Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 11 September

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 11 September 2020 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers.

My Brothers, Sisters and Friends, we hope that you are well. However, if not, please let us know. I realised that the issue of forgiveness has brought the most feedback and I truly appreciate them. Guess what? I am still thinking about it. Persons have initiated the healing process and I am so thankful to God. Be encouraged. You deserve it. Yes, you deserve it. My thoughts have led me to connect certain concepts such as humanity, humility, humiliation and meanings that seem to somehow have roots or some may say impact forgiveness.

Vine provides us with some definitions as it relates to humble and humility. Humble is described as a means of low degree, brought low (Luke 1:52; Romans 12:16), being abased (Luke 14:11).  Humbleness of mind and humility are explained as having lowliness of mind (Acts 20:19, Ephesians 4:2, Philippians 2:3, Colossians 3:12, 1 Peter 5:5). Holman seemed to think that humility is the personal quality of being free from arrogance and pride, and having an accurate estimate of what we are worth. Christ’s life while He was on earth demonstrated for us the ultimate example of humility (Matthew 11:29, 1 Corinthians 4:21, Philippians 2:1-11). Christ urged those who wanted to live according to the purpose of God to live as examples of what humility represents (Matthew 18:1, 23:12). Be aware and alerted to the fact that God resists those who are proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

Holman is of the view that humans are a category of creatures fashioned as a body-soul unity in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). Humans are created in God’s image with the understanding that they would reflect God. In doing so, humans are required to show love, faithfulness, mercy, goodness, power, and holiness in serving; to reproduce and care for the earth; enjoy and cultivate good interpersonal relationships with each other. Humans develop certain capacities, intellectually for reasoning, emotionally for feelings and sentiments, the will to act socially for relationships, morally for conscience and motivationally for drives and passions.

However, as humans we face conflicts because of the way that the world socialises us in comparison to what God requires of us. We work, go to school and relate socially with peoples of the world. Our capacities to have feelings, reason, and cultivate relationships expose us to easily absorb and internalise the conduct and behaviours of those in the world with Christ-like and non-Christ-like qualities and principles.

Yet, our capacities of drive and passion, and having a will to act, may cause us to compromise in disposition and serving. Some of us may act otherwise or within a mix but the degree at which we keep in God’s purpose is critical to our functioning. The devil ensures he steps in when we open ourselves to that which conflicts with the purpose of God. Yes, we also have the capacity for moral conscience but my view is that humans have been redefining this concept to the point of it becoming highly subjective. One would say right and wrong is based on what you or groups of people think, taking into account the fact that morality and law are two different concepts.

I recalled being told at self-development seminars and conferences to pump up the self, if I can put it that way. We are told to believe in self, self can do anything and organise self for networking and marketing. I recalled, many years ago being at an overseas conference. They gave us boards to break with our bare hands. All we had to do was focus. We were easily breaking the boards with our hands.

There was another set of persons who walked on fire and were not burned. I did not do this one but it is possible. When I was growing up my late aunt taught me to take a hot pot off the stove with my bare hands without being burned. You do not focus on being burned but on quickly taking the pot off the fire. Do not try this but the lesson is that there is power in focussing the mind to achieve your purpose.  

Let us further consider the fact that God made us in His image with a soul-body unity. Some may explain that we are made up of spirit, soul and body but we will not get into that for today. For this discussion we will speak to spirit-body unity. When we are born-again, this is done through our spirit (John 3:5). We are made righteous through Christ (Romans 5:19), we are equipped with power and love. We should be faithful to God and His work based on our beliefs in Him. Whatever happens to our spirits affects the physical body.

You may note that we are socially nurtured and continually influenced. Whether or not we realised, we may be abnormally affected in the process of our social make-up. Therefore, whatever is already in and around us is very strong. Yet the word of God says that “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you;” (John 15:19, NIV). I have a few questions. Are we trying to belong to the world? Are we trying to be in agreement with the world, and the things of the world?

Many of us have become proud. Vine associates pride with being boastful, “puffed up” and high-minded, and being of vainglory (1 John 2:16, 1 Timothy 3:6, 1 Timothy 6:17, 2 Timothy 3:4). Pride causes us to take a stand for the wrong reason, to hold and defend our views and beliefs even when they do not line up with the purpose of God. We present an image of self and do all that is necessary to protect that profile.

