Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

Prayer of Encouragement for 31 October

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 31 October 2021 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers. Deacon Burton owns the copyright to this post. We reprint here with her permission.

My Brothers, Sisters and Friends, we are hoping that you are well but if not, please let us know. Just a reminder that if you or anyone you know is in need of prayer, please let us know. You can post your prayer request here on our website.

I have been writing about false prophecies in an incisive way by focusing on certain concepts. I wanted to consider the issue of manipulation and brainwashing. One may say that manipulation is a formally accepted word whereas brainwashing is a colloquial word used to describe a form of manipulation.

What is manipulation? This may be described as “Controlling someone or something to your advantage, often unfairly or dishonestly” (Cambridge).

What is brainwashing? Brainwashing (coercive persuasion) is described as “a systematic effort to persuade nonbelievers to accept certain allegiance, command or doctrine. It is a colloquial (informal) term used to describe a technique designed to manipulate human thought or action against the desire, will or knowledge of the individual (Britannica).

Techniques used are focused on controlling the physical and social environment. An attempt is made to destroy loyalties to any unfavourable groups or individuals, to show to the individual that their attitudes and patterns of thinking are incorrect and must be changed, and to develop loyalty and unquestioning obedience to the ruling group. The term is most appropriately used in reference to a program of political or religious indoctrination or ideological remoulding.

The techniques of brainwashing involve isolation from former associates and sources of information; requiring obedience and humility; strong social pressures and rewards for cooperation; physical and social punishments for non-cooperation.

When I thought about the concepts of manipulation and brainwashing, the encounter between Naboth, Jezebel and King Ahab came to mind. I sort of outlined it below in a different way:

The king’s (Ahab’s) offer, “Ahab said to Naboth, ‘Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden since it is close to my palace. In exchange, I will give you a better vineyard or if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.” (1 Kings 21:2, NIV).

Rejection of the offer, “But Naboth replied, ‘The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” (1 Kings 21:3, NIV).

Response to the rejection, So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, ‘I will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors.’ He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat.” (1 Kings 21:4, NIV).

The helpmate, the queen (Jezebel, the helpmate) queried, His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, ‘Why are you so sullen? Why won’t you eat?’” (1 Kings 21:5, NIV).

The decision explained, “He answered her, ‘Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” (1 Kings 21:6, NIV).

The helpmate’s response and promise, Jezebel, his wife, said, ‘Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.’” (1 Kings 21:7, NIV).

The helpmate’s execution of a plan to execute Naboth apparently without the knowledge of the king. So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. In those letters, she wrote: ‘Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.’” (1 Kings 21:8-10, NIV).

The people used for the plan: to execute the plan – “elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him“, ‘two scoundrels’.

The planned accusation and execution due to false justice; “Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, ‘Naboth has cursed both God and the king.’ So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death. Then they sent word to Jezebel: ‘Naboth has been stoned to death.’” ((1 Kings 21:13, NIV).

Do you see any manipulation in what happened? Think bout it, chat bout it. How would you react to it? Where would you find yourself in that story?

Let us pray:

Most Holy and Righteous Father, we worship and honour You, We magnify and glorify Your name. You alone are worthy of glory, honour and praise. We extol Your name on high. Lord, You are awesome! Hallelujah! Our souls bless Your Holy name. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, You are worthy to be praised. Hallelujah!

Lord, You are our hiding place, You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. You will instruct us and teach us in the way we should go. Lord, You will counsel us with Your loving eye. Cause it that we are not like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle. Many are the woes of the wicked, but Lord, Your unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in You. Cause it that we will rejoice in You, Lord, and be glad, You righteous.

Lord, we thank You for this another week, an opportunity to experience Your glory in our lives. So cause it that Your glory fills our lives through all that we say and do.

We thank You for continued provision, protection and peace. We thank You for Your mercy and grace, Your goodness and kindness towards us. Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ as individuals, families, communities, Churches, government, political representatives and our country as a whole asking for Your mercy and forgiveness. Lord, we have sinned against You and done wrongly in Your sight so forgive us, Lord. Cause it that we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all forms of evil. Let not evil rule over us. Help us to know wisdom and act accordingly.

Lord, You are the Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient God. Lord, nothing is hidden from You, everything is bare to Your eyes. Therefore we ask that You take every parish, community, organisation, institution, house, citizen and purge us of all unrighteousness. Take away hearts of stone, transform criminal minds to be obedient to your will and way, and cause it that You are glorified.

Lord, we lift up to You the leaders in our country. We pray especially for our church leaders, the Honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, Minister of Health and Wellness, Christopher Tufton, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Nigel Clarke, health workers and support staff, Minister of Education, Youth and the Environment, Fayval Williams; Minister of National Security, Horace Chang and his team, Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck, and the leader of the opposition Mark Golding and his team. We also remember the judges in our congregation, Paula Blake Powell and Grace Henry McKenzie. Lord, let not evil rule over us. Grant to our leaders the wisdom and courage to do what is in our best interest. Also, grant creativity and strategies that will help us to manoeuvre through these unusual times. Protect and continue to provide for us.

Lord, we lift up the G-20 world leaders who are currently deliberating on issues that are affecting nations. Issues such as economic status, financial needs, the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccinations, etc. So we pray for wisdom and discernment and that Your will be accomplished through the agenda that they have set.

Lord, we remember those who are not well, especially Deacon Loy, Sisters Nicole Evans and Kadine Stewart. We also present to You those among us who are on the usual sick and shut-in list, as well as Sisters Iris Lawrence, Merle Braham, Valerie Smellie, Mary Clarke, Cherrie Lee, Lelith James, Jennifer Nicholson, Virginia Muir, Marville (Cherry) Murray (Sister Iris Lawrence’s daughter), Janet Chen-Young, Joyce Bailey, Lucille Alexander, Jhada Graham, Cherrie Lee, Merlena Hartley Roberts (Sister Nicole Roberts Mother); Brother George Gabbidon, Brother Lloyd Trusty, Mr Alan Ashley (Sister Dawn Ashley’s father), Brother Danville Japp’s father, Mr Isaiah Japp, Mr, Delorn Dixon (Sister Rachael Dixon’s husband), Brother Cornel Richards and family; and any member or family member who is in need of healing and comfort. So Lord, grant healing, strength and peace.

Lord, we continue to keep in prayer Sister Jhenelle Black who has been pursuing further studies in Dentistry, in the United Kingdom.

We ask that You also grant comfort and peace to the hearts and minds of those people who are mourning losses of different kinds. Lord, have mercy and help. Help us to realise that we are overcomers and cause it that You will always be glorified in our lives.

In Jesus’ name, we pray with thanksgiving.

Amen.


Our Prayers of Encouragement are for everyone. Therefore, if you also need prayer or comfort, please contact us with your request. We would gladly share with you.
Grace Missionary Church is a member of The Missionary Church Association in Jamaica.

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