Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 21 February

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 21 February 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 but if not, please let us know. You may send your prayer requests through our website and we will be happy to pray for you.

I give God thanks for His grace and mercy. Thank God for the revelations of His nature in every aspect of my life. I am so grateful for the journey that Jesus Christ took to pay the price for my sins. I am glad that He did not allow the obstacles of threats, abuses or any selfish attitude and feelings to interfere with His Father’s intention. Yes, there were times when the pain was hard for Him but He reverted to do the will of His Father. This was more important to Him than anything else. I pray that you will remain steadfast and unmovable in your faith; having the right posture concerning the Christian walk and allow God’s purpose to be accomplished; knowing that His work in you will not be in vain. May the favour of God be upon you.

You know, it is a time of reflection on the life of the Christian and our relationship with God, and man. It is a time for self-examination, releasing our concerns and cares to God. A time for renewal of spirit, mind and body and, a time to surrender completely to God’s will, trusting Him and the journey ahead.

As I reflected on this time of year and my own life so many experiences flash across my mind. However, there are two simple experiences that are prominent in my thoughts. Recently, I was on my way to the hill walk. I had a piece of tissue in my hand, which I periodically put over my nose. A man who was also walking saw what I did and mocked me by periodically placing his bare hands over his nose looking at me straight in the eyes. I laughed to myself because unknown to him, the tissue had peppermint on it. I was just inhaling the mint. Yes, I should unapologetically also protect both of us by distancing and/or covering my nose and mouth. Anyway, that is another matter.   

My other experience had to do with a young man who normally walks through the area where I live. Usually, he is very pleasant and appears to be kind and caring. You may even invite him into your yard or have a happy conversation with him at your fence or gate. You know, that man is actually who we call a bare-faced thief.

Why did I share the two experiences? Do you see any possible contrast in the way we could respond to people and situations? In the first instance, the man (who was not wearing a mask) made an inaccurate assumption. In the second, it is highly possible that other persons could make an inaccurate assumption to their detriment. The second instance appeared to be more welcoming than the first but could be deceptive.

At times, we make assumptions and open ourselves to the wrong people and situations allowing for deception. As I proceed, my thoughts took me to Eve and the snake which was considered to be more crafty than other wild animals that God made. One could say that the snake was so nice to Eve and engaged with her in a conversation. It posed a question to Eve, “…Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” (Genesis 3:1, NIV). Eve was instructed by God and even repeated what He said when the question was posed. “But God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” (Genesis 1:3, NIV). The deception began with a nice conversation and a creation of doubt in Eve’s mind. The snake reminded Eve of the benefits of the tree. “… the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:9, NIV).

Look at the shift. Having assessed the situation, Eve started to rely on the snake and her own intelligence. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it….” (Genesis 3:6, NIV). She not only invited sin in her life but the lives of others. Firstly, the person closest to her or the only other person at the time. “…She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Genesis 3:6-7, NIV).

Eve was disobedient to God’s instruction and the consequences were harsh. Cursed were Eve, Adam and the snake resulting in a curse upon the earth and the fall of man. Before God told them of the consequences, in my mind, the Court was opened and each was called to account for their actions. Here goes. The Lord asked Adam two question. “And he said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’” (Genesis 3:11, NIV).

Tell me, did Adam answer the question or posed a defence? The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:12, NIV). One could hear the opposing litigator reiterating the question to make prominent the point. “Mr Adam, have you or have you not eaten from the tree?” Was Adam justifying his actions or admitting his mistakes? Was Eve taking the same approach by justifying her action? “Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’” (Genesis 3:13, NIV). One may say that they both answered the question in a backhanded way.

Who was held accountable? Was it only Adam? Was it only Eve? Or was it only the snake? Were all three held accountable by God? Did they all face the consequences of their actions? Oh yes, (Genesis 3:14-19).

We will face temptations and deception in life but how should we proceed? Remember Nehemiah’s prayer of confession for self, family and nation (Nehemiah 1); and Job’s prayer for self and family (Job 1). They both recognised the need to constantly put self before God.

