Sister Gabrielle Channer offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 13 November 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.
We talked a lot about forgiveness in recent times but I felt the need to take a turn and dig a little deeper by looking at the way we display our emotions. Emotions are so important in our daily existence. There are times when we do not realise what comes out of us. There are times when what comes out of us is conflicting and may be confusing to others, and even hurtful.
Emotions may emerge because of the responses that impact us as life happens. We may see them as coming forth because of the stress at different angles of life. Our emotions may affect the way we respond to self, God and fellow humankind. When I thought of emotions, the prophet Jeremiah and a few others came to mind.
We looked at some of Jeremiah’s complaints but let us look at some more. You know something? One could say that if God’s ears could get tired, Jeremiah would have ensured that it happened. He had a lot of complaining going on. When I went to one of Jeremiah’s conversations with the Lord, it seemed like he was scared for self. He was to warn the people, but what God gave him to convey to them may have driven the fear of God in him.
Here is what Jeremiah had to say.
Then the Lord said to me “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go! And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says: ‘Those destined for death, to death; those for the sword, to the sword, those for starvation, to starvation; those for captivity, to captivity.’Jeremiah 15:1-2 (NIV)
During the same conversation, the Lord went on to outline a number of other punishments that He would hand down.
It appeared that Jeremiah felt the need to defend and seek self- protection by stating his own case to the Lord. One may say that having heard what God was about to do, he had to ensure his safety. We may also say that he recognised the awesomeness of God. In his defence Jeremiah said “Lord, you understand; remember me and care for me. Avenge me on my persecutors. You are long-suffering—do not take me away; think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.” (Jeremiah 15:15, NIV). He reminded God of his own suffering for His sake, as if God needed to be reminded.
I recalled what Jeremiah said to the Lord in another conversation. Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure— not in your anger, or you will reduce me to nothing.” (Jeremiah 10:24, NIV). You may recall him questioning his own existence cursing the day that he was born; and wondering why he was allowed to be born to face the things that he experienced (Jeremiah 20:14-18). It seemed like he had a fear of being done away with and no longer used by God. Yet there was an apparent struggle that he experienced as he faced what was required of him.
Jeremiah continued to present his case to the Lord.
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty. I never sat in the company of revelers, never made merry with them; I sat alone because your hand was on me and you had filled me with indignation.”Jeremiah 15:16-17 (NIV)
Jeremiah went off on another plane and his conversation took on a tone of questioning God. “Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? You are to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails” (Jeremiah 15:18, NIV). One could say that many thoughts were raging in Jeremiah’s mind and he brought them out, but what was the result?
Hear what the Lord had to say in response to him.
“Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them’.”Jeremiah 15:19 (NIV)
We could say that the Lord set him straight. He was basically told to change his attitude, the way he was thinking and what was coming out of him.
Jeremiah needed to remain focused and conscientious so that he could hear from God, know and do His will. It sounded like what some people would have said. “Stop your foolish talk and pull yourself together or I will have nothing to do with you.” Another critical point that the Lord made to Jeremiah was that he must not be influenced by the people. He must be the influencer. He should not be following their way. They should follow his way. Did you pick that up? This is so important for us, since we live in the world but should not do as the world does. Our actions should be spiritually dictated as the Holy Spirit leads.
As our minds continue to walk through the conversation between the Lord and Jeremiah, we realised that He made some promises, which should have provided him with assurance and comfort. This is what the Lord said to him:
“I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the Lord. “I will save you from the hands of the wicked and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”Jeremiah 15:20-21 (NIV)
It sounds like Jeremiah was still going to face challenges. People would still fight against him. Is the Lord saying to Jeremiah, hey Jeremiah, expect the fight but you will not lose? It seemed that the Lord promised to equip him to the point where he would be a wall that could not be penetrated, and He promised him His presence. Do you think that Jeremiah became assured and comforted, and complained no more? We will talk some more about it.
As I reflected on Jeremiah’s experience, I recalled the many times I wanted to walk away from certain responsibilities outside of God’s timing. I questioned God many times. Although He gave me promises and assurance, it appeared they would never happen. At times, life felt like a pressure cooker waiting to burst open with all sorts of steam. This could be compared to my emotions. I still had to keep telling self that it has to be God’s way and not mine, and pray for the right mind to endure. Some may say we pray for God’s grace. I still cannot imagine how hard it was for Jeremiah. Wow! What do you have to say?
Let us pray
Today’s prayer is led by Gabrielle Channer, one of our most committed young people who is passionate about ministry. Gabrielle is the Vice President of Grace Youth Ministry (GYM). She is a medical student at the University of the West Indies, Mona. I pray for God’s best for her. I pray for God’s rich blessing, favour and covering over her life. May He grant her strength and endurance, and the ability to persevere as she faces these challenging times. Please pray for her and the others as they continue to deal with unusual challenges.
Our Father, God of all creation, who is seated on the throne, we glorify Your name. You are deserving of everything we can give and more. You have mercy on us when we don’t deserve it and You accept our offerings of praise even though we can’t understand the true magnitude of your awesomeness.
Lord, we approach Your throne through Your Son, Jesus Christ, who paid the price for our sins with His own blood. Consecrate our hearts and our minds so that we may be worthy of You, to see Your face one day.
We lift up our nation to You, the land of wood of water that You have masterfully created. You have protected us from natural disasters for so many years and we thank You for that. Thank You for the mercy You’ve shown us that we don’t even acknowledge. Thank You that everything You have created is good.
Lord, we ask You to keep Your sovereign guidance on the minds of our leaders as we enter a new era of leadership with the newest People’s National Party President Mark Golding and our Prime Minister.
We also put into Your hands the authorities over the youth such as police, parents, teachers etc., at this time. The child abuse rate has increased drastically this year. We pray that these young people will be given safe and legal opportunities to escape, that the abusers will stop and face the consequences where You see fit.
Lord, we also pray for the education of the youths, and that each child will have the opportunity and access to their education; that teachers and parents will go the extra mile to educate, motivate and inspire young people.
We also pray for the leaders of our country especially, 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. We also remember the judges in our congregation: Paula Blake Powell and Grace Henry McKenzie. Lord, help them to be the leaders our country needs at this time.
Our omniscient Father, watch over the young people involved in illegal activities, that they may acknowledge You as Lord, get to know You personally and be able to change their life to one of servitude to You. Lord, we ask that You become a safe place for them so that they will run to You for comfort, guidance and hope for the future.
We pray for those who are in business. Lord, give them the wisdom and strength to continue, and cause it that they and the workforce will work in unity. We ask that You continue to sustain us as a country. We pray for those in our congregation who run their own businesses:
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, we pray that You restore those who have been displaced and the many roadways that have been damaged because of the recent rains. We thank You, Lord, that it was not worse. Lord, have mercy and help us through these challenging times.
Lord, we thank You from the curving of Covid-19 Virus. We ask that You help us to be responsible and consider the safety of ourselves and those around us. We ask for Your covering over the medical health leadership and personnel who are on the frontline dealing with the disease. Lord, we pray especially for 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, we pray for our church, for the members and leaders to be close to You and always have a desire to walk with You. For those on the sick and shut list, we ask that You be their comfort in whatever forms they need. We also put to You those others who may be sick or have other challenges.
Lord, we remember our Elder, John Roomes and his family who laid the remains of his mother to rest yesterday. We ask that You comfort and strengthen them as they mourn her passing.
Lord, we pray for the youth department and its leaders. As we participate in youth month, we ask that you will take control of everything, and that it will go according to Your plan and will, so that Your name is glorified.
Lord, we pray for Your peace upon us as individuals and as a nation. We give You thanks, 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.