The Prayer of Encouragement for 28 August
Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 28 August 2020 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers.
My Brothers, Sisters and Friends we are hoping that you are well.
The Corona Virus has taken on a speed but I pray that we will remain safe. I appreciate all of the feedback. I thank you for your comments. We give God Almighty all of the thanks, honour, glory and praise for this opportunity to share with the hope that we will be encouraged and empowered.
I have been having some experiences which bring my love language and expectations into focus. My top two love languages are acts of service and quality time. Therefore, whatever you say to me or promise me must be backed up with your fulfilment. This provides me with a pointer to your genuineness. It also impacts what I expect based on my experiences with you. I recognise that there can be a negative impact when someone has changed, so I have also been learning to be open to the fact that minds can be renewed by God. Yet, I have to ask God to guard my heart from being exploited.
In recent times I have been bombarded with a barrage of experiences, which I was sharing with a friend. I told her of my actual experiences but every time I shared those experiences, she kept going back to what she expects a normal human being to do. She is stuck on expectations and not seeing the trail of actual experiences.
What is even more challenging is the fact that I may not initially have certain expectations but persons knowingly or unknowingly impose them on me through speech, actions or influence. I found that when we are not alerted to these things, we build up false expectations, which may result in disappointments and at times a broken heart. However, the Holy Spirit kept reminding me to forgive, demonstrate love and avoid resentment and hatred but be alerted and aware.
You know, the apostle Paul in his writings encouraged the Brethren in Ephesus to:
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
Here, Paul offered unto the people insights into the character of the daily expected lifestyle of the children of God.
We are expected to imitate or do as Christ did while He was on earth. We must behave as if we know that Christ loves us, a love that is sacrificial. Our lifestyle must create a positive atmosphere that gives rise to a fragrance, which brings about healing of brokenness, peace, strength and power of God resulting in newness of a soul, and the rescuing of a soul; and, the empowering of a human being. It requires a sacrifice that is at times really tough. We are expected to demonstrate a love that takes us beyond self. It requires us to give up things in our lives, and ourselves.
Brethren, if we are not giving up something that really cost us, it is not a sacrifice. I recall when David was making a sacrifice to the Lord. He said;
… “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.2 Samuels 24:24 (NIV)
One of the characteristics that Paul suggested that persons in Ephesus should be mindful of is deception. He said that they should become alerted to the deception of useless words. He enunciated that those who do not follow the ways of God are considered to be disobedient, and they expose themselves to punishment. Therefore, the child of God should not allow himself to be driven off in the wrong direction. He said:
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.”Ephesians 5:6-7 (NIV)
Vine defines deception as “that which gives a false impression, whether by appearance, statement or influence.” It may involve the use of “empty words,” which leads to a belittling of the true character of sins committed. Deception can lead to error, seduction, a leading of someone astray (Matthew 24; John 7:12; 1 John 3:7; Ephesians 5:6).
How then should we live, we may ask? Paul made a suggestion.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”Ephesians 5:8-10 (NIV)
We need to first of all know and understand that we are called to be a positive attraction that results in change and renewal where there is confusion, strife, distress, despondency and other forms of wrongful thinking and attitudes (darkness). As we do these things, we try to understand the mind of God as it relates to every experience that we encounter. We constantly seek him and act according to His will and desires in our experiences. It requires action, not a full mouth of words. It is not like a full page or a chapter that seems sweet to the mind but only leaves us with an image, leading us to the place of nowhere.
Brethren, the writer of Proverbs asks the question; “Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” (Proverbs 29:20, NIV). Someone once told me that we have two ears and one mouth because we are expected to listen more than we speak. It means more to me when someone’s words line up with their actions. I also try to live this way. Even then, I may not always get it right. Yet, I keep trying, relying heavily on God’s guidance and mercies. How about you? What are you saying? What has God been saying to you concerning these and similar issues? Are you listening? Think about it….
As we meditate and bring our thoughts and lifestyle into focus, we give God thanks that He is merciful. We thank Him for grace, sustenance, peace, covering, provision and guidance. We thank Him for His shed blood, His faithfulness and His unconditional love.
