Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 28 May 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 is in need of prayer, please let us know. You can post your prayer request here on our website.
You know, I am grateful that God, Yahweh, is my Father. I would not be here without Him. He has been sustaining me throughout my lifetime. Thank you, Father. Whilst my earthly parents had a critical role to play in my existence, it was His power that gave rise to my conception and birth. He created my innermost being. He developed me bit by bit in my mother’s womb. God decided on my days before I was born. He knew what I would face in life and the path of my life. He knew the mistakes that I would make, the milestones that I would take, and the relationships that I would build.
God provided His Holy Spirit to favour me with gifts and abilities that go beyond what I could ask or imagine. The unknown can be a drag at times but God knows what lies ahead. Trust me, He knows my ways more than I do. Yet, they are my ways. He knows what my response will be to every situation. Interestingly, I do not always know what is going to happen, and when things are going to happen unless He shows me. At times, He may show me but I do not pay attention.
The depth of my walk with Him helped me to realise that I need Him. I mean, I really need Him every day in all that I say and do, in all that affects my life. I came to the understanding that life without His purposeful and constant guidance is meaningless. You know what, I do not want to be without His manifested presence in my life. Still, I am trying to figure Him out, and what He wants me to do. I am trying to figure out life daily but I am learning not to make it a burden. I do not think that He expects me to be perfect. Yet, there is the need for me to ensure that I remain under His covering, remaining in constant relationship with Him. Do you know what I mean? Yea.
I pray that you will acknowledge and appreciate the need for the manifested presence of God in your life. I pray that you will take the time to commune with Him, even when you cannot make sense of what is happening in your life. Allow Him, give Him time, and He will help you figure it out. May His blessings and favour be upon you always.
0n my most recent walk, I was returning from the hill but decided to stop and buy some sugar cane. It is one of my favourite things. I also love pineapple and jackfruit, especially the really nice yellow juicy pineapple, just saying. Yea, it is mouth-watering to me. Anyway, the person had a stall in front of his house where he sold the cane and other stuff. I heard music playing and there were two very young children in view. There were some colourful words, “bad words”, really loud and clear coming from the music. I asked the seller what he was going to do when the children started to lip out those words. He looked at me, then towards the house and said, “You know, a true, wait deh little.”
He went and changed the music to something that he referred to as “conscious” lyrics, saying that was normally his type of music. I told him that children live what they learn. He said, “A true cause mi hear one a dem seh something the other day but could nuh figure out weh she get it from.” I had a short conversation with him and left.
As I reflected on what happened, I thought about those children who may go on the road or to school and hear derogatory music or other things. They may repeat them or act upon what was said. Regardless of what parents and guardians teach their children, there is no guarantee that they will not do otherwise. They may come home and repeat a “bad word” when the pastor or elder or someone who will slander you visit.
As my thoughts continued to roll, I was reminded of Elisha and his servant. As stated in other posts, Elisha was anointed by Elijah and was under his tutelage. Elisha was passionate about the calling on his life and submitted himself to Elijah’s instructions. He was so passionate to the point where he requested twice the anointing of Elijah. I mean Elijah had a strong anointing that dripped in his very coat. Elisha inherited that coat when the Lord took Elijah, who did not experience death.
Elisha became highly respected as a prophet. He took the good learning and stayed on the right path. I take our attention to an experience that Elisha had with Naaman who was a commander of the army of king Aram. Naaman was stricken with leprosy and Aram sent him to the king of Israel for healing. The king responded by saying; “… he tore his robes and said, ‘Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!’” (2 Kings 5:7, NIV).
Somehow, Elisha heard what happened and intervened and advised him what to do and receive healing. “When Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: ‘Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.’ So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, ‘Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.’” (2 Kings 5:8-10, NIV).
Naaman’s pride almost intercepted his healing because he did not understand that Elisha was a true prophet with a good reputation. He expected his healing to be done in a particular way. He was not consciously aware of the work of God and the illogical way in which He operates. “…Naaman went away angry and said, ‘I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?’ So he turned and went off in a rage.’” (2 Kings 5:11-12, NV).
It took Naaman’s servant to convince him to follow the instruction of Elisha. Then his healing came. Naaman’s servant went to him and said, “‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed!'” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.” (2 Kings 5:13-14, NV).
It is customary for Naaman to give a reward for such a great thing that happened through Elisha, so he offered him a gift. “Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, ‘Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.’” (2 Kings 5:11-12, NV). Most people love gifts but Elisha felt that was not a gift to accept. “The prophet answered, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.’ And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.” (2 Kings 5:11-12, NV).
Gehazi was Elisha’s servant. He sat at the man’s feet and saw the ways of Elisha. He knew the history of Elisha. Gehazi saw the way God used him. He saw the power of God at work. He had an opportunity to learn by modelling, by emulating Elisha as Elisha did with Elijah. Gehazi went off on a tangent that stood against everything that his master represented. He went after Naaman and lied in order to get some of the valuables offered to, but rejected by, Elisha.
You know, we can think of the children mentioned earlier as a microcosm of many other children in our lives, in the world. We may teach them the right thing but they end up on the wrong path. Does it only happen to our children? As adults, do we face the same challenges? Like Gehazi, we go off on a different tangent than our master, God almighty requires. Are you on the right path? Think bout it; chat bout it. What are you going to do about it?
Let us pray:
Lord, we thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, so that we may have life, eternal life, and have it abundantly. We thank You for the air that we breathe. We thank You that it is through You that we have our being.
Lord, You are acquainted with all of our ways. You know our state. You know that we are fragile. However, we are grateful that Your strength is made whole in our weakness. Lord, we thank You.
Almighty God, we are grateful that You continue to sustain us as individuals, families, communities, Churches, businesses, government and a country as a whole. Lord, we thank You.
God of compassion, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, asking that You have mercy on us as individuals, families, communities, Churches, businesses, government and a country as a whole. Lord, forgive all of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If You, O Lord, kept a record of sin, who could stand? Hear our cry, O Lord and attend unto our prayers. It is from the end of the earth that we cry out to You.
As individuals, families, communities, Churches, businesses, government and a country as a whole many of us accepted the need to fear God. The hard part is that many of us only have a form of godliness, denying the very power of God at work. Lord, have mercy on us.
Lord, we ask that You help us to be conscientious, selfless, sound in thought and compassionate in our deeds. So grant wisdom, knowledge, discerning power, insight and understanding to all of our leaders from every facet of our society.
Lord, we pray for those who are out there operating under the influence of evil, those who steal, kill and destroy. We also ask that You take every mind and do a transforming work. In addition Lord, the persons who are out there posing as taxi drivers, luring women and doing all sorts of things to them, deal with them and expose their acts. Lord, nothing is hidden from You. Everything is bare to Your eyes. At this time, we pray for the leaders of all criminal groups and ventures. So Lord, arrest and throw into confusion every plan and scheme that they designed and have in operation.
We pray for a special covering over and provision for those who are tirelessly working on the frontline. Fill them with extraordinary compassion.
Lord, we also pray for our children and families, those who are preparing for exams. We ask that You place on them the spirit of excellence and bring back what they need to remember.
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.
We pray also 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.
Lord, we also pray for those who mourn, and those who have lost hope. We ask for Your guiding hand to take them out of the state of depression and grief. Let Your peace fill their minds and hearts. We ask all of these 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.