Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

Prayer of Encouragement for 10 December

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 10 December 2021 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers. Deacon Burton owns the copyright to this post. We reprint here with her permission.

Hi Everyone! I pray for God’s favour and sustenance in your life as you continue on this journey during these unusual times. May God’s hand of comfort and love permeate your spirit and cause you to transcend peace. If you or anyone you know has a prayer request, please let us know and we will include you in our prayers. You may post your prayer request here on our website.

This week I was driving in an upscale area and a sight stunned me for a while. You know, one of those moments when the unexpected unfolds right in front of your eyes. Yes, one of those.

The spot on the roadway that I was driving had heavy traffic and there was a set of apartments on one side of the road and mainly townhouses on the other. The side of the road with the apartments had a high wall. Low and behold, I kid you not, a young man who is probably about 30 something years old was standing with only a towel around his waist.

Then the unthinkable happened. He held the towel around his waist and proceeded to take off something from underneath it. A pair of shorts came out and he threw it over the wall of the apartment building. He was not done. His hand went back under the towel and he removed his brief. I am sort of still frozen at the moment. He threw it over the wall as well.

Oh, you thought that was enough? Oh, no! He removed the towel and threw it over also. Then he ran across the street into one of the townhouses, naked as the day he was born. At this point, the traffic started moving because the light at the end of the road changed to green. My mind is like, what just happened. I had to process that sight.

As someone with great interest in mental health, that was disturbing for me. I was thinking of the torment that he may be experiencing. Yet not only him but his family. I thought that someone may have been at home and not realized that he was missing from the house. I thought that his behaviour was modified enough for him to know where he lives, which is based on an automatic behaviour and not so much a mental awareness.

As I reflected over the last couple of days, I am reminded of the man who was mentally disturbed after being taken over by a legion of demons. Based on the account given in the book of Mark as I have outlined below, he lost his identity, his sense of being. I hear many people refer to him as legion but a closer reading helped me to realize that was not his name.

His name was not legion.  It was the name of the demons. I noted that there was a war for his mind that resulted in torment. He was not sleeping at night. His crying signified anxiety, and cuttings could have given rise to suicidal ideation and eventually suicide. Of course, no one wanted to be near such a man. So he was isolated and lonely in his experience though he may not connect with that feeling. However, depending on the level of severity of mental illness some people would connect.

Yet, this story showed us that the power and love of God, and that the mercy of God is so far-reaching that we cannot understand nor contain it. Have a look at the story with a different kind of insight. I put some of it below for you so read on:

How the mentally disturbed man met Jesus –  When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him.” (Mark 5:2, NIV).

His History –  “This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain.” (Mark 5:3, NIV).

The Impossibilities of Mankind – “For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.” (Mark 5:4, NIV).

The Torment – “Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.” (Mark 5:5, NIV).

Submission to the Power of God – “When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.” (Mark 5:6, NIV). Even demons submit to the sovereignty of God.

The Voice within the Man Spoke to Jesus (recognizing His deity) –  He shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!’” (Mark 5:7, NIV).

The Command, The Rebuke – “For Jesus had said to him, ‘Come out of this man, you impure spirit!’” (Mark 5:8, NIV).

Was there a loss of the man’s identity? Who was legion? – Then Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘My name is Legion,’ he replied, ‘for we are many.’” (Mark 5:9, NIV).

The Bargain from the Leader – “And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, ‘Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.’” (Mark 5:10-12, NIV).

The Option – “He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.” (Mark 5:13, NIV).

So as I continued in reflection, I am thinking that at times we give up and think that situations are too far gone. At times we try at length to gain a resolve but nothing good happens. I tell you something, at times the situation even gets worse. We wonder if we are wasting our time by trusting God to come through for us, to bring about a change. It can be a hard tussle.

Do you know what my approach has come to be? I have to trust Him anyway whether or not it happened the way I thought. The work of evil and the kingdom of evil cannot help me at all. I mean, it cannot help me. No way!

What happened to the man who was occupied with a legion of demons? How did the people respond? “When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.” (Mark 5:15, NIV). The man gained his right mind. He gained peace. He experienced the mercies and love of God and he was renewed. Wow!

It is a story that reminds me of the reason Jesus Christ came, to save the lost. What a beauty. So thank you, Lord God Almighty. I am extremely and eternally grateful to you for all that you have done. Think bout it, chat bout it, meditate on it.

