Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 22 January

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 22 January 2021 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers.

My Brothers, Sisters and Friends, it is another weekend in 2021. As I reflected, it felt like 2020 gave us a piece of lasing and left. Now we have to recover. Though the lashing continues for some, we still give thanks to God for keeping us and for taking us on this weird and uncertain journey of life in these times. May the Lord be the guide of our lives, may He be the shadow of our steps, and may our steps be ordered by Him. May His blessings overflow us. His mercies protect us, and may we never lose hope, knowing that we are overcomers. Remember, if you or anyone you know is in need of prayer, please make your request through our website.

You may recall that my last writing told the story of a shoe that was torn apart while my walking partner and I were returning from a hill walk. As I mulled over my experience, my thoughts took me to three issues. The first involved certain teachings on love as accounted for by both John the Baptist and John the disciple. The second issue has to do with using something new or strong to mend the worn, and the third issue has to do with perseverance. Last time I dealt with the first issue, love. Today I will address the second.

You know, I study the Bible but when an experience hits me, the word of God gets a greater impact. I had suggested that we used the lace from the shoe to tie it together as a temporary fix but this did not work. It fell apart in a short space of time. The lace is normally from another type of material and would be different from those making up the other parts of the shoe. When you think about it, the walking shoe was made of about four types of material plus accessories.

What Jesus said during one of His teachings rang in my head. It was like a buzzer going off for a period of time. He said, “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.” (Matthew 9:16, NIV). I mean, this literally unfolded in front of my eyes, and later rang in my head. We put a hole into the sole of and the side of the shoe and used a piece of the lace (not worn) to tie it together. The holes just burst open and the shoe gave way leaving the lace standing strong. The tear did get worse, for sure.

What was the lesson from Jesus to His audience? You may recall that the Pharisees and other religious leaders on many occasions,  did not agree with Jesus’ approach to living according to the biblical laws, principles and rules during His time on earth. This would have resulted in many conflicts and misunderstandings but Jesus did everything with a specific purpose.

In one example, the Jews wanted evidence of Jesus’ authority. Jesus pointed to destroying a temple and raising it in three days. They did not see or hear with any great insight or discernment. One could say that the response was of a technical and administrative approach rather than spiritual. He was not referring to a physical temple but His body. Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body.” (John 2:19-21, NIV).

Jesus knew that His disciples were mainly new to the biblical laws, principles etc. He wanted to ensure that they were not misled and become religious rather than seeking God and accomplishing His purpose in a way that pleases Him. He did not want them to be focused on trying to perfect religious approaches while their hearts, attitudes and behaviour raised a lot of questions. For Him, the new followers should not fit into the old way of doing things. Like the lace used to tie the shoe, what we should accomplish will not be affected when we use old approaches to our lives that should be Christlike.

Jesus did not come to abolish the law. He came so that the law could be fulfilled through His grace and mercy because on our own humankind struggled to do so (Matthew 5:17).  Our merciful  Father recognised that and gave another Covenant to His people through His redemptive plan. Brethren and Friends, it is by grace that we are saved for the work of God to be established in us. What do you have to say?

As you meditate, let us pray:

Almighty and Righteous Father, we thank you for the dawning of a new weekend. You are an awesome God. You rule and reign in all things. Lord, you will always be in control. Regardless of our experiences, you remain God. Hallelujah to your name, O God!

Lord, we thank you for your redemptive plan of salvation. We thank you for the opportunity to be adopted and called your children. We thank you that we are in our right minds. Lord, we thank you for sustaining us through these challenges. We are extremely grateful.

Merciful Father, we come in the name of Jesus Christ asking that you have mercy on us. Forgive all of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Lord, make us worthy vessels as you establish the work of your hands in us. Out of the depths of the earth, we cry. Hear O Lord, and have mercy.

Lord, we present to you all leaders in our nation and the nations of the world. 

We call out leaders of families, communities, institutions, associations, Churches, Church associations and related institutions, political leaders and leaders of government, and private sector leaders. We ask that evil not overpower us. Let not sin rule us but rescue and deliver us, and have mercy. Lord, let us not be misled by power and authority but cause it that power and authority are only used so that your work is established, and you are glorified. Lord, persons in our workforce are uncertain and nervous at times but we ask for your provision and peace. Help our governments to make choices that are in the best interest of our nations.

Lord, we lift 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.

Lord, we put to you leaders of criminal activities from every sphere of life, boundaries and borders. We ask that you cause their hearts and minds to turn to you and that you become the Lord and Savior of their lives. Lord, we ask that every criminal thought be ceased, every criminal activity, scheme and plan be confused and made impotent. We ask that there be indisputable evidence and accountability. We pray that every person walking, bike/bicycle riders, and other forms of motor vehicles being used for criminal activities be made useless in the name of Jesus Christ.

Lord, cause it that we do not become weary in praying for the issues that are affecting us locally, regionally and internationally, especially concerning the Covid-19 Virus. Help us not to be weary in well-doing. Cause it that we step out to carry on the works of your hands. We ask for divine covering and protection for those who find themselves on the frontline doing medical, social, psychological service, giving spiritual support and other forms of service. We ask that you endow us with your strength, true wisdom, and peace. Lord, fill our bowels with compassion in the measure needed to do your will.

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.

Lord, we remember those who are hurting and mourning. We ask that you grant strength, gladness and hope. Clothe us with a spirit of praise and thanksgiving. We lift up especially Sister Juanica Grant and family, as well as the family of our late Sister Cecile (Elaine) Wilson. We also ask for your hand of comfort and strength as they process their loss.

Lord, we ask that you fill us with your presence and power. Surround us with your banner of love. In the name of Jesus Christ, we say thanks.


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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