The President of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, declared Jesus Christ as the Lord of the country last week during their first national prayer breakfast.
Leaders from government, economic, religious and indigenous backgrounds gathered in Guatemala City to pray for their nation's peace and to have God as the center of the universe.
"Today we name Christ as Lord of Guatemala and we declare in His name that each of our generations will be generations that will live in a prosperous Guatemala," said Molina, according to Hispanic news outlet, AcontercerCristiano.net.
During the meeting, leaders were also encouraged to implement principles and values within their businesses, universities and neighborhoods. In addition, speakers, including Manuel Espina, president of Guatemala Prospera, an organization that trains national business leaders on how to foster developmental change within their community, asked leaders to embrace prayer as the sole method by which their country can succeed.
"As a civil society, Guatemala has a lot of problems, but more than problems we have opportunities. These are a chance for leaders to take on the role bestowed upon them to make this country different. Our prayer is for each and every one of us to take a stand and begin making a difference wherever we are planted," said Espina, reports Emisora Unida, a Guatemalan online radio site.
In addition to Guatemalan leaders, U.S. congressmen Robert Aderholt and Randy Hultgren were on hand during the gathering. Aderholt (R-Ala.) addressed the participants and commended them for beginning the national prayer breakfast tradition, an event that the U.S. has held since 1953. Molina expressed his hopes to continue the tradition as a way for Guatemalans to join in prayer for their nation's troubling issues while admitting that his country's social and political problems cause him grave concern.
Molina also spoke about his reliance on God as his strength and noted that violence is one of Guatemala's growing issues as crime continues to increase due to extreme poverty, a legacy of societal violence, and a weak law enforcement and judicial system.
"In the morning, it's hard see the news of how many Guatemalans died the day before because of violence," said Molina. "In those moments what gives me strength is knowing that I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me."
Guatemalan congressman Manuel Barquín, who attended the breakfast, said he will begin initiatives to declare August 22 as the official day of prayer for peace.