Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 1 October

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 1 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 prayer request, please let us know and we will include you in our prayers. You may post your prayer request here on our website.

You know something? I am thanking God for forgiveness and the power to forgive. I noted that there are many questions and issues concerning forgiveness. So we will continue to deal with them as the Holy Spirit leads. I know that showing mercy frees me of resentment and unforgiveness and embraces love. It does not stop there. I am offered a blessing when I show mercy. As Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7, NIV).

I did not see where the Bible tells me that there must be an acknowledgement of wrong or an apology to me where I am the forgiver. As a matter of fact, I think, if there is a condition, it has to do with holding the forgiver responsible regardless of the circumstance. Hear what Jesus said, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15, NIV). Even when I am wronged, I need to forgive the person without a condition.

You see, God holds me accountable where I am wronged and does not forgive even if the person neither acknowledges their sin nor apologises. Yikes! Oh, yes. The fact is I am given power through the Holy Spirit to free myself as well as others from lack of forgiveness, which can give rise to pain, hurt, tension and at times some kind of drama comes with it. Oh yes, some of you know what I am talking about.

However, many times we struggle to forgive, to release others and ourselves and find peace in a normal way, not in an abnormal way. Think about it seriously. When we do not forgive, we misuse our power to forgive. It sounds like some of us need to sit on that thought for a little while before moving on.

The matter of forgiveness is one of the greatest powers. What makes me say that? Listen up! Jesus’ disciples asked Him a question about greatness and He proceeded to give them a litany of compliance requirements. I believe that Jesus was telling them that if they wanted to consider themselves great, accomplishing those requirements is part of what gives power for greatness. Yet, “crowd of people”, the masses see a lot of them as weaknesses (Matthew 18).

Guess what, forgiveness and reconciliation were included in the list that Jesus gave His disciples. It involves a procedure. Here goes step one, “… if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” (Matthew 18:15, NIV). Go to your brother, sister, friend, whoever, in private and express how you felt when they did whatever it was. If you get to resolve the issues you are good. If not, move to step two.

What did Jesus say about step two?But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Matthew 18:16, NIV). You are showing here an effort to resolve the issue for peace’s sake and carrying out the will of God to deal with whatever issues you have with another person. Jesus was saying make someone else know about it and seek their help. If you are able to deal with the issues at step two, you are good but if not there is a step three.

What did Jesus say about step three?And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglects to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.” (Matthew 18:17, NIV). Hold it! You tell the church but I believe it begins with a procedure within the church, which would involve its leadership at some point/step. If this does not work, then you treat the person as unconverted. This person has sinned by not accepting your forgiveness. It did not say you hate or not forgive the person. God will hold that person accountable so whether you are giving or receiving forgiveness, there is a responsibility on both sides. Think about that thought and sit on it.

God really takes the issue of forgiveness seriously. What do I mean? If you are giving Him anything in whatever form and through whatever means, He wants it from a pure heart, one that is in the right place. Here what the scripture says, “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee. Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way. First, be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” (Matthew 18:23-24, NIV). You leave the gift but not offer it until the issue is dealt with as Jesus instructed. This comes from the litany of requirements that gives rise to the power for greatness. It involves forgiveness and reconciliation.

Yes, I know. We do not always have an opportunity to face the persons who have wronged us. It may neither be safe nor feasible. It does not prevent us from forgiving and healing. Also, we need to ensure that we do so in the right way and in a time that God knows is best. It does not mean procrastination. It is the power of our connection with the Holy Spirit who will guide us into all truth. He will steer us in the right direction once we are willing. He activates that power within us to forgive. All He needs is a humble and child-like, not childish, heart. Interestingly, this is also on the compliance list of requirements for greatness (Matthew 18: 1-6).

I tell you something, I was on a call yesterday and the person at the other end of the call was shouting at me. I was using headphones so the sound was vibrating through my head. It was awful. I asked the person not to shout but they continued. Shortly afterwards I was speaking with someone else on the phone without headphones this time and the person was asking how I sounded very unusual. I was not shouting but became stern with the person. So I had to deal with my behaviour and explained what had just happened to me.

I had a bad experience which translated into poor behaviour without me realising it. It could become a learned experience, just like that. Yep! The fast movement of our world can cloud the eyes of our minds. The trend can continue and before we know it, we can become what we do not like. I had to forgive the person who was shouting at me, which is a regular behaviour of that person, and get forgiveness from the person with who I spoke sternly afterwards. This may seem simple but can have ripple effects and develop into larger issues if not properly addressed.

Have you ever thought of forgiveness as a power? Are you misusing that power? Do you think that the power of forgiveness can be translated into greatness within the kingdom of heaven, not according to greatness as interpreted by humankind? Which of the two is more powerful? Think bout it, chat bout it. What are you going to do about it?

Let us pray

Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be Thy name. We thank You for this new day; for sustenance; for Your grace and mercies to us. Lord, we acknowledge Your infinite greatness and that You are the greatest of all. Yet You have placed Your power within us to accomplish greatness.

Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ as individuals, families, communities, Churches, businesses, a workforce, youths and children and citizens as a whole, leaders, government and a country as a whole thanking You for all that You have done and continue to do. We ask that You forgive all of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Lord, help us to forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptations but deliver us from all evil.

Lord, as we place ourselves and country before You we ask that You will have mercy on us and that Your kingdom will and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We ask for Your continued provisions, covering, protection and guidance in all that we say and do.

Lord, we ask that You take control of those minds that are being steered into the wrong direction giving rise to abuse, unforgiveness, murder, theft and all other forms of immoral, unethical and illegal behaviours. Help us to see our solutions through You. Help us to look to You for salvation. Our help cometh from You, Lord, maker of heaven and earth.

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 those they serve. 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 be 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; Jhenelle Black, 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, grant them physical and mental strength; protect them from all forms of diseases and fill them with extraordinary bowels of compassion as they carry out their daily tasks. Lord, we also lift up for Your healing and restoration of those who are hospitalised or experiencing physical and mental hurts.

Lord, grant us insight and help us to exercise good judgement and operate with the soundness of minds and compassion in all that we say and do. Saturate us with Your peace. Hear, O Lord, and answer in Jesus’ name we pray with thanksgiving.

Amen. 


Our Prayers of Encouragement are for everyone. Therefore, please contact us with your request if you are also in need of 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.

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