Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 29 January 2021 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers.
My Brothers, Sisters and Friends, I pray that you are well. If not, let us pause right now and believe for your deliverance, healing and restoration. I stand in agreement with you that our God will come through in a mighty way. May the Good Shepherd, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be your guide, deliverer, provider, binder of your wounds (mental and physical), and protector, in all of the ways and situations that you need His intervention right now in the name of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord, for the breakthrough. Hallelujah! Amen! Please, still send us your prayer request through this website.
You know, my personal laptop took ill last week Thursday and I tried to fix it. I thought I fixed it. However, I later realised that I made a major error. The approach I took was to do a recovery, which provided a quick fix but led to a loss of applications and data. I ended up having to work in a word pad to do the Encouragement and Prayer. I mean… word pad. It felt like I was in ancient times. I took the laptop to an IT Doctor on Saturday who interestingly also took ill. So it had to stay overnight for two days. It is almost fully up and running now and is better than before even at less than 100 percent in functioning. Thank God. Thanks to the IT Doctor. Hallelujah! Amen!
Do you remember the experience I spoke about in the last couple of weeks concerning the worn-out shoes? The issues of love, using something new or stronger to sew into something old, and perseverance emerged during my meditation on the experience. I spoke about certain biblical and literary lessons that could be garnered from two of the issues. I will speak with you about the third issue, that is, perseverance. We will look at it in the context of the shoe experience for the next writing. However, today, I will mainly have a look at the concept of perseverance.
Simply put, perseverance could be described as pushing hard to get things done regardless of the opposition that we face and the length of time it takes. From a biblical standpoint, perseverance is described as, “The steadfast effort to follow God’s commands and to do His work” (Nelson, 2004). Perseverance is the greatest indication that an individual’s faith is genuine (James 2:14-26). It provides us with a deep appreciation of God’s saving grace (1 Corinthians 15:57-58). It may lead to the build-up of strength and character of the follower of Christ, and enhancement of the body of Christ (Nelson, 2004).
Holman (2015) gives us some more biblical food to chew on as it relates to perseverance. The writers enunciated that perseverance can be seen as finding its background in the context of persecution and temptation. Therefore, the believer was expected to faithfully endure and remain steadfast in the midst of challenges. The believer was encouraged to be steadfast in prayer (Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6); to be effective as they are trained in the ways of God (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Romans 12:11-12; Hebrews 12:1-12). Brethren, training comes through our experiences. It is believed that the Hebrew writer gave stern warnings to those who commit themselves to Christ by indicating that we should gain new perspectives and not treat biblical admonitions lightly (Hebrew 6:9-12; 10:39). At times we get caught in our way of doing life, which is not beneficial to us, and this puts us out of alignment with God’s instructions.
The writers (Holman, 2015) bring across certain critical reminders. Perseverance comes through experiences that take into focus our weaknesses but not denying the mysterious nature of God’s patience with His people. It gives rise to judgement as to the way people live in the world but does not exclude God’s abundant grace, His favour.
Those people who are followers of Christ take prayer seriously and appreciate the need to love and forgive. They understand the weakness of humankind and the need for God’s grace and mercy. Christ gave His life for us and through this act, we have the opportunity to be transformed. Yet, we are called to be obedient. Yes, we make mistakes but when we persevere through confession, surrendering and committing our ways to God, I believe He will forgive us, carry us on the journey of life as He sustains us through the tough times. God is faithful even when we are faithless.
Brethren and Friends, I tried to persevere as I dealt with impact from the loss of my earthly father and the motor vehicle accident, plus other unmentionables in recent times. I still do the work of God through the strength He gives knowing that by myself I am weak. I try to commit and surrender to Him everything I do because I am convinced that He is all-knowing and all-powerful. However, there are times when I just do not get it right. I went on to fix my laptop but that was not beneficial to me.
I could be seen as persevering ensuring that I was consistent with Encouragement and Prayer but my approach was wrong. It cost me some information. The IT Doctor said I should have called him before doing anything. This posed in my mind the question of how we persevere. I am still thinking that we must always be attuned to the guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Trust me, we can easily slip away from this approach. So we daily rely and depend heavily on God’s grace and mercy. You know, we have to try and be constantly alert. What say you?
As you meditate and respond to the Lord concerning your approach to life, let us pray:
Heavenly Father, we thank You for the sacrifice You made when You gave your Son to die for our sins. Lord, we forget not your benefits for it is You who has forgiven our sins and heal our diseases. You save our lives from destruction and crown us with your loving-kindness and the multitude of your tender mercies. Lord, we thank You for provisions, for satisfying our desires with good things so that our youths are renewed like the eagles. We thank you, Lord, for covering and protecting us, for working righteousness and justice for us. Lord, we are eternally grateful.
Most Righteous God, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, asking that You search our thoughts and hearts. See if there are wicked ways in us. Forgive all of our sins and iniquities for they are ever before You. Lord, cause it that we will be clean and worthy vessels in your sight. Lord, have mercy on us as individuals, families, communities, businesses, the workforce, Churches and related associations and institutions and as a country.
Almighty God, we face so many challenges through attacks of various kinds but You are the Lord of Armies. We call upon You as individuals, leaders of families, communities, Churches and related associations and institutions, businesses, the workforce, political directorate, government and voluntary institutions. Lord, have mercy on us concerning the decisions made on a daily basis; the legislation passed; the legislation and proposals made especially those that blatantly contravene with your word; our attitudes towards our fellow humankind and the sanctity of life. Lord, cleanse the hands and purify the hearts of our leaders, and save us from destruction.
Lord, help us to appreciate and live by the principles laid down in your word. Grant us true wisdom, knowledge and understanding; discerning power; strength and courage to act in righteousness through You. Lord, we ask that You grant us creative and strategic minds that work for the good of our nation and not for selfish gains.
Lord, we lift up our local leaders. In particular: leaders of churches and associations and related institutions, 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, we also present to you the business leaders in our congregation:
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.
Lord, we lift up every criminal mind, activity, scheme, leader and support personnel from every nook and cranny; every form of resource used in carrying out such activities. Lord, nothing is hidden from You; everything is bare to your eyes. We ask that You nullify every intent, will and desire concerning every person and criminal act regardless of where they are located. Lord, we ask that they be exposed, and held accountable under indisputable evidence in the name of Jesus Christ. Let your peace, high productivity, love and courage reign over our country.
Lord, we present to You those who are hurting daily carrying weights of emotional burdens in their hearts and upon their heads; those who carry resentment towards another; those who hurt another and those who do not realise or care that they are causing hurt. So we pray for alertness, awareness and healing amongst peoples of the world. God of love, let love reign in all spheres of life; let your love reign.
Lord, we lift up the frontline workers and leaders potentially exposed to the Covid-19 Virus. We ask for mercy on them and their families. We also ask that You protect them and their families. Guard and protect their paths. Grant them strength and wisdom for each day. Lord, we ask for your healing over the households affected by the Virus and ask for divine cover and healing in the name of Jesus Christ.
We also pray for the frontline workers connected with GMC: Medical Doctors: Asana Anderson Wilks and Rohan Wilks, Kahlete Falloon, Tina Kong, Vernon Jones, Leighton Logan; Esther Reynolds (final year medical student). 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 of compassion, surround us with your love and fill us with your peace. 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.