Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 11 June

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 11 June 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 is in need of prayer, please let us know. You can post your prayer request here on our website.

You know something? The easier and more comfortable way of life is sought by many people. Most of us want to experience peace of mind. We want to go about life without feelings of discomfort. Many times, we aim at what the world defines as accomplishments, what the world elevates. Most of the time these are physical things, which drive many people into places of comparison and at times, destruction. Yet, one could say that humankind hardly finds full satisfaction because self-actualisation seemed unachievable. Nonetheless, there are reasonable and acceptable accomplishments that may place some people at a level of comfort, in their eyes and in the eyes of others.

You know something else? I found that we profile each other and assess whether or not we want to establish a connection. In a number of instances, this is because of what persons have the potential to offer and nothing to do with their standards and values, the inner self. In some places, we call it networking. On one of my recent walks on the hill for the first time, I was grilled for information about myself and profiled.

Still, I deliberately did not give certain major information about myself. I do not take the approach of grilling others while on the hill because I view everyone at the same level, at the foot of the hill. The hill sets the pace for peace and renewal. Even if I questioned someone, the aim is at the inner-self.

Interestingly, we are on a trajectory of life. On this path, we may experience disturbances. Some of us may find that we have to start over because everything is lost for different reasons. In many cases, it may be our finances, physical stuff and health. Our health issues may contribute to our financial issues. Some of us who have dependent parents and other family members all of our lives may have to keep starting over for different reasons as we try to deal with our issues and their issues.

There may be times when we become a potential sore in the eyes of some people or seemingly a burden. Some of us may try to reach out to others, while some of us may hold onto our pain and not seek the help we need. Some of us may refuse help because we are afraid of what that may bring. Others of us may seek help but feel like we have become a burden, so we withhold and the pain is built up in us. At times, there may be built up pain and instead of getting a break as soon as we turn the next corner of life’s path, we find ourselves on a similar or the same bad road of life.

The persistence of what happened to us may cause us to feel like there is no end to our calamities. We may feel cornered so we think of ways to escape. We may be afraid of the criticisms and the possibility of embarrassment, and we can be cruel to each other. At times, we get to a point where the only thing that our eyes see is a precipice. We may take the decision to stay on the path and deal with whatever comes trusting that somehow God will respond, or take the precipice. Regretfully, some people take the precipice.

I have found myself in a place of repeatedly losing everything and having to start over. I have gotten to the point of not worrying much about what people think. Also, I am concerned about the friends who I lost as a result but the Lord has taught me that it is important to still treat them with love. I have experienced emotional and physical pain because of physical illnesses. If I did not know and hold onto who I was in Christ, and hold on with dear life, I would have lost who I am. My most recent encounter with illness was probably the worst that I have ever experienced although I have been in the hospital before for two months. I thought that was the worst.

I remember one night, and the nights are the worst when we are ill, lying in bed. It literally felt like I was in a valley. I was reminded of the line of a song that said; “…in the valley He restoreth my soul.” Thank you, Lord. My situation was not getting any better. The impact was first physical, then emotional and spiritual. With the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit, I got up little by little and did some research; applied certain healing strategies through a holistic approach. It has taken me at least two years but to God be the glory! I am here to tell you that He delivers. Thank you, Lord.

You know, no matter what the situation, no matter what voices are in your head, no matter how congested the mind may seem, God delivers. He will deliver you. Our situations may not change in the immediacy of time but relying on Him and throwing ourselves at His feet, staying in Him, taking His word as you would a meal, talking to Him as you would a friend, can make a difference. It does not mean you will not end up on the bad roads of life, even those you try to avoid. But God will give you the strength to go on.

You may have to repeatedly face the challenges of life, but who do you want to win? Who do you give glory to by the decision you make? I treat every day as a fight. I have to get up every single day and fight for others and myself. Yet, the power that I have come to depend on in that fight is God’s. Power and might are in the hands of God.

I recently told you of a bad road that I was trying to avoid while driving. I used to drive on that road but realised that due to some construction work it had become so rough. In trying to cut by that road I took another route. Then I realised, I was heading for the same road I was trying to avoid. I had to literally ride the car through like a boat that knew the seas. We have to keep going and at times, we have to keep changing our mindset and keep getting up, knowing that we are in a daily fight. This does not mean we do not experience peace, nor enjoy life.

