The Prayer of Encouragement for 29 November
Little Sister Addison Morgan offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 29 November 2020 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers.
My Brothers, Sisters and Friends we hope that you are well. However, if not, please let us know.
In the last writing on Friday, I dealt with the fear of Jeremiah when the Lord alerted him to the calling on his life (Jeremiah 1). As I reflected on the fear of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1) and his efforts to slide out of God’s calling giving the excuse that he was too young, I thought of my own life and the issues that I encountered with fear at an early stage. I recalled at different stages of my development having some amount of fear either because I had low self- esteem, lack of self-confidence or just bothered by the voices of humankind who surrounded me.
I was a very obedient and quiet child. As I reflect now, I noted that this placed me at a disadvantage, and to some persons it was an opportunity for them to bully me. I remembered being bullied in primary school especially by one child who decided to punch me in the abdomen every day at the end of class. This was the highlight of her day. She had a crowd of followers who cheered her on. I had two older brothers who attended the school but I did not tell anyone. I would get emotional and cry. I suffered in silence because I was afraid of the puncher, my mother and teacher’s beatings.
However, I reached a point of facing fear in the face so one evening I decided to retaliate. I punched her before she got the chance to hit me, held my bag tightly under my arm and ran as fast as my feet could take me up the hill. I tell you, no one could catch me. I told no one and she did the same. The punching ended but I still did not glory in my approach to deal with fear at the time.
I also had people in my community who bullied me. There was a young man who used to throw breadfruit or whatever he could find at me when I was walking past his home. I did nothing to him but he was always attacking me. One day he threw a piece of broken glass at me and I got a cut on my left thumb. I carried a scar for many years. It has now faded. I did not say a word to anyone. I suffered in silence because of fear.
I recall being reported on by a neighbour that I cursed her (an old lady who had impaired sight) with indecent language. My mother was told by the lady and I was beaten. I was not the person who did it but my neighbours (my peers) told her that it was me. She then told my mother. When my mother beat me they all laughed and mocked. There are many other experiences of fear in my life. I have forgiven those persons a long time ago but wanted to share so that others may benefit.
I grew up out-of-town with boys so going to the bush and other things gave me bruises and scars on my body. At the time, I ended up with sores and spots, and this affected my self-confidence a lot. I also had to contend with eczema rash and acne. This did not help me to see self beyond those things. A bit aside to add, I came across a young person who has a scar and the person thought that she was ugly. It significantly affected her self-confidence and self-esteem. Others may think that it is not a big deal for a teenager and young adult but I was able to empathise with her because of my experiences.
How did I overcome fear? I do not think that fear can be completely overcome but we mainly do live in a way that fear does not significantly impair our functioning. I started to do a lot of reading and I became an intense reader. As a result, I became more informed. Then my confidence lifted. I became part of voluntary organisations that focused on self-development and charity. I benefited tremendously from this with opportunities beyond my imagination.
I was appointed in positions of responsibility and climbed the ladder of authority. I travelled throughout Jamaica and overseas to represent the organisation. I grew and developed, and I give God thanks. Another thing that helped my self-esteem and confidence was family discussions on topical issues. I have an uncle who is tickled by any topical issue and he loves to engage us in discussions. He and his family spent summer holidays with us and he used up hours debating issues. I gradually emerged into those discussions at every stage of my development. This was significant for my development.
You may know that my father, Cecil Burton, died a week ago. I will be doing a little reflection on him over time. He was tall, had a big frame and strong, muscled and not fat. He was eighty five years of age but had the strength of someone whose age is sixty plus. As I reflected on him, I recalled that he was very confident, courageous and bold but got upset at times when situations were not pleasing to him. He was very hospitable. He was not fearful. However, my father was a man who also cried at times of sadness and joy.
Our society would describe my father as an uneducated person but I noticed that this was never an issue for him. He was a deacon at his church and preached a sermon like it was just taken from his back pocket. He loved to preach about “Saul and David”, and “Jonah and the Whale”. His tag line was “Keep on the Firing Line”. He was not like Gideon who told God that he was the least of his clan (Judges 6). One could say that Gideon lacked self-confidence and as a result he was afraid to step into his calling. He was ready to preach If called on impromptu.
Brethren and Friends, being afraid is an emotion that may grip us at times. It may cause some persons to be destabilised or suffer some form of discomfort at different levels of intensity. However, we have to keep reminding ourselves, that God has not given us a spirit of fear but power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). What do you have to say?
Let us pray:
Our own Addison Morgan did today’s prayer. Addison, a student, is 10 years of age.
Dear Heavenly Father, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, thanking You for this wonderful day. We thank You Lord, for providing us with food, shelter, clothing, fresh air and clean water to drink.
As we come to You Lord, we ask that You cleanse us from all unrighteousness and forgive us of all our sins.
Lord, please Bless those who are in need, provide them with food, water and keep them safe.
Lord, I pray for those who are infected with the Coronavirus.
Dear Lord, please protect and sustain the doctors, nurses and support staff caring for these patients.
Lord, please bring an end to this deadly Virus. Please cover us Lord from this Virus and let us find peace in knowing that it will be done. We also pray that You will heal those who are ill from the Virus and other illnesses.
Lord, please help those Jamaicans who want to come home. Please let them come back on a safe journey.
We pray dear God for all persons in Jamaica and the world who are doing criminal acts. Please let them stop doing bad things.
Bless all the politicians in Jamaica, and government workers. We also pray for the leaders of our country especially, 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. Help them make the right decisions for the country.
Lord, please bless our church leaders and let them make the right decisions for our churches.
Lord, remember those among us who are on the usual sick and shut-in list, as well as Sisters Iris Lawrence, Lelith James, Jennifer Nicholson, Virginia Muir, Marville (Cherry) Murray (Sister Iris Lawrence’s daughter), Janet Chen-Young, Joyce Bailey, Lucille Alexander, Jhada Graham, Ethlyn Atkins, Cherrie Lee, Brother George Gabbidon, Brother Cornel Richards, Mr. Alan Ashley (Sister Dawn Ashley’s father) and Andrew Robinson (Sister Claire Robinson’s son), Brother Danville Japp’s father, Mr. Isaiah Japp, and any family member who is currently struggling with the Covid-19 virus.
Bless this island, Jamaica, and protect us from all harm and danger.
In Jesus’ name I 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.