Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 20 November

Sister Kara-Leigh Jones offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 20 November 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 continue to look at the life of Jeremiah and his emotional response as it relates to certain experiences. Jeremiah spent his life as a prophet who prophesied a lot of doom. This was done to the displeasure of many who responded to him with harsh words and actions.

I have been looking at the way Jeremiah responded to the impact of his ministry. One could mildly say that it was not easy on poor Jeremiah. Some writers refer to him as the weeping prophet especially when we consider the Book of Lamentations. A critical point that I noted is that Jeremiah complained a lot, and as mentioned before, had conflicting thoughts. He was disturbed by the people’s reaction. There were times when he put mercy and compassion through the door by asking God to get rid of those who refused the warnings, as well as those who opposed and tried to harm him.

In one instance Jeremiah’s prophecies against Judah resulted in a beating by the temple manager, Pashhur.  He was a priest at the temple, which is referred to as the temple of the Lord. He was the man in charge of the temple and Jeremiah was upsetting the order. Jeremiah was beaten and locked up. It is believed that the set of prophecies leading to his beating started in chapter 13. At that time, the Lord gave Jeremiah an object lesson to demonstrate what He was going to do concerning Judah and Jerusalem. The Lord told him to buy a linen belt and put it around his waist (Jeremiah 13:1-2).  Then he was told to hide the belt at a place called Perath in the crevice of the rock (Jeremiah 13:3-5). He did as required.

Jeremiah was told by the Lord some days later to go for the belt that was hidden in Perath. When he took out the belt, it was ruined and completely useless (Jeremiah 13: 6-7). The Lord told Jeremiah that just as the belt was ruined, it is the same way that He was going to ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 13:8-9). Here there was the issue of pride among the people and this was not pleasing to the Lord.

The Lord further said to Jeremiah:

“These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt — completely useless! For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,” declares the Lord, “to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.”

Jeremiah 13:10-11 (NIV)

The Lord was also concerned about the hearts of the people and idol worship. He was not prepared to share His people with other gods and forms of worship. Yet, we noted that the people struggled to keep their focus on Him.

We may try to determine the reason for God taking Jeremiah through an experience of that sort. Why did God not tell Jeremiah instead of sending him all over the place to prove a point? You may note that the object lesson was an experience for Jeremiah. One may say that he was receiving training of all types, including on-the-job. He needed to understand and appreciate his role as a prophet and the seriousness of what God was saying. He was helping Jeremiah to realise that his job was valuable and the people were of great importance to Him.

The Lord mentioned bounding the people to Him. This may have suggested the closeness that he required. He wanted them to show that they were His people, and not for other gods. He required that they praised and honour Him. If others knew about it, they may say that what Jeremiah was asked to do made no sense or God does not operate in that manner. Why would God take him through all of that to prove a point to him alone? Yet, what God does is not always logical.  

When we get to chapter 19, Jeremiah had returned from a place called Topheth with more warnings.

Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court of the Lord’s temple and said to all the people, “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.”

Jeremiah 19:14-15 (NIV)

Of course, Pashhur had him beaten and locked up (Jeremiah 20:1-2).

Ironically, Pashhur’s name meant son (of the god (Horus), (Holman 2015). However, his behaviour towards Jeremiah and the prophecies resulted in him getting a new name. “The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him:

“The Lord’s name for you is not Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side. For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.”

Jeremiah 20:3-6 (NIV)

Brethren and Friends, Pashhur did not only receive a name change. He got a prophecy for self, friends and families. You may note that it was terrible. He chose to go against the man of God. and the prophecies of God. After these experiences, Jeremiah went into some mood swings. We mentioned some of them in previous writings. Nonetheless, we will talk some more later.

As we continue to reflect on the life of Jeremiah and how he responded to his calling and impact of his ministry, let us reflect on our lives. We will note that some of the time, Jeremiah was in distress. He even wished that his birth was unsuccessful. Yet, he got up and acknowledged the God he served. Brethren and Friends, it could not have been an easy journey especially when you are punished for fulfilling God’s purpose. Personally, I can appreciate his response. What do you have to say?

Let us pray:

Today’s prayer is led by Kara-Leigh Jones. Kara-Leigh has been very busy this week but she decided to make the prayer one of her priorities. May the Lord bless her richly, cover, favour and protect her as she takes life’s journey. Kara-Leigh is a member of Grace Youth Ministries and a high school student. She is very quiet but carries in her great gifts and brilliance. Please pray for her boldness and courage, and humility. Also, always pray for our youths.

Prayer time:

Dear Lord, we come before You today in the name of Jesus Christ. We ask that You have mercy on us and cleanse us from all of our sins.

Lord, we present to You our country. We thank You for your goodness, grace and mercy that You show to us each day. You know the issues we face in our country on a day to day basis, Lord – crime and violence, hurricane and storm threats, etc.

Lord, we pray that You put an end to the high crime rates in this country and protect us from this evil. Help these criminals to turn from evil and commit their lives to You, Lord. At this time we ask that any hurricane or storm on its way to harm us, You put a halt to and calm the storm. Keep us safe in these trying times.

We ask that You protect the families of our nation. Every family has their individual problems and we pray that they look to You for guidance and protection. Let no trouble fall on them and keep them away from all harm and danger.

Lord, we ask that You cover the children and youths under Your blood and help them to grow up in the right way, a way that is pleasing unto You. Take away any spirit of fear, anxiety, stress or frustration that they may have. Let them be confident in the fact that You have plans and purposes for their lives that will be fulfilled.

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 call by name the national leaders of this country. Help them to guide our country in the right path. We pray for:

The Honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, Minister of Health Christopher Tufton, Minister of Finance Nigel Clarke, health workers and support staff, Minister of National Security Horace Chang, Minister of Education, Mark Golding leader of the opposition; and their families; Jamaica Defence Force and Jamaica Constabulary Force personnel and Security Guards, all other leaders of government and their support staff.

Minister of National Security, Horace Chang and his team, as they fight the good fight to overcome the challenges we face each day. Lord, we put to You and ask for Your blessings on the Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck. We also remember the judges in our congregation, Paula Blake Powell and Grace Henry McKenzie

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.

We pray for the mental health of the workers, employers mentioned above and all members of our church congregation. Help us to be able to push and continue to do Your work, even when times get hard. Remind us daily that we can count on You even if everything seems to be going wrong and when people cannot help us. Protect our minds, souls and bodies and strengthen us to face each day.

We put all our hope and faith in You God and we entrust You with our lives. All these things we ask in Your 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.

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