When that self is humiliated, it runs deep. The hurt can have a passive or active disposition and manifestation. Some people think that they are in a place of forgetfulness but the hurt becomes loads that we carry daily on our heads and backs. They wear us down, making us withdrawn or noisy. We nurture the hurts and mourn over them. Yet we refuse to let them go, but at the centre of those hurts is lack of forgiveness. Ah! We are now at it again, forgiveness.

Brethren and Friends, you may or may not know if you carry the load of lack of forgiveness but God does. This is something you can process with Him or another human, professional or otherwise, depending on the circumstance.

Think about it…and pray as we now reflect on self.

Lord, search me. You know when I sit and rise. You are acquainted with all of my ways. Lord, before a word is on my tongue You know it completely. O Lord, You know.

Lord, search every thought, memory, attitude and behaviour in me; see if there are any wicked ways in me; any lack of forgiveness; and cleanse me, heal me, and set me free. Lord, release me and cause it that I will release and forgive others of the wrongs that they have done to me. Lord, help me to accept forgiveness from You and my fellow human beings. May Your healing power transcend through my spirit, mind body, as You release and deliver me.

Let us continue in prayer…

Father God, we thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, so that we can be forgiven. We thank You Lord for Your shed blood, and Your brokenness. We forget not Your benefits because it is You who have forgiven our sins and heal us. It is You, Lord , who saves our lives from destruction and crown us with Your loving kindness. Thank You Lord.

Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, lifting up our country to You. We thank You for keeping us amidst the many challenges that all peoples of the world are currently facing. Lord, we pray for our leaders of churches, our nation, businesses and homes. Lord, we ask that there be unity, transparency, courage and accountability in our conduct. O Lord, grant wisdom, insight, boldness, knowledge and understanding. Cause it that we step beyond ourselves and act in the best interest of our people and country. Help us to always seek to understand the mind and will of God in all circumstances and act accordingly.

Lord, we ask for an uncommon ability to be strategic and creative in the way we carry out our duties. Let us not separate ourselves, thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to, because this will always amount to vainglory. Cause it that we will not leave others behind but uplift, inspire and empower those around us, and operate in unity. So, O Lord, help us to extend mercy knowing that we have been granted mercy.

Lord, we pray for the leaders of Jamaica. We call by name:

The Honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, Minister of Health Christopher Tufton, Minister of Finance Nigel Clarke, health workers and support staff, Minister of Education Karl Samuda, Leader of the Opposition Peter Philips, and their families; Jamaica Defence Force and Jamaica Constabulary Force personnel and Security Guards; all other leaders of government and their support staff.

Also the Minister of National Security, Horace Chang, and his team as they fight the good fight to overcome the challenges we face each day. Lord, put to You and ask for Your blessings on the Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck. We also remember the judges in our congregation: Paula Blake Powell and Grace Henry McKenzie.

Lord, we ask for a special touch upon our health workers and associate workers, and relevant leaders at every level. O Lord renew and refresh them, grant them extraordinary strength, compassion and peace. Dear God, we also ask that You provide for, and protect them and their families. Lord, grant healing to those who have contracted the Covid-19 Virus

Have mercy, O Lord.

We remember 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; Jhenell 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, remember those among us who are hurting. Lord, send forth Your word and heal them of sicknesses and diseases. Grant them comfort and peace. 

Hear O Lord, and have mercy.

Lord, we pray that You put the search light on every bike rider, car and other vehicle drivers and walk-foot thieves and criminals of all sorts; and hold them accountable with strong evidence that cannot be disputed. So we present to You Lord, every community, and parish in this country. Help us as a country and protect us. 

Have mercy, O Lord.

Lord, we specially present to You the young people and ask that You ignite hope in them. Lord, grant them a hope that only You can give to them.

Help us Lord, as we continue to contend with the hurricane season and Covid-19. Lord, help us to act responsibly, love mercy, and walk humbly with You and our fellow mankind. In Jesus’ name we pray with thanksgiving.


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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