Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 28 March

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 28 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.

Trusting God may require us to literally let go of those things that we hold close, those things that we considered to be valuables and those positions that we believe bring meaning to our lives. I have been learning to actually let go in the last two decades. It felt like I did not have a choice. I kept having to give things up to serve others. I have been mocked and ridiculed to the point where some persons are of the view that I will end up with nothing. This was actually said to me.

I realised over time that we tend to hold on to things to the point where they are at the centre of our being. Letting go of them gives us sleepless nights and daydreams. Yet, we sing and make proclamations like “Jesus you are the centre of my life”. Some of us even close our eyes and sing these songs. Is it the truth?

I recalled giving up my first car to be used for a purpose. My second car was burnt to the shell after paying the loan on it. This car ran like a taxi helping others. Still, I lost it. My third car was in an accident and written off shortly after completing payments on the loan. This last accident happened in the latter part of 2020 after moving to a new address and losing my father, all within a short space of time. It was the last vehicle he drove in before going to the hospital.

There are many other things that I had to give up and lost. My experiences of losing and giving up things have made it easier for me to let go and not attach myself to the things of this world. I admit that a measure of discomfort comes with each experience but it has gotten easier for me to let go.

Sometimes I feel like the Lord has allowed me to be stripped of whatever could hinder our relationship, or He has been teaching me not to be incorrectly connected. I think the issue is how connected our hearts are towards those things rather than to God. You know, I thank God for the experiences because they caused my focus to shift more towards Him. It is not about having things but the way we become consumed by them. I am still learning to trust God, knowing that His promises are true. Great is His faithfulness! Hallelujah!

I pray for God’s work to be effectively done in your life so that whatever He wants to accomplish through you is not hindered. May He give us the grace and peace to take the journey. May our hearts be connected in the right way, may our love for God and our fellow humankind be demonstrative and not remain on our lips or within our thoughts. God’s blessings and favour always.

As I continue to reflect, I thought about the Shunammite woman and the fact that she had to leave her valuables and go to live in the land of the Philistines for seven years (2 Kings 8:1-2). Some people may see that as seven years chopped off their lives. She was told by the prophet Elisha that a famine was going to be in the land so she had to decide whether to stay and face hardship, which could result in death, or leave. I have heard people argue that they rather die than do certain things and that they are going to die anyway. The rebuttal is that sometimes death does not come quickly, it may be preceded by illnesses, which bring sufferings of differing kinds.

When my father took ill, we experienced him trying to keep life normal. It was a struggle. I mean he fought to keep life in his scheme of normalcy. I saw someone else crying and fought to keep life going but it was slipping out of that person’s grip. The person kept saying that it was happening so quickly. Both persons lived good and rocked it through life. They enjoyed themselves but came to realise that they were never in control of life. They had to get to a place of resolve where they let go. Even if they did not let go, life was leaving them.

I recalled the rich young ruler. This has been told many times but let us summarise. The Ruler seemed to have worked out life according to the way he understood. He lived based on what he knew. He did what society expected. The ruler was rocking it, living his best life, storing up and caring for his valuables. This is not a problem at all. The presence of Jesus took him to a place of curiosity as he tried to secure something else, eternal life. Yet, Jesus’ response brought him great sorrow. He thought that God was maintained along with everything else. He testified to Jesus concerning keeping the commandments (Matthew 19:16-20).

However, the eyes of Jesus saw something in that young man. His heart was incorrectly connected. Jesus told him “…If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. (Matthew 19:21-22, NIV). What would you have done?

In the same encounter, Jesus taught His disciples that it would be difficult for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:23). We do not have to be rich. We just need to have things. Those things have the potential to consume us. I do not think for one second that Jesus is saying we cannot be rich or own anything. I believe He is concerned with the heart and where He is placed. Are we consumed with the relationship that we have with Him, or otherwise?

We cannot forget that Jesus made a personal injury-filled sacrifice for our sins. He took the place for us. He was a substitute. Jesus went to the cross and died. He gave up everything, His status, His position, His power and His life. He died but was risen for greater gains, so that we may have eternal and abundant life.

The account of the Shunammite woman told us that she returned after seven years and was restored beyond her expectations. The woman just wanted to get back her properties but the king also gave permission for her to receive all of the income earned from the properties during her period of absence (2 Kings 8:6). You serious? Yes, all of her income!

Brethren and Friends, whatever we give up through the guidance of the Holy Spirit is for a greater gain. Yet, not for our glory but the glory of God. I have to constantly ask myself this question. Is my heart in the right place? What say you? Is your heart in the right place? Is it correctly connected?

As you meditate, let us pray:

Most gracious and adorable Father, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, thanking You for another week. We thank You, Lord, for the experiences that we are allowed, the opportunity to be taught and drawn closer to You. We thank You for sustaining us, for Your goodness and mercies. Lord, we thank You for waking us up in our right minds. Lord, we thank You.

Almighty God, we honour You. We magnify and bless Your holy name. You are worthy of all honour, glory and praise. We bow down and worship You. Lord, we stand in awe of Your presence. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens. Awesome are You, Lord! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Lord, we thank You for sustaining us as individuals, families, communities, churches and associations, and as a country as a whole. We thank You for keeping our economy from devastation. Although we may find ourselves in crisis management mode at times Lord, You have kept us and we are extremely grateful.

Lord, we pray that our leaders of churches, the private and public sector, and the political directorate will act responsibly with good judgement and soundness of mind. Grant wisdom, knowledge, clarity, strength, coverage, protection and boldness to each person with the measure that You know is needed. So Lord, where there are hearts that are not connected in the right way, may You do a work resulting in renewal.

Lord, we ask for Your continued mercies on us especially those who are part of Your kingdom. Many things have been happening to the body of Christ but cause it that we do not lose grip on our calling. Cause it that we hold fast on our faith knowing that our experiences will be for greater gains. Lord, let us not waiver in well doing but trust You in all that we say and do. Help us to be consistent in our walk with You using the challenges as opportunities. Lord, open the minds and hearts for the Church to understand the times and act accordingly.

Lord, there are those Churches that are in need of a shepherd. So we pray for sustenance and provision at the time that You see fit. Help us to be brave and bold willing to step into our calling even in the midst of the Covid – 19 Virus. Yet, protect us and cause it that we act 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.

God of grace, we 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 (in hospital) 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. We pray for healing, comfort and restoration.

Lord, help us to look out for each other and give the necessary support. In all that we say and do, may You be glorified. In Jesus name we say thanks.


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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