 2014-08-06 16:53

      Grow up man.How old are you ? 3 !!! You sound just as childish as our president.No wonder our country is in such a state.

      Chris Felton - 2014-08-06 16:57

      There is truth in Niels statement Brian. Prays will not help cure Ebola, no matter how much you wish it were different.

      Clint Warren - 2014-08-06 17:08

      Try education and western medicine, probably have better luck with those.

      Seek Anfind - 2014-08-06 18:11

      spot on neil.. lets face it people have being praying for god to cure HIV for years without sucess. . only a fool would think that this will be any different

      Amandlawhereto - 2014-08-06 18:37

      Neil, You should take Brian Howard's advice - it is really immature to believe in superman - Brian believes in grown-up stuff like how a talking snake can convince a naked women (made from a bloke's rib) to eat a fruit that can provide you with knowledge.

      Clive Pops - 2014-08-06 21:38

      Go away Brian. You are the worst fool of fools, because this disease has hit people who went there to teach them to pray, amongst others.

      DamnTheMan - 2014-08-07 11:45

      "You are the worst fool of fools" What does the buy bull say about calling people fools... Chopper

  • Reggie Vermaak - 2014-08-06 16:49

    Stop vreeting bloody bats

  • Enzo Ball - 2014-08-06 16:54

    Whilst you're at it, also ask him to cure cancer.

  • Euraw Birdman - 2014-08-06 17:05

    A space habitat is needed.

  • Grant Durban - 2014-08-06 17:06

    Of course it helps

      DamnTheMan - 2014-08-07 11:45

      It helps as a placebo effect... That's it. God never was!

  • Grant Durban - 2014-08-06 17:06

    Good luck with your life Enzo

      Enzo Ball - 2014-08-06 17:14

      Thanks Grant, but I think the Liberians need it more.

  • Seek Anfind - 2014-08-06 18:07

    AG GEEZUZ! !! how utterly PATHETIC! ! get off your @ss and DO something rather than sitting in a corner starving yourself hoping the problem will fix itself! !

      Aaron Rudduck - 2014-10-17 18:38

      You obviously have no idea of the power of prayer, and I don't blame you because you've probably never seen evidence of it working before. So I wouldn't knock people for believing in God, even though its obviously not your belief, because some of those people who are praying have seen miraculous stuff happen. Don't knock it until you know 100% that it doesn't work.

  • Phae Rayden - 2014-08-06 18:09

    Yes come on pray! This could be a global experiment to see if God exists for once and for all. Every Christian should pray for Ebola victims and let's see if the virus disappears at the end of the three days. Surely your God will listen to all his people pleading with him to intervene. If nothing happens, as we know it won't, who will admit there"s no-one out there? Only humans care and assist eachother. Drop the ignorant customs and embrace medical science, guaranteed the outbreak will be controlled.

      Seek Anfind - 2014-08-06 18:14

      lets ask for christian volunteers to be infected and then we can all observe the power of prayer in action! I'll bring the popcorn ( and a hazmat suit)

      David Allcock - 2014-08-06 20:56

      please are not gonna spread the message of emperical scientific method to uneducated god fearing supersticious masses...they are incapable of understanding may as well fart against the wind....but you may be able to spread the message of science if you dress it in superstisious normal circums tances i would not advocate this approach...but with a timebomb ebola virus ticking and spreading rapidly to possible global proportions.....any means to an end is worthy..

      Aaron Rudduck - 2014-10-17 18:40

      "Spread the message of Science"? David Allcock, it sounds like you're requiring people to need faith to believe in science by the way you just said that. Question... What if the prayer works? What will you do if it does?

  • Amandlawhereto - 2014-08-06 18:14

    Just one pair of hands providing symptomatic medical treatment to an ebola patient will provide far more assistance than a million pairs of hands clasped in prayer.

  • Vivian Harris - 2014-08-06 18:46

    Really?! That's your solution to end the deadly virus from spreading and killing others? Idiot!! If prayer helped there would be no cancer or war or is the God you praying to selective,,,Educate your people about the virus and how to prevent it from spreading and give them treatment!!!

  • Erna Westdyk - 2014-08-06 18:52

    I've got news for them. Praying has never worked and its not going to work now.

      David Allcock - 2014-08-06 19:48

      howdy my comment above.....prayer has a function in such situations...even if it is only motivational and psycological conditioning....a means to an end...a placebo....regardless of its truth it can be a means to an end..

