Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 29 August

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 29 August 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 needs prayer, please let us know. You can post your prayer request here on our website.

I am eternally grateful to my all-powerful God for strength. At this time, I am thinking about mental strength. I get the feeling that many of us are in need of mental strength. Having gone through tests of mental strength, I am of the view that it is one of those things that the devil tries to sap from us. I find that this happens more so when we are at our lowest. Even then, it is an ongoing process that we contend with through our daily experiences.

I noted that a wavering or loss of mental strength gives rise to a loss of physical strength and energy, energy to get up out of bed, to do our chores, to care for ourselves and others. It can give rise to a loss of enthusiasm or will to exist and face the challenges of life. It can give rise to feelings of helplessness, and loss of hope.

There are also those people who may be ill and alone at home, or even have people around them and have to deal with physical challenges. This can lead to a wavering of mental strength and loss of hope especially when the illnesses are severe. I recalled my last experience of being really ill. It was like emotional turmoil at work in addition to the physical challenges that I faced. I felt like there was an emotional war that was trying to outdo the physical war in my body and if I did not keep holding on to God and His word for dear life, I would have lost hope.

I had to make a purposeful effort daily and at times throughout the day to maintain my sanity. There were some telephone calls that I had to avoid, cut short or delay to protect my mind. I had to spend a lot of time talking to God, recalling His word from memory because I could not read or watch television or listen to any sound even at the lowest volume. It was a tough fight that I had to go through but with the understanding that the weapons were God’s and my strength came from Him.

I had to repeatedly surrender to God Almighty the challenges: the pain, the bad feelings, the polluted thoughts that invaded my mind. I remember being at my lowest point emotionally, feeling helpless and I just kept surrendering everything to God including my life. It was at that time I felt an embrace that raised me up. I looked up and said, “Satan, who do you think you are? It is God who made you”. “You have no authority over me”. It was at that time some words of a song came to me, “…in the valley, He restoreth my soul”. Indeed, I was in the valley but the Lord propped me up. I had to continue on this path of working through my emotional restoration and at the same time focusing on my physical healing. Thank God that He heals so we can experience restoration.

There are other situations that many of us face in life, like the current restriction on our movement. Many of us have what some people call a “free spirit” so such restrictions are torturous. It may put us on edge, making us feel clustered and stifled. Whilst social media can help some of us for a period, there is the need to just be on the go. Some of us may want to go in order to escape the environment that we are now forced to stay in so there is a mental war at work, which at times may lead to physical disturbances.

Some of us have studied the scriptures repeatedly, made proclamations and even preached or taught. Yet, when the time comes for life’s tests, the studies etc. may find themselves thrown through the window. The trust and beliefs may waver or falter because the mental strength is sapped. I realised that one of the key things that the devil uses to sap our mental strength is fear. So we fear pain, losses, embarrassment, shame, death or just any form of discomfort.

I learned a couple of things along the way. One of them is never to be afraid, it is a great weapon of the enemy. Remember, God has not given us a spirit of timidity but power, love and a sound mind. God is our light and our salvation. He is our shield, glory and the lifter up of our heads. Regardless of what may happen to us or around us, God is our refuge and strength and is ever-present in times of trouble. If you listen and look carefully, you will hear and see Him.

Another thing that I will mention is staying connected to God. Many times, we may pull away from God when it is at that time we need to get closer to Him. We may focus on seeking solutions in the wrong places instead of relying on His guidance. The fact is that we may be called to share in the sufferings of Christ but many of us only want to be joint heirs. Yet staying connected with Him supplies us with the energy, clarity of mind, strength of spirit and overall healing that we need. Otherwise, we may find ourselves feeling helpless, hopeless and giving up.

As my thoughts rolled, I recalled Saul’s disobedience to God’s instructions to totally destroy the Amalekites and their belongings. The Lord said, “…Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them…” (1 Samuel 15:3, NIV). “But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good.” (1 Samuel 15:9, NIV).

Saul not only disobeyed God’s instruction but lied because he saved the king and took their goods. He told Samuel “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king.”  (1 Samuel 15: 20, NIV). Saul later admitted to doing wrong but the Lord rejected him.