Let us pray:

Almighty, most holy and righteous God, we give You all of the praise, honour and glory. We magnify Your name. Lord, God, we exalt Your name on high. Worthy are You, Lord, to receive glory, honour, and praise. Lord, we thank You for this another day, which gives us another opportunity to honour You. We are extremely grateful that You woke us up in our right minds. Lord, we thank You for Your continued mercy on us. Hallelujah!

Lord, we have done wrong in Your sight as individuals, families, communities, businesses, a workforce, political representatives, Churches, leaders, government and our country as a whole. We ask in the name of Jesus Christ that You have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy!

Lord, forgive all of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Create in us clean hearts and renew the right spirit in us. Out of the depths of our hearts, out of the depths of the earth Lord, we cry to You. Let Your ear be attentive to our cry for mercy. If You, O Lord, kept a record of sin who will stand?

Thank You, Lord, that with You there is forgiveness. Forgive all of our sins and help us to forgive those who sin against us. Let not evil rule over us but rescue and deliver us in Your righteousness. Turn Your ear to us and help us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all forms of evil. Cause it that Your kingdom come and Your will be done in our lives on earth as it is in heaven.

Lord, listen to our words, consider our lament. Hear our cry for help, our King and our God. For to You, we pray. In the morning, Lord, You hear our voices. In the morning we lay our requests before You and wait expectantly. For You are not a God who is pleased with wickedness. The arrogant cannot stand in Your presence. You hate wrongdoing, You hate lies and bloodthirst and deceit You, Lord, detest.

Lord, we come to You. In reverence, we bow down and worship You. Lead us, Lord, in Your righteousness because of our enemies. Not a word from their mouth can be trusted. Their heart is filled with malice.

Lord, there are those people who rebel against You, falsely use Your name and Your word. Turn their stony hearts to flesh and cause it so that they become obedient to You and not allow the works of evil to control them.

Lord,  let all who take refuge in You be glad. Let us ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over us so that those who love Your name may rejoice in You. Surely, Lord, You bless the righteous, You surround us with Your favour as with a shield.

Lord, we remember those among us who are vulnerable, our children, youths, the aged, and those who are at different levels and states of mental disturbance. So, Lord, we ask that You help us to be more responsible, compassionate and careful in dealing with them. Also help us to seek the right kind of assistance, provide the right kind of nurture and pray.

Lord, we present to You those who are trying to cause havoc in our country by killing, stealing and causing wounding. Take every criminal mind and heart and bring a transformation that results in peace and godly purpose. Lord, we pray for Your continued provision, protection and guidance in every area of our lives and that of our country.

Lord, 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, grant them wisdom, knowledge, creativity, strength, courage and understanding to conduct their work in the best interest of our country. In addition, help them to act with accountability and transparency. Provide for and protect them and their families.

We lift up to You those among us who are in business: Ewan and Maxine Oliver; Lanna and Desmond Bennett; Warrick Bogle, Carol and Leroy Blake, Marcia Leair, Robert and Bevelin Smith, Paulette Dixon, Kemorine and Karl Henry, Ava Comrie, Catherine Barkley and husband, Cornel Richards and family, Everton Lewis, Pauline and Mark Garvey, Brother Astley Hall, Maxine and Benedict Ranger, Melva Knight, Nicole Fender, Sharon Baldie, Karl Jones and others. Lord, cause it that they are sustained even in these deserted times and let Your blessings and mercy be upon them.

We also pray for the frontline workers connected with GMC. Medical Doctors: Asana Anderson Wilks and Rohan Wilks, Kahlete Falloon, Tina Kong, Vernon Jones, Leighton Logan, Emily Reynolds; trainee doctor (, Gabrielle Channer); Dentists: doing emergency cases; Dania Jones, Eleanor Reynolds; Pharmacists: Sandra Bucknor-Jones, Viveen Watson; other doctors and nurses from GMC or in connection with members and adherents of GMC who are working on the frontline (for example Dr Richard Reynolds) and their families. So Lord, grant them physical and mental strength. Also, protect them from all forms of diseases and fill them with extraordinary bowels of compassion as they carry out their daily tasks. In addition Lord, we lift up for Your healing and restoration those who are experiencing physical and mental hurts.

Lord, guard our thoughts, speech and actions. Cause it that we are careful to honour You as the only true God. Also, help us as we take this journey of life to understand the times. Lord, saturate us with Your peace and strengthen our minds in You. So hear O Lord, and answer in Jesus’ name we pray with thanksgiving.


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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