Invocation delivered by retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban during the 88th birthday on June 22, 2008 of former Senate President Jovito R. Salonga.

Manalangin po tayong lahat. O Panginoong makapangyarihan, sinasamba ka namin,pinupugay ka namin, pinasasalamatan ka namin. Alam naming kasama Ka namin ngayon sa tahanang ito, ang tahanang pinagpala Mo at ipinagkaloob sa aming mahal na Pinuno ng Senado Jovito at Ginang Lydia Salonga. Sinabi Mo, O Diyos, na tuwing magtitipon ang dalawa o tatlo sa iyong pangalan, naroroon Ka at nakikiisa sa panalangin at hinaing ng iyong mga alagad.

Truly, O Heavenly Father, we celebrate Your presence in our midst today. By Your Holy Spirit, You are among us, around us, above us, within us, in our hearts and our spirits – – molding us, inspiring us, guiding us, empowering us, healing us, and leading us into Your everlasting kingdom.

Lord, you are our strength and our hope. In You, we live and move and have our being. We acknowledge our nothingness before You, and in all humility and sincerity we bow our heads, lift our voices and plead for these supplications.

Lord, we ask for peace and prosperity in our land, sagacity and integrity for our leaders, dignity and solidarity for our people. We pray for a nation of believers, where the weak shall be strong, and the strong shall be just and just shall be compassionate. We plead humility in prayer, unity in mind and mission in upholding truth and freedom, and forbearance in tirelessly toiling that Your justice be done in our country as it is in heaven.

We thank You Lord for providing us with the many things that money can buy, like the food we are about to partake, the nice clothes we wear, the beautiful homes we live in, the well-engineered cars we move around with, and the luxury of travel that we sometimes indulge in. However, we thank you even more for inculcating in us the essentials that money cannot buy like a compelling conscience that is sensitive to rectitude and propriety, love of country that transcends kinship and friendship, pursuit of excellence that is relentless and dauntless and moral courage to do what is right, regardless of personal consequences.

Lord, on the occasion of the 88th birthday of our beloved Senate President Jovito R. Salonga, we implore for a special outpouring of your graces and blessings on him. Bless him O Lord with a healthy body, a robust mind, a joyful spirit and a dogged endurance to lead our country during these troubled times and to point to our confused people the way to truth, justice and peace. Anoint him with Your Spirit that he may continue to emulate Your Son, Jesus Christ, humble, upright, obedient and faithful to Your word and Your will. Grant him many more years of loyal service to You, to our people and to his family.

Lord, we also pray for the victims of typhoon “Frank” that is lashing our country at present, especially the ill-fated passengers of “M.V. Princess of the Star” that sunk off the coast of Romblon yesterday. Give the survivors comfort and healing and grant eternal rest to those who unfortunately passed away.

All these, we devoutly ask in the name of Your Son Jesus, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

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