The Prayer of Encouragement for 25 April
Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 25 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 are hoping that you are well. However, if not, please let us know. 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 continue to thank God for His mercy. I am thankful that He is a God who is all-mighty, all-powerful and all-knowing. Tell you what, everything is bare to His eyes. Nothing is hidden from Him. Wherever I go, He knows. Whatever I do, He knows. When I do anything in darkness, it may remove my inhibitions but He still sees because the darkness is as light to Him. My awareness of this raises my consciousness that I need to act and think with an understanding that God is ever-present.
Yet, I can still allow my mind to be guided in the wrong direction as it relates to my thought, attitude and behaviour. I must be aware that the kingdom of darkness is trying to work alongside the kingdom of light, and that the kingdom of darkness aims to put me into a bad light. I have to be vigilant, not just be alert and aware, ensuring that I stay under God’s covering through talking to Him in prayer, and just talk; to pray and keep feeding on His word daily. It must become my lifestyle, and as such driven with ease. As the Psalmist prayed, I ask that God keeps me from willful sins and that they do not rule over me. It does not mean that I am perfect or get all things right but I try to reasonably stay on the right path. I recognised more and more that I need grace, God’s grace, so I rely on Him.
I pray that you will be consciously aware and alerted to the fact that God sees you all the time, in all that you think, do and say. You see, before a word is on your tongue, He knows. Your thoughts are not hidden from Him. He knows every strand of hair on your head. He knows every strand of hair on the heads of the billions of people in the world. You try counting yours. Oh, you may not have hair on the head. That is okay because His thoughts of you are more than the sand on the seashore. Try counting the sand at one river or seashore. May you be vigilant to think, speak and act in a way that pleases God, doing what is necessary for that to happen. May He bless and favour you always.
In the last post, I spoke of king Ahab and queen Jezebel taking away Naboth’s vineyard and linked this with an experience that I had in acquiring the car (1 Kings 21). The man had one piece of property. “Dem call people together, tell lies pan the man, and thief his property.” One may say that it was prime property because of where it was located, that is, near to the king’s palace. They drove past it and their eyes captivated its beauty, enticing their thoughts to want it, and tantalising their tongues to speak of it; which threw them into action, to seek it. The king was not acquainted with rejection but that was what Naboth gave him. “…The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” (I Kings 21: 3, NIV).
Jezebel became aware of the rejection. She decided that Ahab was the king, and the king must get what he wanted at all times. She arranged for Naboth to be falsely accused and stoned to death (I Kings 21: 6-15, NIV). Ahab took the vineyard and they went on living their lives. “When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard.” (I Kings 21: 16, NIV).
Now, I must tell you of my most recent experience on the hill walk. I went up the hill early because the heat of the sun comes out earlier at this time of year. I was on my way down the hill when a few people who were on their way up, kept asking me if I drove an SUV. They said someone hit the vehicle and they could not find the owner. We all knew that based on where the car was parked, it is 99.999 per cent certain that it was someone on the hill walk who drove it, and the person would have still been on their walk.
When I got to the foot of the hill, I did not see a crowd, nor the pickup that hit the SUV, nor did I notice the vehicle that was hit. I concluded that the matter was dealt with and persons left the scene. In a minute or so, I saw someone I know (who walks the hill) and his walking partner running down the hill. Those persons do not normally run the hill. They came and asked me if I saw what happened and the pick up that hit the SUV. I was puzzled and asked them to tell me what was happening. The vehicle was driven by one of them who happened to be the husband of my church sister.
I knew of some of the other persons who do the hill walk and have become acquainted with most of them. I also remember the persons who asked me about the SUV, so by now some of them were coming off the hill. I asked them to help us to understand what happened. One of the guys gave us a licence plate number but he was at a distance, so he could not remember the entire numbering. However, he was able to describe the vehicle to me. I know the vehicle. It passed me every Saturday morning at a certain spot while going up the hill. I remember that it was driven by a woman who was fairly big in body and about at least age 60 something. We could also recall the colour of the vehicle and that it was a single cab, and tha it was an aged vehicle.
On that morning, one of the guys who also walked the hill was in the back of the vehicle, and he actually waved to me. I went out earlier so it passed me while I was on my way down the hill. We asked the security guard next door (where the SUV was parked) but found out that, in essence, he was selectively muted concerning the situation. He said he just arrived.
