Prayer of Encouragement for 14 November
Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 14 November 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, we are hoping that you are well but if not, please let us know. May God bless, keep and favour you along this journey of life. Just a reminder that if you know of anyone who is in need of prayer, please tell us. You can post your prayer request on our website.
You know, sometimes certain thoughts keep rolling over in my mind and in time I find that experiences (not always mine directly) become linked to those thoughts, and later a passage of scripture. Recently, I was focused on the way insects come into our homes mostly at night. I live near a lot of trees so this could be one of the reasons for that to happen. They mainly fly and are tiny. They also seemed to be of differing types that come during a particular season.
As I reflected on the way those insects try to enter the house, I am reminded of the way the forces of evil enter into our lives, especially when we have opened our lives as an invitation for entry, or we are at a point of weakness. This may happen through our behaviours, which are of so many different types. It could be saying the wrong things, using the wrong words, having the wrong attitudes, being angry to the point of committing a sin, doing the wrong things, or just saying or doing something in the wrong way although what is said and done are correct.
The timing is also critical because when we go through differing seasons in life, good or bad, the devil skirts around to find a way to get in and disrupt. I believe he works overtime and does not have to be paid in cash. Satisfaction is what he needs.
So, going back to the insects entering our homes. At times we have to put a mesh. Interestingly, where I live, the windows have mesh but the doorways do not have mesh so the insects enter through the door. The wider the door is opened, the greater the flow of flying insects. Yeah! The more we open our lives to the invitation of wrongful behaviours, the greater the entrance of evil. Just take a moment and think about it. The hard reality is that we have to face consequences for whatever happens.
As I continued in reflection, I am reminded of the way king Hezekiah opened his palace to the Babylonian envoys. The book of Kings tells us more about Hezekiah’s experience, which happened during the time of the prophet Isaiah’s ministry.
How it started: “At that time Marduk-Baladan, son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent Hezekiah letters and a gift because he had heard of Hezekiah’s illness.” (2 Kings 20:12, NIV).
What happened? “Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his storehouses – the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine olive oil—his armoury and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.” (2 Kings 20:12, NIV).
God’s response to Hezekiah through His prophet: “Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?” “From a distant land,” Hezekiah replied. “They came from Babylon.” (2 Kings 20:13-14, NIV).
The Prophet’s Enquiry: “The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?” “They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.” (2 Kings 20:15, NIV).
The Verdict/Consequence: “Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” (2 Kings 20:16-18, NIV).
One may say that Hezekiah opened his life to the work of evil by inviting the envoys from Babylon to view what he possessed. They saw it all and God allowed descendants to be negatively affected because of what Hezekiah had done. Some of us may say that he was proudly showing off. However, he paid a high price for his actions and his speech and caused others to pay along with him. Oh, God! Help us!
At times we open up ourselves and our lives knowingly. But there are those times when we do it unknowingly. I mean without awareness because at times some people may think that certain things are staring us in the eye but we do not see them. Aah! O Lord, help!
I am also reminded of what Peter instructed. “ Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9, NIV).
When I consider the foregoing, I am constantly reminded that we always need to be alert. But most of all we always NEED God to guide and guard us day by day. What say you? Think bout it, chat bout it, decide what you are going to do about it.
Let us pray:
Almighty, most holy and righteous God, we honour You, we bless Your holy name. You are worthy of all glory, honour and praise. We praise Your name, God. Hallelujah! Hallelujah to the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, as individuals, families, communities, Churches, government and our country as a whole, thanking You for sustaining, protecting and guiding us.
Lord, we ask that You have mercy on us, according to Your unfailing love. According to Your great compassion blot out our transgressions. Wash away all our iniquity and also cleanse us from our sins. For we know our transgressions, and our sins are always before us.
Against You, You only, have we sinned and done what is evil in your sight. So You are right in Your verdict and justified when You judge. Surely we were sinful at birth, sinful from the time our mothers conceived us. Yet You desired faithfulness even in the womb. You taught us wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse us, and we will be clean. Wash us, and we will be whiter than snow. Let us hear joy and gladness. Let the bones You have crushed rejoice. Hide Your face from our sins and blot out all our iniquities. Create in us pure hearts, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within us.
Lord, do not cast us from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from us. Restore to us the joy of Your salvation and grant us a willing spirit, to sustain us. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways so that sinners will turn back to You.
Lord, deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, You who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of Your righteousness. Open our lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare Your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it. You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
Our sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart You, God, will not despise. Then You will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous.
Lord, help us to forgive those who sinned against us and save us from all forms of evilous behaviours. Also, guard us from criminality of all forms and sever all forms of evil networks set up to destroy our families, communities, Churches, private sector, government and our country as a whole.
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 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. Lord, grant healing, strength and peace.
Lord, remember our youths and children who are so vulnerable. Dear God, protect, bless and favour their lives in every way. We continue to keep in prayer Sister Jhenelle Black who has been pursuing further studies in Dentistry, in the United Kingdom.
Lord, we ask that You instil hope and peace in our hearts and minds as we grapple with the many changes that life brings. Lord, have mercy and help. Also, help us to realise that Your love for us is endless and that we are overcomers. Be magnified and glorified in our lives, 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.