LEADERS from various religious faiths yesterday prayed for the protection and blessing of newly-inaugurated President Anthony Carmona.
The invocations were part of the Inauguration of the fifth President at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.
Fr Clyde Harvey, representing the Christian faith, asked the crowd to clear their minds and hearts "on this historic occasion".
"Let us put aside all that divides us. Let us think of this land that we love with all the positive energy that we can muster. Trinidad and Tobago we love you. We are your daughters and your sons."
Harvey thanked God for the succession of leaders and heads of state and the "living icons of national unity" and prayed that their good work continue to bear fruit "for harmony and peace in this beloved country".
He noted that Carmona is elected to follow in "illustrious footsteps" and thanked God for the gifts bestowed upon him. He also prayed that he be granted wisdom, understanding, "so that he may be able to discern each day what is right and just".
"Give him courage and patience for the difficult moments which will surely happen. May his love for his country and zeal in our service ever increase so that he may be for all of us a shining model of exemplary citizenship," said Harvey.
He also prayed that God bless Carmona's wife Reema and his two children and to keep them a strong and caring family, even as God protects them "from the scorching glare of public life".
Pundit Devindra Rampersad, representative from the Hindu faith, blessed the President and reminded him to place God first on his daily agenda.
"Pray that we live in peace with each other rather than in pieces," said Rampersad.
He prayed for the protection of the President and his family as he took up the mantle of responsibility.
"Never leave their sides, hold their hands and guide them," he prayed.
Imam Haji Abzal Mohammed, Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) first vice-president and representative of the Muslim faith, prayed that Carmona be blessed with good health, strength and prosperity,
"Help him as he takes up this mantle," he prayed.
IRO president Brother Harrypersad Maharaj prayed that God would bless, empower, guide and protect Carmona as he carried out his duties with equity.
He also prayed for the Prime Minister and her Cabinet, the Opposition Leader, Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, the clergy and other leaders.
Maharaj also gave thanks for all who had served before and prayed for the past presidents and other leaders to be blessed.-