Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 23 April

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 23 April 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 hope you are well, but please let us know if not. Just a reminder that if you or anyone you know needs prayer, please let us know. You can post your prayer request here on our website.

I am so thankful to God for His mercy. I rely heavily on the mercy of God every second, every minute, every hour, every day and every year of my life. You know, when I reflected on my life, I realised that if humankind had their way I am not sure what would have happened to me. However, because of the mercies of God, I am still around. I am so grateful that God is the ultimate decider of my future and it is not in the hands of humankind.

You know something, I don’t always get things right. There are times when I stumble and fall. I slip up and make mistakes, no matter how I try to avoid doing so. Has that ever happened to you? The Lord has shown me through those experiences that I need Him at all times, and in all things, and that His perfect strength is made whole in my shortcomings.

The truth is that I was not born perfect. I was born in sin, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Although I surrendered my life to God, that sinful nature still wants to have a say.  In addition, at times the worker of evil tries to twist my path and make me look bad. Yet, God allowed space for me to need Him, and He made the provision of His mercy. I too realised the need to make provision by taking a purposeful approach to be in His word, to fast and pray on a regular basis. Even then, I have to be alert and aware of my thoughts, attitudes and behaviour as it relates to my experiences with God, humankind and situations. In all of that, I still do not get it perfect, so I continuously rely on the mercies of God.

I pray that you will recognise how much you live by God’s mercy. I pray that your minds will be enlightened to the many times you did not get things right, even as a child of God, and that He granted you mercy. Having received mercy, I pray that God will help you to appreciate what it means and that you will grant mercy to others by making provision for mercy. May we do so, not as the world does but as God requires.

Brethren and Friends, I am thanking God for my motor vehicle. I got what we call a second hand one last week. It is in fairly good condition, and it is now mine. I am extremely thankful to God for all that He has done for me on the journey, and for those who took the journey with me. It was a tough one.

The journey made me feel bruised and battered at times to the point where it was a bit difficult for me to receive the car, sit in it and drive. The pain of everything that happened came tumbling down on me. I am glad that my responses to the experiences that I had along the way were tempered and reflective, and that I was able to see and do the things that God put in my way as He established the works of my hands. I am also grateful for the strength that He gave me. Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord! I say, to Him be all of the glory.

The fact is, getting the vehicle was not a smooth path. I have been sharing part of the journey with you. The person who sold me the vehicle agreed to hold it until all of the long-standing paperwork was done. On the day prior to the agreed handing over of the vehicle, it was parked under a mango tree. A mango fell and broke the windshield. I insured it the same day but the seller took responsibility and replaced the glass at his cost. He did not try to argue his way around or out of it. However, the transfer was not yet done.

He also did some additional work to get the vehicle into a more ready state. He tried to be fair in terms of what he was offering me. However, he is of the view that he suffered some losses in the process based on his expected gain. I am thankful to this man, and I pray that God will grant him favour. I know that he will not lose.

As I reflected on what happened, somehow, I remember king Ahab’s yearning for Naboth’s vineyard. He offered money or a more expensive property but to Naboth, one could say that it was priceless (“Ahab said to Naboth, ‘Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange, I will give you a better vineyard or if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth’.” 1 Kings 21:2, NIV).

However, the merciless attitude and behaviour of Ahab’s wife, the queen Jezebel, resulted in Naboth losing his life. “Jezebel his wife said, ‘Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite’.” (1 Kings 21:7, NIV). Of course, Ahab seized the vineyard. As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, ‘Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead.’” (1 Kings 21:15, NIV). It appeared that Ahab did not pay for it. If that was the case, it remained priceless. “When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard.” (1 Kings 21:16, NIV).

Brethren and friends, many times we may think that money is a critical issue but to God, it may not be so. He owns everything. I mean everything, including us. We can easily get caught focusing our attention on the workings of the flesh but God tests the heart and intention of humankind. He does all of this for His purpose and glory.

The man who sold me the vehicle told me of an experience he had selling another car on behalf of someone. He had the opportunity to earn a few hundred thousand dollars more because someone bought it at a higher price than initially decided. People thought he was crazy to disclose the true transaction to the owner. Wait! Listen to this! He told the owner what happened and handed over the additional cash. He later discovered that the person who bought the car knew the owner. What if he was not honest?

You see, God allows things to happen to test our hearts and intentions. It was not about the money. We can never know all of what to do. We also have to be very careful about the way we do things. The truth is that nothing misses God. He pays back to those who do good, and He pays back to those who do bad. Whether it is good or bad, He pays. You know, some payback times may seem long or as if they will not happen but He pays unless He applies mercy. Sometimes God applies mercy but there may be discipline, so He pays.

Sometimes our bowel of compassion is punctured so we may keep losing it. I have learned over time and am still learning to let things go, and let God’s purpose be accomplished. I am learning to apply mercy, even when the action of some persons towards me is merciless. What say you? “Talk bout it!”

As you think, let us pray:

Almighty God, thank You for all that You have done and continue to do for us. At times we do not appreciate the things that You have done and continue to do for us. Lord, have mercy on our shortcomings in acknowledging Your kindness and goodness.

Lord, we praise You. We bless Your Holy Name. You are worthy to receive glory, honour and praise. As individuals, families, communities, Churches and associations, businesses, political representatives and government, and countries as a whole, we thank You for Your provision, protection and guidance.

Lord, 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. Out of the depths, we cry to You O Lord. May Your ear be attentive to our cry for mercy. Lord, it is because of Your compassion that we are not consumed. We thank You for Your faithfulness.

Lord, You are the God of our ancestors. You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations, and from generation to generation, You remain God. You created all things for Your purpose and pleasure. Lord, Your power has not diminished. You rule over all kingdoms, and no one can withstand You. Power and might are in Your hands.

Lord, although we face calamities of all kinds; Covid-19 Virus, vaccinations and the lack of, volcanic eruptions, crime and violence, economic downturns, acidic dust, other things; You remain God. As individuals, families, communities, Churches and associations, businesses, political representatives and government, and countries as a whole, we do not really know what to do.

Lord, we stand in the gap and ask for mercy! Lord, have mercy! Help us, Lord. Our eyes are on You, Lord. We call upon You in our distress as individuals, families, communities, Churches and associations, businesses, political representatives and government, and countries as a whole. Hear the cries of Your servants. Have mercy and answer.

Lord, help us to be merciful and compassionate in all that we say and do. Lord, cause it that we do not look to our own interest but the interest of others. Grant us true wisdom, revelations, insight, knowledge and discernment so that we can be guided in Your truth. Help us to be lifted out of the many calamities that face us. Provide for us, protect us, guide us, so that we can shine for You. Grant us the strength, peace, will and desire to act right, protect each man’s dignity and live responsibly.

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, 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.

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 lift up those who are despondent, sick or suffering losses of all kinds. We pray that You comfort, revive and fill each heart with Your presence and peace.

In Jesus’ name we pray with thanksgiving.

Amen. 


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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