Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 27 December

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 27 December 2020 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers.

My Brothers, Sisters and Friends we hope that you are well. However, if not, please let us know.

Let us thank God for His mercy and grace. I give God thanks for the strength, energy and peace that He gives me daily. It has been one rocky journey but we serve an Awesome God. Hallelujah!

You may know that my father’s burial was held on December 20 and his birthday would have been on December 23. The night before the burial it rained and continued until mid-morning the next day. It sounded like we were having a storm. I started to feel anxious at 4 AM and decided to get into a time of prayer, praise and thanksgiving. So I called everyone in the house together for us to pray at about 7 AM. I also sent a message for other persons to pray and tried my best to keep focused knowing that God remains in charge. It appeared the more we prayed the harder the rain fell.

 I was reminded of the Psalmist proclamation “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.” (Psalm 34:1-2, NIV). I also thought about the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all, the Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)

After a little while, the anxious feelings disappeared. It is amazing what praise, thanksgiving and prayer can do for our well-being.

When I was about to send off the devotional that morning, the Holy Spirit told me that I am faithful so I must expect Him to be faithful. Even then He remains faithful in all things. I felt more assured at that time. The rain stopped at about 11 AM. However, the place was muddy and slippery. The paint on the tomb was washed off and it became necessary for us to have additional material including sand etc. at the graveside to build the covering during the committal. Persons were sliding down the hill and falling over. My brothers created steps and put sandbags and blocks in place so that they could safely take the casket up the hill. It took a lot of corrective work that morning. They worked really hard to get things sorted.

At the time for the funeral, we had a short service at a nicely decorated tent then took the casket to the graveside for the committal. It was a beautiful casket with an unusual colour that was not mournful but classical. My father’s body was adequately prepared, and I must say that he was nicely dressed. His dressing was not mournful but classical. It represented him. He was a jovial person. He looked so much at peace. The program was well done, filled with words of memories from family and friends. The Funeral directors (Jonah’s) offered us splendid service, which somewhat eased our discomfort. We are thankful for the service and pray for God’s richest blessings on them and their business.

Of course, I borrowed a car (for a short period) and ended up with a flat tyre at the end of the burial. I had to go into the town to have the tyre as well as the spare dealt with, but that was minor compared to everything else.  

I had to cook the morning for family members and close friends who showed up at the house afterwards. It was a lot of cooking going on but thank God I made it through. I am thankful for the brave non-family members from Kingston who showed up. Also the family members, as well as other well-wishers and family members from the community. They distanced themselves so no one had to appeal for that. Praise be to God that everything worked out better than we could have imagined. My family and I are grateful for all of the support.

As I reflected on the happenings in recent times, two songs kept coming to me. “Until Then” and “No man is an Island”. I got pinned to the chorus of “Until Then”. “But until then, my heart will go on singing, Until then with joy, I’ll carry on, until the day my eyes behold the city, until the day God calls me home”. This song offers an assurance that we can rejoice. Although our loved one has passed we can continue to live, to sing, and be joyful. It may take some persons different time periods to do so. I do not get the impression that we do not mourn, but we mourn with hope.

The song “No man is an Island” tells me that no matter what we may think, we need each other. It speaks to interdependency. A part of it goes like this, “No man is an island, no man stands alone. Each man’s joy is joy to me. Each man’s grief is my own. We need one another. So I will defend each man as my brother, each man as my friend”.

The year 2020 is not yet over but it has etched lasting memories in the lives of many people. Some of us need to recover and aim at regaining our balance though there are those of us who have to keep trying to do so because of repeated challenges. May God continue to cover us as we count down the days ahead, as each of us gets bit by 2020.  

 Let us pray

Lord, we thank You so much for loving us. We thank You for taking us through an unusual year. Lord, it has been a year that is not easily summarised. It has been a year that showed selflessness, bravery, boldness and courage. It is one that has brought out the best in a lot of people. Yet it has been a year that caused selfishness, coldness, anxiety, panic, depression and suicidal ideation. It is one that has brought out the worse out of some people.

This has been a year of worldwide deaths due to the Covid-19 Virus and other diseases. It has been a year that brought the locust in an unusual way, bush fires especially in Australia, and heavy rains and hurricanes. It has been the year of lockdown and losses but one of opportunity. Yet, Lord, You have kept us as individuals, families and as a country. We are eternally grateful. Lord, we thank You.

Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, asking that you cleanse us from all unrighteousness and forgive all of our sins.  Out of the depths we cry to You. O Lord, have mercy.

Lord, You are above all else. You are faithful. It is You who causes the sun to rise and set, and the moon and stars to give us light by night. You remember us in our low estate and free us from our enemies. You provide for every creature. We give thanks to You God of heaven, for Your faithfulness and mercies endure forever. Our souls magnify You Lord and all that is within us bless Your Holy Name.

Lord, it is You who forgives all our sins, heal our diseases and save our lives from destruction. You crown us with Your loving-kindness and the multitude of Your tender mercies. You satisfy our desires with good things so that our youth is renewed like the eagles. Lord, it is You who works righteousness and justice for us when we are oppressed. We forget not Your benefits, so we give you thanks.

Lord, words can never express our gratitude. We are eternally grateful.

Lord, we ask that You let not evil/sin rule over us but that You counsel us, and watch over us as we come to the close of 2020. We do not know the way, and neither do we see the way ahead unless You show it to us. We commend self into your hand of care, your hand of power.

Hear us, O Lord and have mercy.

We pray for the leaders of our country especially, 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. 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, help them make the right decisions for the country. Grant them true wisdom, insight, knowledge and understanding as they serve our country.

Lord, remember those among us who are on the usual sick and shut-in list, as well as Sisters Iris Lawrence, 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 Cornel Richards, Mr Alan Ashley (Sister Dawn Ashley’s father) and Andrew Robinson (Sister Claire Robinson’s son), Brother Danville Japp’s father, Mr Isaiah Japp, Mr Norman Grant (Sister Juanica’s husband), Mr Delorn Dixon (Sister Rachael Dixon’s husband) and any member or family member who is currently struggling with the Covid-19 virus.

Lord, we lift up to You Sisters Audrey and Prunella Vassell and family who have to go through this period needing comfort and peace. We pray that You will be a banner of comfort and peace around them at this time.

Lord, remember those hurting mentally and confused. Lord, provide, cover and comfort them at this time. Help them to reach out to You and garner strength and clarity. Lord, surround us as a banner, keep us (and our families) safe and fill us with Your peace as You control each day, 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.

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