Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 26 March 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. Just a reminder that if you or anyone you know is in need of prayer, please let us know. You can post your prayer request here on our website.
I am giving God thanks for the assurance that He will never leave nor forsake me. He said to the people of Israel “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”. I felt assured by those same words. Though I was not part of the first audience who received them, one could say that unless a mother has some mental abnormality she will never forget her child. I am His child, and He is my Father and Creator. He knows me more than I know myself. He is acquainted with everything that has happened to me, and He knows what is to come. I stand on the assurance that He will neither leave nor forsake me.
I pray you will be assured that the one and only true Almighty God is with you, that you will be assured He knows everything about you, and that He has been caring for you and protecting you through many of life’s dangerous journeys. May you know that He loves you unconditionally. Regardless of your experiences, may you never doubt His love. May you trust Him knowing that He is the only person who can be absolutely trusted and relied on.
The last post dealt with the death and restoration of the Shunammite woman’s son (2 Kings 7). As I continue my journey through the passages that the Lord gave me on the top of the hill I will look at another challenge that the Shunammite woman faced. This woman, as we would have read, was faithful and loving. She honoured God by honouring the prophet Elisha and was blessed with the precious gift of a son. As the scripture tells us, the son died but was raised through God’s anointed servant, the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 7).
Yet, there was another challenge ahead of her. However, she had an opportunity to know about it beforehand and was provided with some advice by Elisha.
Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.” The woman proceeded to do as the man of God said. She and her family went away and stayed in the land of the Philistines for seven years.2 kings 8:1-2 (niv)
The Shunammite woman had to walk away from all of her assets because of a piece of advice, which in some people’s mind may have happened. She left a comfortable home and business and stayed in another land for seven years. Wow! Man! She trusted the man of God and did what he advised. He had proven himself to be a true prophet because what he had declared and prophesied in the past came to fruition, not to mention the miracle of her son’s restoration.
Would you have given up your valuables even if it meant that you and your family’s life will be saved? Would you have given up any of your valuables, for whatever reason, knowing that God will be glorified in the end? Would you think that the prophet Elisha was crazy? Would you think that he was trying to deceive you? If there was a need and you were required to fill it, how would you proceed? Would you have sleepless nights? Would you be at rest with the decision? Would you justify your decision not to respond in a positive way? Do you think that God would have been pleased with your decision?
Apparently, the Shunammite woman was prepared to walk away from her possessions. She did not seem attached. Well, the passage did not give an account of a struggle or doubt on her part. Something really interesting happened to the woman. Some people may refer to her experience as a set-up from God. It so happened that Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, was talking to the king about Elisha’s ministry and the many works of his hands. In particular, he was talking about the miracle of the Shunammite woman’s son being raised from death. Wow! Really! Oh yes! I mean it was at that time the woman walked in to plead her case for the restoration of her properties. The seven years of famine had ended, so she returned.
At the end of the seven years, she came back from the land of the Philistines and went to appeal to the king for her house and land. The king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, and had said, “Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done.” Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to appeal to the king for her house and land…2 Kings 8:3-5 (NIV)
Now, Gehazi must have been frightened out of his boots. Oh, they wore sandals, not boots. He may have been so happy for the confirmation of his report to the king but at the same time was in disbelief. Imagine the look on his face. How would you have responded? I mean, it was seven years since he saw the woman and her family.
… Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” The king asked the woman about it, and she told him. Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”2 Kings 8:5-6 (NIV)
Again, the woman was restored. Wow! Yet her restoration was not ordinary. Hallelujah! What did the king say? I have to put it live. Give back the woman her properties. Not just her properties! Oh yes! Not so dry! Give her back every cent earned from it! Chat bout, restoration! Wow!
God did not forget the woman. He did not forsake her. She had been faithful and trusted the hand of God in her life. What about you? This is between you and God. Just think about the woman’s attitude and behaviour towards God and her role in His Kingdom. Think about the trust that she placed in God and the glory that she experienced. Just think about it. Like I said, it is between you and God… no one else is hearing.
As you meditate, let us pray:
Almighty God, we stand in awe of You! You are Awesome! Lord, there is truly none like You. Lord, no one can be compared to You. Your ways are higher than our ways and Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts. You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Oh God, You are Awesome!
We thank You for Your goodness and mercies towards us. We thank You that while we were yet sinners, You sent Your Son to die for our sins so that we may experience abundant and eternal life. Lord, we are so grateful to You. Thank You, Lord.
Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ thanking You for being our shield, our glory, our refuge and our strength. You have been a present help in the midst of our circumstances. Oh God, we thank You.
Lord, it is a blessing and honour to be called Your child. You created our inmost being, You knit us together in our mother’s womb. Wherever we may go, You know. Lord. You know every strand of hair on our heads, and Your thoughts of us are more than the sand on the seashores. O Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the glory! Hallelujah!
Lord, we present ourselves, families, communities, churches and related institutions, countries and leaders to You. Lord, we thank You for sustaining us through these times of challenges. We ask for Your mercies, forgiveness and cleansing.
Lord, we ask for physical and emotional healing for us as individuals, families, communities, churches and related institutions, countries and leaders. Help us to act with soundness of behaviour, thinking of the way our decisions will affect the next person. Help us to be conscientious in thoughts and deeds, not murmuring but aiming to please You in all that we say and do so that You are glorified.
Lord, grant to leaders throughout our country and the world, insight, true wisdom, knowledge, clarity, strength, covering and protection. Lord, cause it that they act in the best interest of those who they serve with compassion and courage.
Lord, identify every criminal mind, plans, activity, support and resources, and nullify them. Cause it that they do not escape from wrongful acts but hold them accountable. Lord, convict them of their wrongs and cause their hearts to turn to You.
Lord, we pray for those in business who have to be scaling down their operations. Oh God, have mercy and help us! Help us to see and feel the work of Your hands in our experiences. Help our economies to not just survive but grow.
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.
Lord, we pray for our children who are struggling to deal with the changes caused by the presence of the Covid 19 Virus. Lord, instil hope instead of despair and provide strength to those who are weak. Grant compassion to those who are on the frontline or working in essential services. Lord, cover and protect them and their families.
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.
Oh God, help us to be responsible citizens and may Your favour and blessings be upon our lives in Jesus’ 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.