Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 2 July 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, we are hoping that you are well. However, if not, please let us know. Just a reminder that if you or anyone you know is in need of prayer, please let us know. You can post your prayer request here on our website.
I am extremely grateful that my heavenly Father is a God of compassion. His compassion never ceases. It is because of His mercies that I am not consumed due to my actions or external inputs. He refreshes me with His compassion each morning. Great is His faithfulness. Thank You, Lord! The Lord is my everlasting portion so I will wait on Him. For He is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him. Although He has allowed me to see and bear afflictions and grief, I wait quietly for the salvation of my Lord.
The Lord has seen the revenge, persecution and plots of destruction against me. He has seen the insults, the mockery against me. He has seen all the wrongs done to me. The Lord knows the illnesses that I have endured. Even then, I know that my Redeemer lives. He has allowed me to see troubles, many and bitter. He hears my cry, and He knows my pain. The Lord understands my brokenness so He will restore my life again and again. I believe that from the depths of the earth He will bring me up and increase my honour. I will praise Him for His faithfulness. Hallelujah!
Even now, I praise Him, for His unfailing love for me never ceases. He is not just my Creator, He is my Father. He is my only Father. As a father has compassion on his children so the Lord will have compassion on me. He knows how I was formed. He knows my vulnerabilities and weaknesses but He is compassionate and gracious because I fear Him. My hope is in His unfailing love to deliver me from death, and save my life from destruction, to raise me up like the wings of eagles. Great is His faithfulness. Thank You, Lord! Great is Your faithfulness, O God, my Father.
May you feel His unfailing love as you seek Him daily. May you sense the warmth of His love as you commune with Him during each passing moment. And may you know and embrace His word. May you own Him in every way as your Father. May His favour and blessings remain with you always.
As I continue to reflect on the faithfulness of God, my Father, I recalled a recent experience. I was in the supermarket and there was this little girl shopping with her parents. She was so vibrant and full of life. She was about six years of age. I remembered being very close to my late father at that age. She was telling her dad what to buy and the reason he should buy those things. He was engaging her but not really picking up anything. Her mom seemed to be the expert shopper and was basically picking up groceries from her list.
At some point in time, we were all in the line to cash. She was still in her element just chatting away, doing some things that seemed to have annoyed her mom. I saw where her mom got really upset and pinched her. She cried out loudly and went to her father. She cried and one could see where she was trying to get a grip of his waist as she cried. He stood firm as she held on to him like for dear life and cried her heart out.
As my thoughts continued to roll, I thought about the persons we may refer to as father. There is our heavenly Father, our earthly father and those who we refer to as father out of respect or because of the role that person has in our lives. Yet, do we take keenly to their leading and advice? Do we seek them for guidance and support? Are we obedient to their instructions? Do we trust and rely on them?
I am reminded of king Jehoash’s approach towards the prophet Elisha when he was faced with challenges. Elisha was at the end of his ministry at the time. He sought assistance from Elisha and referred to him as “my father”. He was weeping seemingly because he was in trouble and Elisha was dying. “Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash, king of Israel, went down to see him and wept over him. ‘My father! My father!’ he cried. ‘The chariots and horsemen of Israel!’” (2 Kings 13:14, NIV).
The compassionate “father’ and man of God, Elisha, even in his state of illness responded to King Jehoash. He gave him certain instructions. “Elisha said, ‘Get a bow and some arrows.’ and he did so. ‘Take the bow in your hands,’ he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. ‘Open the east window,’ he said, and he opened it. ‘Shoot!’ Elisha said, and he shot. ‘The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!’ Elisha declared. ‘You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.’” (2 Kings 13:15-17, NIV).
Elisha further instructed king Jehoash to strike the ground six times but he did it half of the way and stopped. “Then he said, ‘Take the arrows,’ and the king took them. Elisha told him, ‘Strike the ground.’ He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck the ground five or six times. Then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.’ Elisha died and was buried.” (2 Kings 13:18-20, NIV).
I recall my maternal grandmother always telling us that “things done by halves are never done well”. I tell you this, it used to annoy me but it is so true as seen in what happened here with king Jehoash. You may note that king Jehoash was in trouble so he ran and cried to his “father” Elisha for help. However, he was not willing to go by his “father’s” instructions. He was a disobedient “child”. As a result, he sold himself short, and those whom he led.
As I thought about that little girl I previously mentioned and king Jehoash, I noted that they both went to persons whom they called father and cried for support. Many of the times, we go to our heavenly Father for support. Yet, we are not prepared to be obedient to His instructions and guidance. We are not prepared to take the path. There may be some of us who only want to walk part of or halfway down the path that he has set for us. Yet, we cried and kept crying to Him for help.
Jehoash had the privilege of being one of the last persons to benefit from a powerful prophet of God, Elisha, but he was disobedient. Elisha died so his opportunity to be a great king went down the pit. He settled for mediocrity. Most of all, he never had a relationship with the God of Elisha. We have the opportunity and privilege to do great exploits for our heavenly Father, the same God of Elisha, even through the many challenges that we face in life. We can gain victory through our Father. He is not like any other father. His strength is perfect. His ways are perfect. He lives forever. He is willing to be our deliverer, protector, provider and guide, to be our forever Father. Are you going all the way on the path He has for you?
“Think bout it, chat bout it.” What are you going to do about it?
Let us pray:
Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your grace and mercies as individuals, families, communities, businesses, general workers, frontline workers, government and a country as a whole. We thank You for providing for us and protecting us even in the midst of a pandemic and the senselessness of humankind.
Father, You are awesome in all that You do. You are infinitely great. No one can understand Your greatness. As we come in the name of Jesus Christ, we ask that You have mercy on us, cleanse us from all unrighteousness and forgive all of our sins.
Father, we praise You. All of our inmost beings praise your holy name. We forget not all of Your benefits for You have forgiven all of our sins and healed all of our diseases. You redeem our lives from the pit and crown us with love and compassion. You satisfy our desires with good things so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord.
Father, You work righteousness and justice for us because You see and know that we are being oppressed. Lord, You are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. You will not always accuse, nor will You harbour Your anger forever. You do not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is Your love for those who fear You. As far as the east is from the west, so far have You removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children, so You have compassion on those who fear You. From everlasting to everlasting Your love is with those who fear You, and Your righteousness with their children’s children; with those who keep Your covenant and remember to obey Your precepts. Lord, You have established Your throne in heaven, and it is Your kingdom that rules over all. Hallelujah!
Lord, help us and turn the hearts of wickedness towards You. Lord, transform minds and ways of humankind to see and understand who is really in charge. Sap the resources of evil and bring them to nought so that man may know who is the true God.
Lord, continue to provide for us and protect us as individuals, families, communities, businesses, general workers, frontline workers, government and a country as a whole; especially the weak and vulnerable among us. Be glorified, O God, we exalt You and honour You, as our forever Father.
Lord, 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; the 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.
We lift up to You those among us who are in business; 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; 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 continue to pray for those who mourn; those who are hospitalised, and the sick and shut-ins especially Sisters Nicole Evans and Kadene Stewart. So we ask that You will comfort every heart and mind. Let Your peace fill us afresh. We ask all of these with thanksgiving, 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.