Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 19 December 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, please let us know and we will include you in our prayers. You may post your here on our website.
I had an experience at the gym. One of the patrons was asking whose towel was left on an exercise machine. Guess what? The person eventually realized that it was his towel. It was a simple matter. Yet when I thought a little deeper, I concluded that the Holy Spirit has gifted many of us but we do not know our gifts. We are owners of things but we do not know. The Holy Spirit has gifted all of us but many times we do not know or understand our gifts and the reason for them.
The apostle Paul told the church at Corinth about the gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Purpose – “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.“(1 Corinthians 12:7, NIV).
The kind of Gifts: “To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12: 8-10, NIV).
The Holy Spirit gives gifts according to His free will – “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” (1 Corinthians 12:11, NIV).
Tell you what, some of us may know about the gifts but are afraid of their manifestation so we avoid or hide them. At times our gifts may be stifled because of external influences that cause us to develop beliefs that shift us outside of our purpose. What could be the end result? We may accept those positions and end up not honouring and glorifying God.
We are even taught about the gifts and how they can be used to honour and glorify God. Some of us have piles of notes on this matter but we have not demonstrated that growth has taken place.
As my thoughts rolled, I recalled Gideon. You may have heard of his story multiple times but has it impacted your life as it relates to allowing God to use your gifts? Let us take a brief look at some of what happened to Gideon:
The Instruction to Gideon – “The Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’” (Judges 6:14, NIV).
The Self-Reduction – “‘Pardon me, my lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.’” (Judges 6:15, NIV).
Assurance and Affirmation – “The Lord answered, ‘I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.’” (Judges 6:16, NIV).
The Trust Issue – “Gideon replied, ‘If now I have found favour in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.’” (Judges 6:17, NIV).
The Unconditional Love that still Engages – “‘Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.’ And the Lord said, ‘I will wait until you return.’” (Judges 6:18, NIV).
You see, we are gifted but not expected to operate in our own strength or ways. It has to be used through the Lord so trusting and relying on Him is critical. You know, at times we launch out on our own. Remember what the writer of proverbs said. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV). Just a moment before we go. What was Gideon’s gift? I believe it was power. Think bout it, chat bout it. What are you going to do about it?
Let us pray:
Almighty God, we give You all of the glory. We praise and magnify Your name. Glory, glory to Your name from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. Hallelujah! You are awesome! Hallelujah! You are above all else. Lord, You reign. Hallelujah!
Lord, we thank You for the air we breathe, for waking us to witness another day. We embrace the promises in Your word. Thank You, Lord.
Lord, we thank You for daily providing, protecting and guiding our lives as individuals, families, communities, Churches and associations, businesses, government and our country as a whole. If we lift up our eyes to the mountains— where does our help come from? Our help cometh from You Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. You will not let our feet slip—You who watch over us will not slumber. Indeed, You who watch over Israel neither slumber nor sleep. Lord, You watch over us—You are the shade at our right hand. The sun will not harm us by day, nor the moon by night. Thank You, Lord, that You will keep us from all harm— You will watch over our lives, You will watch over our coming and going both now and forevermore (based on Psalm 121).
Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ we ask that You have mercy on us. Forgive all of our sins and help us as we forgive those who trespass against us. Deliver us from all forms of evil. Let not evil rule over us but rescue and deliver us in your righteousness. So turn your ear to us and save us. Lord, save us from accidents, incidents, theft, burglary, blood guilt, threats and abuse, and destruction of all kinds. Have mercy, Lord.
Lord, we lift up to You the leaders in our country. 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 remember also, the judges in our congregation, Paula Blake Powell and Grace Henry McKenzie. Lord, let not evil rule over us. Grant to our leaders the wisdom and courage to do what is in our best interest. Grant also creativity and strategies that will help us to manoeuvre through these unusual times. Protect and continue to provide for us.
Lord, we remember those who are not well, especially Deacon Loy Evans, Sisters Nicole Evans and Kadine Stewart. We also present to you those among us who are on the usual sick and shut-in list, as well as Sisters Iris Lawrence, Valerie Smellie, Mary Clarke, Cherrie Lee, Lelith James, Jennifer Nicholson, Virginia Muir, Marville (Cherry) Murray (Sister Iris Lawrence’s daughter), Janet Chen-Young, Joyce Bailey, Lucille Alexander, Jhada Graham, Cherrie Lee, Merlena Hartley Roberts (Sister Nicole Roberts Mother); Brother George Gabbidon, Brother Lloyd Trusty, Mr Alan Ashley (Sister Dawn Ashley’s mother, father, aunt), Sister Rachael Dixon and family, Brother Cornel Richards and family, Sister Jennifer Chin-Young and family, Sister Debbie Chin Young. Also, any member or family member who needs healing and comfort. Lord, grant healing, strength and peace.
Lord, we remember those persons who have lost loved ones in recent times as well as those who commemorate the passing of loved ones. So we ask that You comfort us in a way that only You know. Also, help us to find peace in You. Strengthen our mental and physical beings.
Lord, we continue to keep in prayer Sister Jhenelle Black who left for the United Kingdom (UK) to pursue further studies in Dentistry. We thank You, Lord, for keeping her safe, and sustaining her on this new journey.
Lord, we ask for extraordinary protection over our children, youths and those who are vulnerable in one way or another. Cover their minds and comfort their hearts as You grant them strength and peace.
Lord, we ask that You fill our hearts and minds with Your peace. Empower us to realize that we are overcomers and grant us victory in our circumstances. In Jesus’ name, we pray with thanksgiving.
Our Prayers of Encouragement are for everyone. Therefore, please contact us with your request if you also need 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.