Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 21 January 2022. Deacon Burton owns the copyright to this post. We reprint here with her permission.
Hi Everyone, God’s blessings and favour! How are you progressing? A new year, yes, but we continue in faith as led by our creator and God. Yeah!
Please remember, if you have a, let us know and we will pray for you.
I have been talking about the pathway that we take in life and my mind seemed somewhat stuck on that matter. You know, the thoughts are rolling down that path. I thought about Esther, the Jewish girl who became queen in a palace with a king who did not understand the ways and practices of her nation. Yet, one may say that it was a path that God had designed for her.
You see, as one garners an understanding from the scriptures, we could say that Esther was forced into the situation. She ended up marrying king Xerxes who put his queen Vashti away. Let us just say that Vashti was not faithful in obeying the wishes of her king (Esther 1). It sounded and looked like a mixed up, blender which many people would want to avoid. Anyway, the king’s advisors suggested that a search be made for a new queen. So the dictation of Esther’s life path began. Here is what happened:
The Proposal – “Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, ‘Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king.’” (Esther 2:2, NIV). “‘Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.’ This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.” ( Esther 2:4, NIV).
A Background on Esther – “Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.” (Esther 2:7, NIV).
The Search for a Queen – “When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem.” (Esther 2:8, NIV).
Favour from Hegai – “She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.” (Esther 2:9, NIV).
The Secret – “Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so.” (Esther 2:10, NIV).
The Monitoring Secret Agent, Mordecai – “Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.” (Esther 2:11, NIV).
The Process in Esther’s Path –
- Step 1- “Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.” (Esther 2:12, NIV).
- Step 2 – “And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace.” (Esther 2:13, NIV).
- Step 3- “In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.” (Esther 2:14, NIV).
At Last! “When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favour of everyone who saw her.” (Esther 2:15, NIV).
The Encounter – “She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.” (Esther 2:16, NIV).
The Positive Attraction – “Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins…” (Esther 2:17, NIV).
The Crown – “…So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.” (Esther 2:17, NIV).
It was a real experience for Esther, and an apparent pleasurable one, I gathered. Was the path chosen for Ether? Who chose it? Why let her take such a path? What was the main purpose? Was it to take someone from a rags to riches situation? Or was it about a charming prince’s rescue? Was it immoral? Was it unbiblical? What do you have to say? Think bout it, chat bout it. Let us get more into it next time. See y’ all.
Let us pray:
Great are You, Lord. Almighty God, we acknowledge Your infinite greatness. There is no one who can be compared with You. Your greatness is beyond our capacity to understand. We stand in awe of You. Oh mighty God, we praise You. Our hearts are lifted up as we consider Your power.
Lord, we thank You for waking us up each morning in our right minds. You are our shield, our glory and the lifter up of our heads. We set You before us because You are our right hand, and in You we take refuge so we will not be afraid.
Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ. We ask that You have mercy on us. Blot out our sins and forgive us, and help us to forgive those who sinned against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all kinds of evil.
Lord, we have been repeatedly bombarded by the activities of evil which have seemingly seeped into every area of society. Lord, we call upon Your powerful forces to identify, disconnect and dislocate every evil network. Nullify them, sap every bit of their resources and block their entrances and abilities to steal, kill and destroy. Let Your peace reign into our lives and over our country.
Lord, we lift up those who are back in school including students, teachers and administrators. Grant them wisdom and knowledge and the spirit of excellence as they prepare for life’s journey. We ask for Your favour and covering for them, especially those who are vulnerable. Lord, protect our children from the wiles of evil.
Lord, we pray for all leaders of our country. We ask that You grant them discernment to make the right choices, the wisdom to know how to proceed in the midst of the ongoing effects of the COVID pandemic, the courage and will to do the right thing and the resources to do it. 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, we ask for Your mercies, favour and blessing on those persons who are in business. So 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.
We also pray for the frontline workers who are in the medical and related fields. We ask for Your hand of covering and provision in their lives. Lord, we pray that You grant them uncommon strength and compassion as they pursue their daily tasks. We lift up those connected with GMC: Medical Doctors: Asana Anderson Wilks and Rohan Wilks, Kahlete Falloon, Tina Kong, Vernon Jones, Leighton Logan; Esther Reynolds, Medical student-Gabrielle Channer; Dentists: 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.
Lord, we continue to keep in prayer Sister Jhenelle Black who is pursuing further studies in Dentistry in the United Kingdom (UK). We thank God for the kind of break that she gets at this time.
Lord, we also remember those persons who are not well. Send forth Your healing power in every part of their minds and body that needs to be restored. We present to You those among us who are on the usual sick and shut-in list, as well as Sisters Nicole Evans, Kadene Stewart, Iris Lawrence, Valerie Smellie, 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; Brother George Gabbidon, Brother Lloyd Trusty and his niece Deloree, Sister Dawn Ashley’s parents and aunt, Mr Delorn Dixon (Sister Rachael Dixon’s husband).
So Lord, help us to face the challenges of each and grant us the desire to be grateful. Also fill us with Your peace and cause it that we feel the embrace of Your love, in Jesus’ name we pray with thanksgiving.
Our Prayers of Encouragement are for everyone. Therefore, please contact us with your request if you also need prayer or comfort. We would be so very happy to share with you.
Grace Missionary Church is a member of The Missionary Church Association in Jamaica.