Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 15 January 2021 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers.
My Brothers, Sisters and Friends, we give God thanks for His goodness, His love and mercies. We thank Him for sustaining us and guiding our path, and for remaining faithful even when we are faithless. I pray that His blessings will be an overflow in your life. You know, I have some good news. The foot journey came to a close this week because I got access to a car. I am not sure of the available length of time but I am rejoicing in the Lord and I am extremely grateful. I thank God for the persons who assisted and ask for His unlimited favour and blessings on them. Remember to contact us at the Grace Missionary Church (Jamaica) website if you or anyone you know needs prayer.
When I considered my good news concerning transportation, a few others just made their way in my thoughts. I am reminded of the good news of Jesus Christ. “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord’.” (Luke 2:10-11, NIV). I am not sure what my good news will do to you. However, I am sure that it will not carry the weight or impact of the good news of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I focused on the ministry of the prophet Jeremiah in the last two to three months. You may recall that he proclaimed a lot of bad news, which entailed warnings to the people of Israel who were disobedient and not following the will of God. Of course, Jeremiah came under a lot of attacks by those who did not want to hear what he had to say. Yet, he also proclaimed God’s promises of restoration, so it was not all bad news.
Something of interest just popped in my mind as my thoughts flow. I am taken back to the time when I was growing up in rural Jamaica. If a brown bug occasionally visited you, it meant that you would receive good news. However, if it was a black bug, it would be bad news. The bugs usually buzz around in your space for a short while then leave. People used this experience as a sign. I cannot assure you of the authenticity of such a sign but many of us are assured of the good news of Jesus Christ and the signs that accompanied Him.
You may connect or know that the good news is associated with the gospel. What is the gospel? One set of writers stated that it is a good message. In the New Testament, it signified the good tidings of the Kingdom of God and of salvation through Christ, to be received by faith, on the basis of His death, burial, resurrection and ascension (Nelson, 1997). This gospel is accounted for through the experiences that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John had with Jesus when He came to earth in the form of a man. One could say that the apostle Paul and others also expanded gospel.
I like the way John, the disciple, summarised the purpose of his writings. Interestingly, this was not stated at the beginning of his writings.
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.John 20:30-31 (NIV)
The apostle Paul made a profound statement that is worth focusing on during our times of meditation. It assures the believer of the confidence and hope that we have in Jesus Christ. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17, NIV). The gospel also showed God revealing His character, His deity and fulfilling His promise of a Saviour. It invites someone to believe, and it teaches and trains us to be His instruments of hope in a world where many are losing their will and souls.
Brethren and Friends just think about the good news of Jesus Christ and let your imagination take its course. What an impact? A transforming power? What a promise? Do you think people are of the view that it is too simple to be true? The apostle Paul said it well. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, NIV). Here Paul is saying that it is a gift. It requires no payment. All payments have already been made through Christ’s death.
What an assurance? Yet, it is not for us to keep, but to share with others. Mark’s writings tell us that after His resurrection Jesus gave a command for us to share the gospel.
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.Mark 16:15-16 (NIV)
Jesus also pointed to the great and mighty work that the Believer will be empowered to do.
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.Mark 16:17-20 (NIV)
You know, we must share the message of the good news. We thank God for the opportunity to do so. Are you sharing it? Do you feel empowered to carry out the work of God?
As you meditate with your Father and Saviour, let us pray:
Almighty God our creator, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. From everlasting to everlasting you remain God. Your faithfulness continues through all generations. You established the earth and it endures to this day and will do so beyond generations to come. We honour and adore you for your infinite greatness and we bless your holy name.
Lord, we thank you for your grace and mercy, and your kindness to us. We thank you for waking us up in our right minds. Lord, we thank you for dying so that we may live, live in abundance and live eternally.
God of mercy, we come in the name of Jesus Christ asking that you take our thoughts, attitudes and behaviours, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Lord, make us worthy vessels in your sight. Lord, draw us close to you and help us to be obedient to the instruction of your word for your word is eternal. It stands firm in the heavens, and on earth.
Lord, we lift to you leaders of families, churches, church associations and related institutions, communities, the political directorate, private sector businesses and associations, public sectors, and our nation as a whole. We ask for your divine mercy, guidance, covering and favour on each person and the positions that they occupy. Lord, we ask that you grant true wisdom, insight, discernment and understandings beyond what we could ever ask or imagine.
Lord, we lift up our local leaders, in particular leaders of churches and associations and related institutions, 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 remember also the judges in our congregation, Paula Blake Powell and Grace Henry McKenzie.
Lord, we pray concerning the leaders (wherever they may be located) of criminal ventures, their support personnel, schemes, plans and activities. We ask that indisputable evidence be available and used to hold them accountable without fear. We ask that you expose them and their connections. Lord, we pray that you identify every communication network and confuse and cancel every plan that they have to kill, steal and destroy in the name of Jesus Christ.
Lord, we pray for the workforce and businesses throughout Jamaica and throughout other nations. We ask that you guide our path and sustain our economies. Grant a constructive spirit of creativity among our people to do good and not evil. Help us to act generously and be keepers of our fellow humankind.
Lord, we also present to you the business leaders in our congregation:
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 concerning the impact of Covid-19 Virus on our health and education systems, our economies and social needs. Let not our hope be dashed Lord, but rescue and deliver us in your righteousness. Lord, open our eyes to see and cling to those things that are good, to turn to you as the source of true wisdom, insight and understanding. We pray for your mercy and protection on us and our families, and our nations. We also pray that you will show us the way we should go. Let this Virus not overpower us. Lord, we ask that you grant strength to those who are weak and comfort and peace to those who are in despair.
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 remember Sisters Prunella and Audrey Vassell and their family who will put away the remains of their mother, Mrs Joyce Vassell today. We pray for comfort, strength, unity and peace as they go through the necessary proceedings.
Lord, we pray for Sister Juanica Grant who lost her husband, and those others who lost family members. O God, grant them peace and comfort with the measure that you know is needed.
Lord, fill us all with your peace, and love. Cause your face to shine on us as we look to you with each passing moment.
Hear our prayer O Lord and attend unto our request we ask with thanksgiving in the name of Jesus Christ.
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.