Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 20 December

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 20 December 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 give God thanks for this another day. We may feel downtrodden, we may mourn, but not as those who have no hope. God’s promises still stand and He remains faithful even when we are faithless because He cannot deny Himself. Great is His faithfulness. We thank Him for His faithfulness.

I thank God for those persons who have been a support for my family and me during these challenging times. It has been a rocky journey but God gives me the right kind of feet to stand, so I stand. As I looked at the experiences and shared them with you, I am thinking about the grave digging as we prepared for my father’s burial.

Sometimes we may not understand the need to go through the process of grave digging as they do it out-of-town but I came to realise that it does much for the community. It is an all-day event that involves eating and drinking, and work. One main person is paid. However, the rest of persons come and volunteer. All of those who volunteered worked hard as if they were also getting paid. A number of the volunteers were extended family members. When everyone ate, drank, chatted and mouthed each other most people left in the late afternoon but a few good men remained. It was part of the celebration of the life that has passed.

I used to think that it was a waste of funds and time. However, I reached a different level of understanding as I observed the event unfold. I realised that it brings people in a community together, working for each other, creating a spirit of giving and bearing each other’s burden. Many times we take these things for granted. We cut things high and dry and become tense and distanced as people within our communities. We do not look out for each other and protect each other’s interest, and this ultimately affects us as a nation.

This does not mean that we open ourselves to be exploited. It may mean that we open ourselves for ministry. This is history and I am speaking of biblical history not African history. Many things have become modernised in the wrong way. I must say though that I was surprised when they asked me to pray at the end of the day. Just to add that Friday night was a prayer meeting at our home. This was extended to some persons from his church and a few friends and relatives. It was a powerful time. We give God all of the glory. We tried to apply the necessary protocols.

You may know that my father suffered from a severe stage of Dementia. One day he went to the town and seemed confused (that is, during the early stages of Dementia). It was the pharmacists who put him in a taxi and asked the driver to take him home. Another day he went out in a state of confusion and it was a number of persons from the community who called us and they took him home. After a while, for his safety, we had to keep him indoors. This is the spirit of a community that we need to maintain. It will cost us at times but we never know what it could really cost us if the community support was not in existence. Most of all, my mother still lives in the community.

We are reminded to:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourself, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of the other.

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

Carry each other’s burden and in this way, you will fulfil the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 (NIV)

Above all love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful servants of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:8-10 (NIV)

Today, we lay my father’s remains to the dust from whence it came. It is really raining heavily from last night so we ask God for mercy and a holding up of the rain. I am not sure of my emotions but I am assured of God’s presence. I cannot tell you what will happen but I know what has been planned. So I pray for God’s divine guiding hand, favour, blessings and covering over us and every activity of the day. I pray that He will be glorified through it all. May you be blessed and encouraged as I share my journey.

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank You for a new day. We thank You for waking us up in our right minds. We thank You for sustaining us as we take our individual journeys in this life. Lord, You are awesome. There is none who can be compared to You. We honour You for Your infinite greatness.

Lord, we come in the name of Jesus asking that You cleanse us from all unrighteousness and forgive all of our sins. Lord, have mercy on us. We ask that You renew the right spirit within us and grant unto us a willing spirit that is obedient to Your will and way. Lord, we ask that You help us to be the best keeper of each other and guard our lives.

Lord, we lift up to You the leaders of our churches, private sector, political directorate, public sector, voluntary institutions and families. We ask that Your hand will guide the mind and heart of each person. Help us to make the right decisions and act in the best interest of those we serve. Most of all be thou glorified in all that we think, say and do.

We 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. 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, help them make the right decisions for the country.

Lord, You see the murder rate and You know the vulnerability of the people of our nation. We ask for Your mercy and divine intervention. Protect us Lord, rid us of the criminal minds, and turn the hearts of people to you. Lord, help us.

Lord, we remember those who are mourning such as Sister Sonia Dean and Family, as well as my family. We pray for Your guidance and comfort as we face these challenging times.

Lord, remember those among us who are on the usual sick and shut-in list, as well as Sisters Iris Lawrence, Lelith James, Jennifer Nicholson, Virginia Muir, Marville (Cherry) Murray (Sister Iris Lawrence’s daughter), Janet Chen-Young, Joyce Bailey, Lucille Alexander, Jhada Graham, Ethlyn Atkins, Cherrie Lee, Brother George Gabbidon, Brother Cornel Richards, Mr. Alan Ashley (Sister Dawn Ashley’s father) and Andrew Robinson (Sister Claire Robinson’s son), Brother Danville Japp’s father, Mr. Isaiah Japp, Mr. Norman Grant (Sister Juanica’s husband),  Mr, Delorn Dixon (Sister Rachael Dixon’s husband) and any member or family member who is currently struggling with the Covid-19 virus.

Lord, as we face the week ahead, we ask for Your mercy, covering, protection and favour. Fill us anew each day and shadow our pathways with Your presence. Help those who are emotionally disturbed during this time of year. Provide them with the support they need and help them to reach out to You for comfort and grant them peace, in Jesus’ name we pray with thanksgiving.


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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