There was someone on the scene at the time of the accident who is related to my walking partner so I got his number when I reached home (we hardly walk with our telephones, for safety purposes). I called and asked him about it. He saw everything that happened. He said that the pick up was descending the hill but lost its brake so it ran down the hill out of control. He could have been hit. It went into the SUV and they tried to assist her but she went into it a second time with her vehicle. The lamps on her vehicle were damaged. I recalled that there was evidence of this on the ground. I told him that the woman left the scene. He was astonished. He was of the opinion that the brake was fully gone, so the vehicle could not be moved without assistance.
She knew that there was damage to the SUV but left the scene of the accident without a contact. Neither has she returned as far as we know. Everyone assumed that the woman would have waited and dealt with the issue. No one deliberately took the licence plate number, nor ensured that she did not leave the scene without some form of contact. She did not seem to consider the person whose vehicle was damaged.
Some people thought that the guy who was in the back of the pick-up knew her. Some said that the vehicle belonged to him. I had to find him. It happened that the same guy I called had a number for him. I asked him to call that guy. He discovered that the guy did not know her but is aware that she is a businesswoman because a group of them bought coconut water from her. He was just hitching a ride. They still do not know exactly where she lives. I told my church sister’s husband what I found out and that he should report the matter to the police. We will still try and find the woman because she lives on the hill, somewhere.
The woman walked away. I am not sure what was in her mind, nor what caused her to do such a vain thing resulting in the vexation of spirits. Ahab and Jezebel did their wicked acts on Naboth and walked away. In the latter case, there were serious repercussions. The consequences were severe. The Lord saw and He paid Ahab and Jezebel a disgraceful and high price for orchestrating the death of Naboth and taking his property for zero cents (I Kings 21:17-29; 22; 2 Kings 9). They thought that it was okay to carry out their merciless act and walk away, just like that, without any consequence.
The woman thought that she could damage the vehicle and walk away, just like that, and there would be no consequence for her action. God sees, and He pays. May she be brought to light. May she become consciously aware and alerted to her actions, and turn to God. May there be no backlash for those of us who seek truth and justice. At the same time, may we act in a way that pleases God, by not sinning in our anger. Importantly, may we have mercy. Even if we do not find her, God pays. No matter how long it takes, He pays. What are your thoughts? Chat “bout” it.
As you think, let us pray:
Dear God, we thank You for Your mercy. We acknowledge Your greatness, Your power and Your might. We are aware that You see and know all things. However, at times we act as if You do not see us, and even if You see us there is no consequence for our actions. Lord, have mercy on us.
Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, asking that You cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Forgive all of our sins and make us worthy vessels in Your sight. Help us not to keep iniquity in our hearts. Help us not to act selfishly to satisfy our own hunger and camouflage it as working for You. Lord, have mercy on us.
Lord, we face so many challenges as individuals, families, communities, Churches, governments and countries as a whole but we plea for Your mercy.
We are contending with issues that appear to restrict the church; volcanic eruptions; criminal schemes and activities, suicidal ideation and other emotional issues, economic, downturn, violence; selfishness, Covid-19 Virus, workplace issues, vaccinations and its shortage, making the right decision at the right time for the right category of people.
May You answer us as we are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect us.
May Yu send help and grant Your support.
May You remember all our sacrifices and accept our offerings.
May You give us the desires of our hearts and make all our plans through you, succeed.
Lord, cause it that we shout for joy over Your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May You grant all our requests and give us victory, with the victorious power of his right hand.
Lord, we are aware that some trust in chariots and some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall but we rise up and stand firm. Grant us victory and answer us when we call! (Psalm 20)
Lord, we lift up to You the leaders in our country. 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.
Lord, we remember those who are not well, especially Jonathan and Kaylee Baldie, and their mom, Sister Sharon Baldie. We also present to You those among us who are on the usual sick and shut-in list, as well as Sisters Iris Lawrence, Merle Braham, 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, Cherrie Lee, and Lorraine Richards (Brother Cornel Richards’ wife); 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), Emery and other relatives of Brother Cornel who are ill at this time; and any member or family member who is currently struggling with the Covid-19 virus. Lord, grant healing, strength and peace, we ask.
We pray for those who are in distress, mourning losses of different kinds. Lord, have mercy and help.
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.