      David Allcock - 2014-08-06 20:12

      does anyone really thinkvthat wearing a t shirt and shoutimg for your particular sports team makes them play any better?....yes? its nothing more ir less than a form of prayer.....motivation.

      David Allcock - 2014-08-06 20:22

      yes athietist...but what?.....would you venture to touch an infected person?....i would not....but i would stay put at home in order not to get infected and not to spread the virus......i would burn any bodies left laying in the street...right there where they fall....i willl not touch them....think of prayer in this circumstance as an advertizing campaign in a language/medium that people can relate to in order to spread the message of how dangerous this virus is to the ignorant mass....i make sense here ....and you know it

      David Allcock - 2014-08-06 20:33

      howdy my comment above.....prayer has a function in such situations...even if it is only motivational and psycological conditioning....a means to an end...a placebo....regardless of its truth it can be a means to an end..

      Seek Anfind - 2014-08-06 20:48

      @david. . is it not possible that it could also sell false hope? a belief that "if I pray" i will be healed and therefore don't need medical assistance for myself or family? let me rely on prayer rather than modern medicine. .

      faithless - 2014-08-07 07:47

      David, bad logic. Support is not prayer. Hope, best wishes and empathy does not require god. Think about what could be done if the effort put into prayer was put towards directly affecting the situation. Cut out the middle man! He's just in it for the money!

      DamnTheMan - 2014-08-07 11:47

      "regardless of its truth it can be a means to an end.." Fail...

  • Lucky Tiva - 2014-08-06 19:15

    Wow!thats leadership at its best.GOD bless your nation.

      David Allcock - 2014-08-06 20:03

      ah come athiest.....even though i agree with your basic thoughts....many people do not....and if this prayer thing is a medium that people relate to and it motivates and makes them aware and prompts them into taking positive steps to halt this very dangerous virus then whats wrong with it?.....can you imagine how scary it must be living in a village where people are falling down dead on the streets..... ....

      David Allcock - 2014-08-06 20:29

      haha....atheitist im not praying for anyone..whodo i pray too?....this athietist is not an argument about the existence of god..its a camoaign about spreading awareness of a deadly virus that is a potential to all of mankind....a few untruths along the lines is not so bad....a means to an end..

      David Allcock - 2014-08-06 20:33

      ah come athiest.....even though i agree with your basic thoughts....many people do not....and if this prayer thing is a medium that people relate to and it motivates and makes them aware and prompts them into taking positive steps to halt this very dangerous virus then whats wrong with it?.....can you imagine how scary it must be living in a village where people are falling down dead on the streets..... ....

      CyberMatix - 2014-08-07 01:36

      >>> can you imagine how scary it must be living in a village where people are falling down dead on the streets..... .... It would be more scary living in a village where people are falling dead on the streets while there are a lot of hungry people praying all over the place.

      Chris Felton - 2014-08-07 11:26

      Bless them with Ebola?

  • David Allcock - 2014-08-06 19:25

    praying and fasting is not gonna help.....ebola is not a supernatural is a virus....we understand the way viruses function...common sense methods of containment and hygiene will help you.....avoiding people will help you....burning the bodies and all infected materials will help you...common sense will help you...the only way staying at home and praying will help you is that it will keep you at home away from infected people...

      David Allcock - 2014-08-06 19:36

      but having said that....perhaps prayer will help...not in the supernatural sense though..and no prayer will not bring a miravle may help to focus and motivate every one to take sensible precations in order to beat this virus.....apathy is a killer and if prayer can prevent apathy then go ahead and pray.....

  • Michael McN - 2014-08-06 19:33

    That's all nicey nicey but what about three weeks of using soap and water thrice a day and a lifetime of constantly improving hygiene and health care services? God helps those who help themselves you know.

  • John-Phillip Saayman - 2014-08-07 00:49

    How about atheists stop complaining about religious people and get of your own asses

  • CyberMatix - 2014-08-07 01:15

    Of course the prayer will work, as well as it always does, but why the fasting?. Does God answer prayers better when the prayerers are hungry?