Another man who came to my thoughts is Daniel. He also did a prayer of confession (Daniel 9). If I could give him middle names, it would be Steadfast and Unmoveable. Brethren and Friends, when you want to find an example of someone who reverenced God, search for Daniel. When you think about it, the king was deceived by his own employees to sign into law that only false gods (theirs) should be worshipped. Yet, Daniel knew that his God must be worshipped, fly high or low regardless of the consequences (Daniel 6).

Daniel was high in the hierarchy of the kingdom but did not allow them to change his stance. He was not afraid. He was not open to deception nor being led to sin, even by the laws of the times. Wow! He was a man who kept a close relationship with God. He was steadfast and unmoveable in his walk with God. Daniel frequently fasted and prayed, which seemed to have been a lifestyle approach for him (Daniel 10:1-2). He did not rely on his own wisdom, nor the wisdom of man. He relied on true wisdom, which comes from God (Daniel 2; James 3:13-18).

May we do what is necessary to maintain and enhance our relationship with God. Remember, Adam, Eve and the snake messed up what God intended for man. Nonetheless, God in His mercy gave us another chance by sending His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins.

You know, the apostle Paul spoke to the people of Corinth about false prophets and in his concern for them drew reference to Eve’s experience. “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:13, NIV). Our minds can easily become exposed and be led astray. The hard part is that sometimes we think that the problem is the next person and not us. Not me Lord, that person is the problem. Do you think we can start with self? I am doing so, how about you?

As you meditate, let us pray:

Our God and King, we thank You for your mercies and grace. We thank You for sending your Son in whose name we pray. Lord, we are grateful for the Word who was from the beginning of time. We are grateful for the time that You spent on earth in the form of man and dwelt among humankind as You demonstrated your love, showed your power, guided and taught the correct way to live, healed the broken and provided freedom for those who were captive.

Lord, You are worthy of all honour, glory and praise. Your name is excellent. We extol your name on high. Our souls bless your Holy name. All that is within us, Lord, bless your Holy name. It is You who have forgiven our sins and healed our diseases. You save our lives from destruction and crown us with your loving-kindness and the multitude of your tender mercies. Be magnified, O Lord. You are truly exalted. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! The Lord God Almighty reigns! Amen!

Lord, we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, that You have mercy on us as individuals, families, Churches and related associations, communities and as a nation. Lord, forgive all of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It is against You that we have sinned and fallen short of your glory. Lord, let us not be overpowered by evil but rescue and deliver us in your righteousness. Lord, turn your ear to us and save us. Save us from bloodguilt and cause it that our tongues sing of your righteousness.

Lord, we pray for every area of leadership in our families, communities, Churches and related associations, and the country as a whole. Grant us compassion, strength, provision and protection, the courage and boldness to do what is right in your sight. Help us to act in the best interest of those we serve. Cause it that we serve with honour and not for honour for ultimately your glory shines on us.

 Lord, we ask that You touch the hearts of the leaders of other nations and world organisation. We ask that You take away the hearts of stone and grant hearts of flesh that are obedient to your will. Lord, cause it that peoples of the world will selflessly come together in the fight against poverty, abuse and health issues, especially the Covid-19 Virus. Help us as a nation to be mindful of our responsibility to protect self and others.

We pray especially for 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 lift up the leaders of criminal activities and their plans, schemes, activities, resources, and support of all kinds from all angles. Lord, nullify every aspect of their operations and block their progress. Turn wicked hearts to you and transform them. Protect us from burglars, murderers and deceptive hearts.

God of restoration, we present to You those among us who are on the usual sick and shut-in list, as well as Sisters Iris Lawrence, Sister Valerie Smellie, 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 Lloyd Trusty, Mr. Alan Ashley (Sister Dawn Ashley’s father), Brother Danville Japp’s father, Mr. Isaiah Japp, Mr, Delorn Dixon (Sister Rachael Dixon’s husband), Mr Lyn Cook (Sister Marcia’s husband) and any member or family member who is currently struggling with the Covid-19 virus. We pray for healing, comfort and restoration.

Lord, pull us close to You. Fill us with your power, presence and peace. In the name of Jesus Christ, 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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