As I reflected some more on that experience with the bad road, I am reminded of a woman who was spoken of in the book of Kings. This woman was Athaliah. She was raised by king Ahab (2 Kings 8:18) and the well-known queen Jezebel. Her grandfather was King Omri (2 Kings 8:26), Ahab’s father (1 Kings 16). Ahab was led by Jezebel into worshipping Baal. Their demise was mainly to do with harassing Naboth and stealing his property/vineyard, then setting him up to be killed (1 Kings 21). One could describe Jezebel as cold and ruthless. She did whatever pleased her.

Athaliah married king Jehoram who was the son of Jehosophat (2 Kings 9:1). They had a son named Ahaziah. He was killed under king Jehu’s ruling. This was due to the sins of Ahab and Jezebel. Jehu was also one of the sons of Jehosophat (2 Kings 11). When Athaliah saw that her son, Ahaziah, died she went out for revenge. She arranged for the princes of the royal family to be killed. Then she took the reign and ruled Judah for six years before she was killed (2 Kings 11). It was the first time that ever happened. We may accord her with descriptions that went beyond Jezebel. She was ruthless and a tyrant. She worshipped Baal, and in the process, destroyed part of the temple (Nelson, 2005).

Just when the people thought they were relieved from the tyranny of Ahab and Jezebel, from the worship of Baal, there came Athaliah who was influenced by their lives. It seemed she came from a different tangent that brought greater pain. It took six years before they were rid of this woman. Yet, the same God who delivered them from Ahab and Jezebel and others delivered them from Athaliah. It may seem like He took a long time to deal with Jezebel, then Athaliah but He delivered.

At times, we may have to wait and it may seem long but we have got to keep holding on. God’s promises are consistent because He cannot deny Himself. He remains faithful. I am still learning to trust and wait on Him with each passing moment. There are times when I feel a little edgy but I have to reign in myself. Yet, there are those times when I have frank talks with Him. Yeah! May you hold on to the one and only true God. May His favour and blessings be upon you always. And may the decisions you make accord glory only unto Him. “Think bout it, chat bout it.” What are you going to do about it?

Let us pray:

Almighty God, we thank You for this new day. We thank You for keeping us throughout these challenging times. Lord, You are faithful, You are faithful. You are an awesome God. You rule and reign in and through all things, and through all times. We praise You for Your faithfulness, O God. Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord. How excellent is Your name in all the glory! Hallelujah!

Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ lifting up ourselves, families especially our children, communities, those doing exams, businesses, frontline workers and the country as a whole. We thank You for Your continued covering and protection, provision and guidance. Thank You, Lord.

Most righteous God, we ask that You cleanse us from all unrighteousness and forgive all of our sins. Hear our cries for help and attend unto our prayers. Lord, from the depths of the earth we cry unto You. Help us and have mercy.

Lord, at times it gets really tough and life seemed unbearable but as the psalmist prayed, so we pray today:

“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
    turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
    to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
    from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.

For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
    my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
    you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
    I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
    you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
    declaring your splendour all day long.

Do not cast me away when I am old;
    do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
10 For my enemies speak against me;
    those who wait to kill me conspire together.
11 They say, “God has forsaken him;
    pursue him and seize him,
    for no one will rescue him.”
12 Do not be far from me, my God;
    come quickly, God, to help me.
13 May my accusers perish in shame;
    may those who want to harm me
    be covered with scorn and disgrace.

14 As for me, I will always have hope;
    I will praise you more and more.

15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds,
    of your saving acts all day long—
    though I know not how to relate them all.
16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord;
    I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.
17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
    and to this day I declare your marvellous deeds.
18 Even when I am old and grey,
    do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
    your mighty acts to all who are to come.

19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
    you who have done great things.
    Who is like you, God?
20 Though you have made me see troubles,
    many and bitter,
    you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
    you will again bring me up.
21 You will increase my honour
    and comfort me once more.

22 I will praise you with the harp
    for your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
    Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
    when I sing praise to you—
    I whom you have delivered.
24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
    all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
    have been put to shame and confusion.”
(Psalm 71, NIV)

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.

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 connected with GMC: Medical Doctors: Asana Anderson Wilks and Rohan Wilks, Kahlete Falloon, Tina Kong, Vernon Jones, Leighton Logan; 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, we pray for those who mourn, those who are doing surgeries, those who are hospitalised, and the sick and shut-ins. We ask that You apply your oil and power of physical and emotional healing. So let Your peace fill their minds and hearts. We ask all of these with thanksgiving, in Jesus’ name.


Our Prayers of Encouragement are for everyone. Therefore, if you are also in need of prayer or comfort, please contact us with your request. We would be so very happy to share with you.

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