Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 1 August

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 1 August 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. However, if not, please let us know. Just a reminder that if you or anyone you know needs prayer, please let us know. You can post your prayer request here on our website.

I am extremely grateful that my Father is a God of strategy. He knows everything about me. He knows when I am asleep and He knows when I am awake. My Father knows my thoughts before they were formed and He knows my thoughts before I know them. His thoughts of me can be considered endless. They are more than the sand on the seashore. He knows my whereabouts and every action. He knows the things that I am going to do before I do them, He knows me more than I know myself. Whatever is covered in darkness, He sees it because darkness is as light to Him (Psalm 139). 

God also knows the devil. He described him (in the past tense) as a seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, He was anointed as a guardian cherub,  ordained. He was on the holy mount of God, He walked among the fiery stones. Wow! Talk about power.  He was blameless in his ways from the day he was created (Ezekiel 28). He was perfect, had great wisdom, knowledgeable, beautiful, anointed and powerful.

However, wickedness was found in him and God drove him out from His mount and expelled him as guardian cherub. His heart became proud because of his beauty. His wisdom was corrupted because of his splendour. God threw him to the earth and made a spectacle of him (Ezekiel 28). He is still knowledgeable and has powers. Yet his powers and knowledge are limited. He does not know the mind of God. God is all-knowledgeable and absolutely nothing misses Him. He is present everywhere. The powers of God are immeasurable and untouchable. They cannot be subsumed nor diminished. God’s infinite greatness is unimaginable. 

I realise that God’s power, presence and knowledge make Him the perfect strategist, the supreme strategist. At times I have been faced with mountain-like challenges of different kinds. My focus was to get the mountain out of the way. Over time I gained insight into the fact that it may not be the best approach. Sometimes, we may have to go around the mountain or over it.

In one experience, I was working with an adolescent child but it was a tough situation. There was no significant progress. I tried a number of strategies including prayer but there was hardly any progress. I decided to not just pray but also fast. The Lord showed me that I should find the mother and work with both of them during the sessions. I inquired about the mother’s availability and she agreed to participate. During those sessions, the child showed deep emotions. They were both emotional and a lot of issues were clarified. The thing is, I tried this strategy before but in this instance, I did not know that the mother would be available. 

You see,  many times we may have to deal with challenges but try to focus on a particular approach. We may keep pushing the same approach but get no results of any consequence. We may even decide to pray but just praying and not diligently seeking God may not give us the results we need. God is the supreme strategist who has all of the answers. However, some of His responses are dependent on the way we seek Him. 

You may recall the story of David when he enquired of the Lord concerning a particular battle with the Philistines. The scripture tells us, When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?’ The Lord answered him, ‘Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.’” (2 Samuel 5:17-19, NIV).

David went to do his assessment of the Philistines presence in the Valley of Rephaim. Then he spoke with the Lord about the best approach with the understanding that he was going to achieve success in the battle. The Lord gave him the green light. “So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, ‘As waters break out, the Lord has broken out against my enemies before me.’ So that place was called Baal Perazim. The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.” (2 Samuel 5:20-21, NIV).

David went to the battle and won. He settled down concerning the Philistine but guess what happened, there was a repeat. The Philistines returned. “Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim.” (2 Samuel 5:22, NIV).

David did not throw his hands in the air. He did not show frustration, he did not lash out against God saying why this had to happen again. He did not get tired. At least, the passage did not say these things. He chose to return to the supreme strategist whom he knew could give him the precise guidance that was needed. 

The supreme strategist changed the strategy. So David inquired of the Lord, and He answered, ‘Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.’ So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.” (2 Samuel 5:23-25, NIV).

You may have noticed that David had a good relationship with his Father, the supreme strategist. He was obedient as it relates to the instructions given. David got a strategy before but the situation was repeated. Yet he did not rely on past instruction. He sought further guidance though the events seemed to have been the same. He placed heavy reliance on God for deliverance. 

The latter strategy was to ambush the Philistines. They did not know what was about to hit them. As I assessed what happened here I recalled something that I saw on the hill walk over the weekend. A large tree trunk was on top of a banana tree but still hanging from the hillside. Initially, the trunk was stabilised on the hillside and the banana tree on the flat. Some of us may say that the banana tree could not have known what was about to hit it. So did the Philistines during the ambush. At times, the enemy thinks that they have us encircled but God, the supreme strategist, can deliver and absolutely nothing is impossible for Him. Amen! 

You see, we cannot really understand the magnitude of the power of God. We do not understand His ways. His ways are higher than all others, and His thoughts are higher than all others. He has more knowledge than all others, including the devil, the enemy. So, who then is best to consult in dealing with situations? Who do we consult to deal with the enemy even when there is persistence?  Who then is best to rely on? Even then, are we willing to follow His instructions in order to be successful? What say you? Where are you in your relationship with God? Chat “bout” it.

Let us pray:

Almighty God, creator of all things we thank you for this, a new day and a new month. We thank you for the air we breathe. We thank you for the success of our athletes in Tokyo. Hallelujah! We thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, in whose name we come. Lord. we thank you for the ultimate sacrifice that was made when Jesus died so that we may have abundant life, eternal life, a hope of glory. 

We acknowledge that Jesus, the Son, is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through Him and for Him. 

He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead so that in everything he might have supremacy. For You were pleased to have all Your fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to yourself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

We were alienated from You and were enemies in our minds because of our evil behaviour. We thank You that now we have been reconciled by Christ’s physical body through death to present us holy in Your sight, without blemish and free from accusation (Colossians 1).

Lord, we ask that as individuals, families, communities, Churches, government and a country as a whole You have mercy on us. Cleanse us from all unrighteousness and forgive all of our sins. 

Lord, help us to continue in our faith, established and firm, and not move from the hope held out in the gospel. Lord, strengthen and sustain us as we proceed in our purpose. Help us to know true wisdom, discern, be knowledgeable and diligently seek Your guidance in all that we say and do.

Lord, we ask that You take control of the minds of all criminal elements and those causing destruction of every kind in the lives of our people. We ask that their minds be turned to You. Lord, we pray that all spirits that are not of God be scattered and melt like wax before the fire; blow away like chaff before the wind; that God and God alone will arise; and that Your people will praise You. 

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, we remember those who are not well, especially Deacon Loy Evans, 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, 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, and Lorraine Richards (Brother Cornel Richards’ wife); 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); and any member or family member who is in need of healing and comfort. Grant healing, strength and peace, Lord.

Lord, we pray for those who are in distress, mourning losses of different kinds especially the Derbys. Lord, have mercy and help. Fill us with Your peace, Your presence and Your power. Comfort us and grant us victory in our circumstances.

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.

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