      Aaron Rudduck - 2014-10-17 18:53

      Are you familiar with the practice of fasting? Most religions do it because it holds a spiritual principle, but the Christian religion does it differently to all others. It may not be a logical principle, something you can touch, see or taste (excuse the pun), but the realm of the spirit is a place that doesn't work with physical and human logic. Most religions, and some Christians believe it as a deprivation of something they need to get something else, almost like a trade. But the Christian God does things differently. He actually wants you to be healthy and if He asks you to do the fast, it is for a specific purpose and will provide the ability to do it, to a certain measure. The purpose, for the God fearing Christian, is simply to take ones thought patterns and attention away from the daily routine to focus on the one who can give you the thing you are asking for most. It is to have interaction with Him, to have a relationship with Him that it is done. You don't have to just fast from food as most people do. You could fast from Facebook, any internet usage (that'd be a hard one for today's society) and anything else that may have become a crutch in that person's life. Fasting and praying has more significance than anyone will give it credit for. I always find it funny that the people who ridicule it the most are either afraid of trying or they are sold out haters of anything that is different to what they believe. Which one are you?

  • Jan Viljoen - 2014-08-07 06:59

    No homeopaths or quanta believers are standing in line to offer help. Why? Probably because they know they dont pack a punch. :-)

      Annette - 2014-08-07 11:18

      no, that's not it. I do not wish to see a cure against the Ebola virus! Let it run its course! In an overpopulated world it is a means of culling!

      Aaron Rudduck - 2014-10-17 18:56

      That's pretty disgusting Annette. To wish a gruesome painful death on those involved in this crisis is appalling. There is a better contribution you could have to this discussion, and that would be to not enter it at all.

  • Alfred Karius - 2014-08-07 07:00

    Everyone is commenting on the appeal to prayer to a god to stop the disease but the appeal to prayer "against any form of witchcraft activity used to spread Ebola virus" is even dumber and even more primitive.

      Aaron Rudduck - 2014-10-17 19:13

      What would you know of witchcraft Alfred? Witches and warlocks curse people and sacrifice not just animals but people and babies to perform sadistic dark rituals which harm people, or its to gain power. All that stuff in movies about witches and warlocks doing dark magic for good is a fallacy... wonder where that stuff comes from? I wonder why that stuff happens... could it mean that there also is a higher power that governs over everything? Interesting questions aren't they. Your lack of knowledge of these matters is showing. If you do know anything about the supernatural then speak up! If not, then hold your peace because its been the norm for their society to first go to a witchdoctor, for generations, rather than seek medical treatment if someone in their family is sick. That is why they're talking about witchcraft. It's real and is not friendly. It plays the "friendly" game but puts your soul in bondage. I can keep going if you wanna know more about the differences between witchcraft and a God who sent His only begotten son to die for you, to break the power of witchcraft from holding all of mankind, even you, so you don't have to experience its touch, sting or lusts. Maybe that's why you don't know anything about it?

  • Philip van der Horst - 2014-08-07 07:43

    I will pray for you, because it is a must as born again Christian. God is doing everything to humble us and for us to turn to Him, because He is God and we (humans) have gone too far. Every negative comment made, may God forgive you. Be for sure He will visit you or your families for speaking against His anointed. God have mercy on us all, because no country will be spared from His wrath.

      Alfred Karius - 2014-08-07 08:05

      I gather from your comment that your god is a male although how something outside of biology can have a sex is beyond me. I assume your god does not have male reproductive organs or even male hormones, so to give it a sex is simply absurd.

      Aaron Rudduck - 2014-10-17 18:58

      Alfred if you want to debate the specifics of God's origins I'd be happy to have that discussion with you. If your comment is just to react at someone who is trying to show you compassion in the only way they know how, then forget I invited you to that conversation.

  • faithless - 2014-08-07 07:43

    Rather pray to cure stupidity... Alas, the pills still have to be made.

  • Chris Felton - 2014-08-07 11:24

    @David. Clearly you have never played a sport where you have had supporters shouting for you. It certainly does make you play harder, run faster,concentrate more etc. Thats why they call it home ground Advantage. Do our national teams play better when they are in a empty silent stadium, or in a stadium with 60 thousand screaming fans?

  • Natasha Daniels - 2014-10-17 11:34

    Sorry Guys to break up the gloomy party here, But It really takes a whole lot more faith to believe there isnt a God.. Athiests love to come spread their negative gloomy religion on all the news sites. prayer works, prayer is powerful and I for one will be praying with the Liberian president. God is real and God is Good and He listens to those that pray in faith

  • Natasha Daniels - 2014-10-17 11:37

    Dear news page. why do you allow only the gloomy atheiest comments to stay at the top, if they have nothing positive to imput they should keep their negativity to one in the world needs more negativity

  • Brigitte Arbez - 2014-10-17 17:32

    BRAVO to this courageous President.Fast and pray change History. Fast and pray make History.

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