Let us pray:
Father God, we praise You for Your consistency in our lives. We thank You for Your goodness, mercies and love. Thank You that regardless of our experiences, You remain the Almighty, Unchangeable, All-powerful and All-knowing God. We praise and honour You.
Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, asking that You have mercy on us as individuals, families (church and biological), and as a country. We ask that You forgive us of all our wrong-doings and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So Lord, renew the right spirits in us and grant us obedient hearts and minds that are attuned to and act according to Your will and Your ways.
Lord, we lift up our country Jamaica, to You and ask for Your mercies. We have done wrong in Your sight so have mercy and forgive us, we ask. We lift up every sector of government, Lord, every church and business leader, and every citizen in this country and ask for Your mercies and forgiveness.
Lord, we know that all things are in Your hands, and they are created by You, for Your purpose and pleasure. So Lord, take every community, every parish in this country under Your microscopic eyes. Take every criminal element and intent, every abusive situation, every scheme and set-up of evil and cause it that minds, hearts and lives are transformed for Your glory. Lord, we ask that You expose those who are relentlessly causing harm and destruction in our country and amongst our people. Lord, expose them! Hold them accountable, Lord!
Lord, we ask that our leaders be endowed and empowered by You with the spirit and anointing to be bold, of good integrity, peaceful, honest, transparent, of wisdom and conduct ourselves in ways that please You. Therefore we ask that You expose corruption in all areas of government and hold them accountable. Let every decision be made in the best interest of our country and its people.
Hear our cries, O Lord; and attend unto our prayers.
Lord, we lift up the Ministry of Health and all those involved in the fight against the Covid-19 Virus. Father, it has been a long journey for them. So we ask for wisdom, insight, compassion, strength, perseverance, patience and peace for every person involved in this fight.
Lord, You see the persons who have been irresponsible and not isolating themselves. You know, Lord, that this results in a wider community spread. The Covid-19 hotlines have indeed become hot and inaccessible by persons who are trying to call for information, and to get tested because of suspected or contact with infected persons. We ask that You take every heart and mind and ignite awareness amongst every citizen in this country so that we may act responsibly and keep ourselves, families and neighbours safe during this time. Dear God, let not the good suffer because of someone else’s wrongful behaviour.
Lord, we pray for all nations throughout the world and ask for Your mercies and forgiveness. Cause it that hearts and minds turn to You and that there will be mental and physical healing.
Lord, elections are so near but we place the days before, the day, and the days after in Your hands. We say, let only Your will be done. Grant peace, Your peace throughout the length and breath of this country.
Hear our cries, O Lord; and attend unto our prayers.
Lord, we pray for our economy. We thank You for keeping us as a Nation. We pray for Your continued help. Therefore, help our business leaders and sustain their businesses throughout these trying times. Give them the wisdom and insight of creativity, boldness and strategies that will keep their business during and beyond these times. Grant provision to our workforce and protect us all.
Hear our cries, O Lord; and attend unto our prayers.
Lord, it is the hurricane season, and we thank You for protecting and covering us to date and ask for Your continued mercies and coverage. Help us, Lord.
We pray for students and teachers who are in a quandary. Lord, strengthen them and let them not lose hope but ignite in them a spirit of power, love and soundness of mind.
Lord, we pray for those who are on the brink or may find themselves on the brink of wanting to take their lives. Dear God, have mercy! Grant hope, in every troubled heart and mind! O God, grant hope and instil Your peace and cause it to transcend beyond our understandings, and cause it to dwell in our hearts and minds.
Lord, we pray for Choose Life International as they prepare to mark World Suicide Prevention Day in September. Grant true wisdom, revelations, strength, boldness and courage to Donovan and Faith Thomas as thy lead CLI especially at this time. Lord, cause it that they make the right decisions as they proceed in Ministry. Protect them and their families, provide for them and grant them Your peace.
Hear our cries, O Lord; and attend unto our prayers. From the ends of the earth, Lord, we cry unto You. So lead us Lord, strengthen us! Strengthen us, Lord.
Remember those others among us who are not well in body and spirit. Lord, let Your healing power flow through each person. So Lord, even now, send forth Your word of healing in every spirit, mind and body.
Fill us with Your peace and envelop us with Your love, we pray with thanksgiving, 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.