Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 24 October 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, please let us know and we will include you in our prayers. You may post your on our website.
I spoke recently about human sacrifice and promised to discuss the issue of false prophecies, ideologies and behaviours. I will start by giving a brief understanding of ideology. The concept is more political in theoretical explanations and applications. I noticed that the narratives mainly focused on political systems and social implications also in theory and practice.
The definitions say:
An ideology is “Any wide-ranging system of beliefs, ways of thought, and categories that provide the foundation of programmes of political and social action (Oxford); “A system of beliefs or theories, usually political, held by an individual or a group, for example, capitalism and socialism (Dictionary.com).
Philosophy is a system that derives ideas exclusively from sensations. It studies the nature and origins of ideas (Dictionary.com).
A behaviour can be described as an act or conduct to oneself or others. A behaviour can be adaptive or maladaptive. So the process it takes will impact a person’s disposition. A particular behaviour may emerge from a belief, which at times may go against or support it.
One could say that there is a fundamental distinction between an ideology and a behaviour; a philosophy and a behaviour. If we start with a thought, that thought can become a belief; the belief may result in a particular behaviour and the behaviour result in consequences (Ellis’ ABC Model). Ideology and philosophy are more inclined to form the basis and beliefs of systems from which policies and expected behaviours emerge.
Ideology may be impacted by individualism, resulting in bias and giving rise to self-glorification. This may lead to a person being morphed into and seen as a particular type because of the ideas and logic posited and form the foundation and basis of organizations and institutions. Some people may be seen as heroes to be worshipped or what some people call intellectual cults. The theories and policies of such groups are therefore guided by certain perspectives that are based on philosophies that have emerged from an individual or collective. They are protected by their believers whether or not they contradict or support human rights and the sanctity of life, social norms, and expectation. In extreme cases, they protect with all means.
Therefore, it is extremely critical for the followers of Christ to know and understand our beliefs; to conduct ourselves in ways that support such beliefs. Almighty God has given us His word (the Bible) as our guide and access to Him through prayers, dreams, visions etc. This access was very clear through the love that our God demonstrated when He sent His only Son to be a sacrifice for our sins so no more blood sacrifice is required.
Yet there are groups of people popping up with all sorts of ideas as to who God is and what He requires. Some of them start out with what they call a church but the aim is to attract, subdue and attack, to isolate, disguise and deceive people into beliefs and behaviours that are detrimental to their existence. We are told by Matthew that, “and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” (Matthew 24:11, NIV).
Paul said some things to Timothy that seemed harsh but true. He said, “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:1-7, NIV).
Wow, a mouthful! One could say that Paul was giving an insight into certain behaviours that Timothy and others should be alerted to these things, as people who chose to serve the true God.
Paul also spoke of philosophies. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8, NIV).
Paul was concerned about the soundness of doctrines and encouraged the believer of Christ to “Preach the word. Be prepared in season and out of season. Correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations. Endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:2-5, NIV).
John also encouraged the believer as it relates to the importance of the scriptures. “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about Me.” (John 5:39, NIV). “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32, NIV).
You know, there is more to say so we will pick up from here next time. In the meantime, think bout it, chat bout it, and decide what you are going to do about it.
Let us pray:
Almighty, Most Holy and Righteous God, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, thanking You for this a new week, that gives us an opportunity to once again praise and glorify Your name. We praise You Lord. We extol You with all of our hearts. Great are Your works, O Lord. They are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are Your deeds, and Your righteousness endures forever. You have caused Your wonders to be remembered. Great are You, Lord.
Lord, You are compassionate and gracious, abounding in love. You do not always accuse, nor do You harbour Your anger forever. You do not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth so far have You removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so You have compassion on us. Thank You, Lord.
Lord, as individuals, families, communities, Churches, private sector, government and a country as a whole we are grateful for Your guiding hand of mercy over us and in our lives. We thank You for our provisions. We thank You also for deliverance and protection.
Lord, out of the depths of our hearts and the recesses of our minds, we ask for Your continued mercy, cleansing and forgiveness of all our transgressions and iniquities. Let not evil dominate our lives. Lead us not into temptation but deliver and guide us from all evil. Cause it that Your glory is seen in our lives.
Lord, we present to You the Church in our country and throughout the world. Help us to maintain our beliefs and not lose sight of who we are and who we represent, as Your bride. Cause it that we understand the times and not be led by the philosophies of humankind. Instead, let us know and act in true wisdom and with bowels of compassion. Lord, strengthen the body of Your church because the gates of hell have no authority to rule over it.
We pray, Lord, that You take every heart and mind that sways towards wrongdoing and turn them to seek You. Disrupt and eliminate every criminal network and let Your peace reign and ring throughout our lives. Lord, let Your glory fill our lives as You establish the work of our hands.
Lord God, cause it that we protect and not bring harm to our children. Save them from threats, abuse, bloodguilt and destruction of all kinds. Cause it that our parents, guardians and caregivers act in wisdom and with compassion in caring for them. In addition, help us as a society to stand by them, and stick to it. Help us to create an environment of safety and true love.
We pray that You strengthen our health workers. Provide for them, protect them, and grant unto them Your peace. Lord, we ask for the provision of resources that they will need to be effective in what they do.
We also remember those who are in war-torn countries facing harsh treatment, genocides, civil unrest and other natural disasters. Hear their cries, and intervene. Lord, only you can help. Cause it that they will reach out to the only true God who hears and understands. Oh God, let no form of evil rule.
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. Lord, 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, we continue to keep in prayer Sister Jhenelle Black who is pursuing further studies in Dentistry in the United Kingdom (UK).
We ask that You comfort the hearts and minds of those of us who are mourning losses of different kinds. Lord, we lift up to You Sister Sadie and the Duncan family who lost their Dad. We pray for Your continued comfort and peace as they process such a great loss to their family. We ask that You also administer special comfort to his wife, Ms Icilda.
Oh God, there is so much happening in our lives but we are trusting You as our shield, our glory and the lifter up of our heads to carry us through, and grant us victory. Lord, we will sing to You all our lives, we will sing praises to You, our God, as long as we live. May our meditation be pleasing to You, as we rejoice in You, Lord. May Your glory, Lord, endure forever and may You rejoice in Your works— You who look at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke. Awesome are You Lord. Our souls praise You, Lord.
Lord, have mercy and help. Saturate us with Your peace, Your presence and Your power. Help us to realise that we are overcomers and grant us victory in our circumstances. 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.