Saul admitted that he acted out of fear. He said, “I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.” But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”(1 Samuel 15:24-25, NIV).

Saul experienced many challenges of his own doing because he lost connection with God. Saul lost connection with Samuel the prophet. After Samuel died, Saul went to a spiritist to get instruction from the spirit of Samuel to guide him because God was not responding to him (1 Samuel 28:15-19).

The result threw Saul into mental and physical distress. Samuel’s spirit told Saul “‘The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.’ Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel’s words. His strength was gone, for he had eaten nothing all that day and all that night.” (Samuel 28: 19-20, NIV). Saul was afraid. His strength of mind wavered, which led to a loss of physical strength.

As Samuel prophesied, the Philistines killed Saul’s sons and he was also critically injured. He wanted to save himself from the shame and embarrassment of being killed by them, and the pain that could accompany it. The scripture tells us that he fell on his sword and died. Saul lost hope. “The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically. Saul said to his armour-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.’” (1Samuel 31:2-4, NIV).

As you reflect, how do you respond to mental and physical challenges? Do you numb it out, avoid it, or process it? Do you diligently seek God’s guidance for leading to the right sources? Or do you just turn to other sources? Do you stick to God or lose hope? Remember, God is your shield, your glory and the lifter up of your head. He can be trusted. Think bout it. Chat “bout” it. What are you going to do about it?

Let us pray

Heavenly Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We honour, magnify and adore Your name. You are the great and mighty God, full of power and authority. You reign in all things and You hold all things under Your power and authority.

Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ as individuals, families, communities, Churches and associations, private and public sectors, political representatives and our country as a whole, we thank You for a new day, a new week. We ask that You forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil. Give us this day our daily provisions.

Lord, the terror of the Covid-19 virus has been leaving many in mourning who are in need of comfort. It has left many in distress and guilt because they blame themselves for spreading the disease. Some persons have been displaced because of the impact of the disease. O Lord, You are still the God of Jamaica. You are still the God of our lives, You are still the God of this world. The gates of hell do not have the right nor authority over us as individuals,  families, communities, Churches and associations, private and public sectors, political representatives and our country as a whole.

Lord, there is nothing that is impossible for You. We appeal to Your mercy and grace as we try to grapple with the surge of this disease that is on our land. Hear our cries O Lord, and attend unto the prayers of Your servants. If You do not help us, Lord, who will?

Lord, You are a shield around us, our glory, the One who lifts our heads high. We call out to You Lord. Answer us. As individuals, families, communities, Churches and associations, private and public sectors, political representatives and our country as a whole, we place ourselves in Your hands. Arise and deliver us. Turn Your ear to us. Save us from the destruction that we dread and at the same time cause it that we are not afraid. Strengthen our minds and protect our emotional well-being. Contain and eliminate this Virus from off our land and protect our borders, physically and spiritually.

Lord, we lift up to You the leaders in our country. 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. Lord, grant wisdom and courage to do what is in our best interest. Grant creativity and strategies that will help us to manoeuvre through these unusual times. Continue to provide for us.

Lord, we remember those who are not well, especially Deacon Loy, Sisters Nicole Evans and Kadine Stewart. We also 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, Mary Clarke, Cherrie Lee, 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), Brother Cornel Richards and family; and any member or family member who is in need of healing and comfort. Lord, grant healing, strength and peace.

Lord, we lift up to You Sister Jhenelle Black who will be leaving for the United Kingdom to pursue further studies in Dentistry. We ask that You endow her with the spirit of excellence. Cover her path, surround her with the right people, nurture her growth in You and grant favour in every aspect of her life.

Lord, we pray for those who are experiencing emotional disturbances and mourning losses of different kinds. We pray especially for Sisters Joyce, Paula, Marjorie; Elder Mary and their families who lost loved ones. Lord, have mercy and help. Fill us with Your peace, Your presence and Your power. Comfort us and grant us victory in our circumstances.

In Jesus’ name, we pray with thanksgiving.


Our Prayers of Encouragement are for everyone. Therefore, if you also need prayer or comfort, please contact us with your request. We would gladly share with you.

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