Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 19 March

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 19 March 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, I pray that you are well. If not, please send us your prayer request through this website, and we will pray for you.

I am giving God thanks for His mercies, love and faithfulness. The word of God tells us that Jesus Christ said “Father if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42, NIV). I am thinking that Jesus was saying something along the line of: Daddy the work you asked me to do is so hard. If you really want to protect your child from being humiliated, mocked, abused (mentally and physically), and subsequently killed, stop this work now. Do not allow your child to endure these things. Anyway, Daddy, regardless of the pain and discomfort that your child is dealing with, your child wants to continue so that your plan for humankind is accomplished.

Of course, the death and burial of Jesus were completed. It was all in God’s plan to rescue and save humankind. So He demonstrated His power by raising Jesus from the dead. One could say that it was the greatest miracle. The disciple John reflected on a prayer Jesus prayed to His Father.

Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now, this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

John 17:1-5 (NIV)

Jesus prayed a compacted prayer. He alluded to His Sovereignty, the benefits of His sufferings, the need for redemption and restoration.   

I pray that you will not just focus on the pain and discomfort that your experiences bring. I pray that in spite of the circumstance that you face, your eyes will be set on your Heavenly Father, knowing that He works things out for your good and His glory. May you be reminded that He restores. May He bless, keep and favour you, and may His light sparkle through you so that others are drawn to Him. Amen!

As I continue to focus on the passages that the Lord showed me on the hill, I reflected on the account of the Shunamite woman. I wanted to back up a bit to the miracle that she got, which traced us to 2 Kings 4. The Bible tells us that she was very kind, and assisted the prophet Elisha and his servant Gehazi with the resources of her family. Elisha wanted to do something for her so through his servant Gehazi, he realised that she had no son and her husband was an old man. This was a “biggy” in those days. Elisha declared that she would have a son. She objected to what was said by him. She thought that he was misleading her. However, she had a son at about the time Elisha predicted (2 Kings 4: 11-17).

Imagine the excitement of the Shunamite woman when she got pregnant, and her son was born. Wow! Her joy and excitement must have been contagious! Then something terrible and unexpected happened. The son died (2 Kings 4:18-20). She was in distress and anger. It seemed that she was experiencing a quiet type of anger. So she went to Elisha with an apparent calm approach of reasoning.

She questioned him about his declaration of her having a child. She reminded him that she did not ask for a child, and did not want her hopes to be built up. There was no record of a response to her questions. We assumed that in Elisha’s mind they were rhetorical. One may say that there was a tense calm around them as she spoke. It could at times tantamount to a hush, waiting for the next set of expression, then another hush… (2 Kings 4:24-28). It appeared that the Shunamite woman had a desire for a child but was afraid of building her hopes. She seemed to have abandoned the idea. She did not ask to be in the position of yearning for a child much less having one, then losing him. The situation placed her in discomfort, pain and distress.

Elisha eventually learned from the woman that she lost her son. He sent Gehazi with his staff to put on the child’s face. Even then, the woman insisted that she was not going to return home without Elisha, so he went with her. On their way Gehazi met them with negative feedback, the child was still dead.  The woman knew that the man of God needed to be personally engaged in rectifying the situation, and the power of God did show up. Yeah! Chat bout! (2 Kings 4:30-31).

Elisha prayed, lay fully on the child twice, then life was returned to his body. The child’s life was restored. The family was restored (2 Kings 4:30-31). I am of the view that God endowed Elisha with what I call a dripping anointing. Wow! “Wow!” What a mighty God we serve! Hallelujah!

Brethren and Friends, many times we are afraid of going through pain and discomfort. We are afraid of facing the uncertainties of life because of negative possibilities. Even Jesus expressed His discomforts to show us that we may have feelings similar to His. I am quick to say that we could never endure what He experienced so that a lost world could be saved. Yet, each of us has our burdens, pain and discomfort to face. At times, we may avoid surrendering and submitting to the will of God because of the need to walk in faith, not knowing what God will do but allowing Him to do. It means losing control and allowing God to control. He would be on top of things. This approach may cause some people to become discombobulated.

A few questions popped into my mind as I continued to reflect. Who is glorified in the things that I do on a daily basis? Am I (in all ways) investing in the work of God? Is He establishing the work of my hands? God demonstrated that He raised the dead! His power was not restricted to the times of the Old Testament. So can He put life in my apparent dead situation? Are my sufferings in vain? Do I believe that God can free us from the dark clouds of the Covid-19 Virus?

Tell you what? I believe in God whatever comes. I know that Jesus Christ did not suffer and die in vain. You may know that I suffered the loss of my earthly father, my mentor, and some close friends and associates. I was in an accident, car written off. My bank lost my car title which caused me to be waiting for 2 months to get a substitute. So now I have no car but many things to do. And the list went on. Those things happened in 2019 but some things continue in 2020.

Let me tell you, I am convinced, convicted and stand assured that my pain, discomfort and sufferings will not be in vain. I am in His plan so my experiences are not wasted. I serve a God who delivers and restores! His word stands! His promises stand! I do not stand in pity! I stand on His promises! What say you?

As you meditate let us pray:

O Lord, Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place,

What is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them?

5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour.

You made them rulers over the works of your hands; You put everything under their feet.

All flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,

The birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8 (NIV)

God of compassion, in the name of Jesus Christ, we ask that You have mercy on us as individuals, families, churches and related institutions, communities, businesses and nations. Forgive our sins Lord, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Lord, help us to set our eyes on You knowing that it is by the power of Your Holy Spirit that we will be delivered and restored.

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 also remember the judges in our congregation, Paula Blake Powell and Grace Henry McKenzie.

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.

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; Esther Reynolds (final year medical student). 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.

Hear O Lord, and renew our thoughts, attitudes and behaviour. Guard and protect us from evil. Let not evil rule over us. Sustain us by your grace in Jesus’ name we pray with thanksgiving.

Amen.


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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