Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 3 September

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 3 September 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 extremely grateful to Almighty God for access. As His child, I have been adopted into His family. I am now part of His Kingdom. He knows me, He knows my name, He knows my state. He remembers that I am made of dust. Yet He formed me in my mother’s womb. He knows everything that has and will concern me. My life is in His hands. He is my Shepherd.

He is the Good Shepherd who does not run away and leave His sheep. Therefore, He would not do so in a crisis. Do you know why? He is not a hired hand who requires payment and there is no need for me to negotiate a salary increase to keep Him on my payroll. He is already fixated in my life and ever-present. I do not need to wait until He is finished with Darlene, Lloyd or Elizabeth. I do not need to join any line. He gives each of us direct access and none of us should feel cheated in any way. What a thing!

You know, something happened to me some months ago. I was in the parking lot at work with the intention of driving out. I went to a car with my keys and tried to open it. Nothing happened. I kept wondering what could have happened. Then I realised that it was not my car. It was similar in shape, colour, make etc. Though it looked like my car in so many ways, I did not have access to it. You thought it would never happen again but it did. Oh yes, it did! I was in the plaza and used the button on the key this time but nothing happened. It was then I started to look around and realised that it wasn’t my car. Wow! Lord, help me!

The thing is, each car, though similar in appearance, is programmed to be legally accessed by a specific key. Everyone cannot use their key to access any car. What could happen? You could go to the plaza in a Fit and ease home in a Benz. Of course, that would make some people happy. Hmm… Can you imagine? Anyway, not so the child of God. The point is, and there is one that is not to be missed, we have access to God, and we do not need a special key. Wow! How awesome is that for us? Take a pause, and think about it.

The truth is, people can wrongfully gain access to what does not belong to them or give access that can lead to their demise. What would happen if we did not have access to our Lord and Saviour? Personally, I do not want to even think about it. I recalled Saul’s debacle when the Lord rejected him because of his disobedience. His men reaped and saved for themselves what the Lord told them to destroy when they went into battle with the Amalekites. Then Samuel, the prophet, also rejected him, and he later died. You thought Saul had problems before. He was helpless. As the king of Israel, he was not sure whether to turn left or right concerning the battles. The enemies were persistent like the devil. When they finished one battle another was usually upcoming.

What did Saul do? One could say that it was a time of confusion and he was deserted for sure because of his own doing. He went to consult with a female spiritist, an obeah woman is what we call those people. He went to seek advice using the kingdom of darkness you may say (1 Samuel 28:6-16). The spiritist called up the ghost of Samuel. What a mix-up?

The ghost of Samuel spoke and gave Saul nothing but bad news. He was devastated and went into distress. Oh my God, mercy! Hear what the scripture says: ‘Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today. 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.” (1 Samuel 28:18-29, NIV).

Saul took the route of the spiritist to gain access but he was the one who had gotten rid of the spiritists and mediums from the land (1 Samuel 28:3). Even then, the words of the spirit of the dead prophet, Samuel, held true to prove his prophecy. “So Saul and his three sons and his armour-bearer and all his men died together that same day.” (1 Samuel 31: 6, NIV).

We are currently experiencing a lot of confusion and some of us are going through our own deserts and emotional roller coasters. This can lead many people to access the wrong things or moving in the wrong direction for help instead of turning to God. It may not be a spiritist or medium or fortune teller that we seek but it may still be the wrong source. Interestingly, some people say they are children of God but take the wrong approach.

The Levitical laws spoke against consulting spiritists and people of similar kinds, this was a warning to the people of God. “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.’” (Leviticus 19:31, NIV). The reason is that it will make the people of God unclean and disrespect his sovereignty.

The writer of Deuteronomy tells us about the commands concerning spiritists and similar practices. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. Because of these same detestable practices, the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-13, NIV). Here according to the scriptures, Moses was bringing out the fact that such things were abominable to the Lord. He was enunciating that such practices were disgusting to God so they should be avoided. Take note that he was speaking to the people of God.

Also, the prophet Isaiah posed a few questions concerning spiritists and people of a similar kind. When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.” (Isaiah 8: 19-22).

You know something, though we are facing a lot of doom and gloom, and darkness seems to have invaded our paths, never forget that we are children of light. Jesus personifies light. He is the light and light overcomes darkness. As we travel the dark paths, may our light shine.

As God’s people, we have access to The Light, Jesus. So we must shine. Keep strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Yes, we may feel pain and find ourselves in distress. However, we have to process it, reaching out to and seeking the main Light with the understanding that we are the light of the world. We must never hide because we always have access to light. As image-bearers of The Light, we reflect His light. Why seek darkness when we have access to light? To The Light?

Let us pray:

Almighty God, we thank You for this, a new day. We thank You that You are still the King of kings and Lord of lords; that You determine all things. We thank You for the air we breathe; for the beauty of trees, flowers, the skies; the multiplicity of colours in the oceans that beats any work of art; the stars that pepper the sky like a canopy to warm our hearts. Lord, we truly thank You for the animals, each other, the ability to move and have our being. Help us not to forget these things.

We praise You Lord, our God, You are very great, You are clothed with splendour and majesty. You wrap yourself in light as with a garment, you stretch out the heavens like a tent and lay the beams of Your upper chambers on their waters. Lord, You make the clouds Your chariot and ride on the wings of the wind. You make winds your messengers, flames of fire Your servants. Lord, we honour Your infinite greatness. May Your glory endure forever. Hallelujah!

Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, we ask that You forgive all of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Lord, we come, knowing that while the night of these times faces us, we can only trust that You will provide us with the pillar of light to make our way through. We have no other hope but in you. We know no other help but through You so hear the cries of your servants and attend unto our prayers. From the ends of the earth, we cry out to You. Let Your mercies overflow us like a never-failing stream. Hear O Lord, and grant unto us positive responses by turning our darkness into light.

Lord, many challenges are afoot but You are our redeemer and You live; though we face the impact of Covid-19; hurricane and storms; earthquakes; criminality; domestic violence; economic instability; political and social challenges; civil unrest in some countries throughout the world, and to some extent ours. Our eyes look to You from whence cometh our help. For You are the God of our salvation, a strong tower, our shelter in these times, our keeper.

Yes, Lord, there are those people who are bent on being selfish leading to risky behaviours; whether it is “silent parties” or other illegal gatherings, lack of compassion for those who may be exposed to the Coronavirus because of their irresponsible behaviours. Lord, speak to their hearts and if they remain adamant let not the good suffer with the bad.

Even then, Lord, we appeal to Your mercy. Help us by stemming this Coronavirus disease that has taken a bad turn. We have done wrong in so many ways, so many times. But as your people we stand in the gap, and turn from our selfish and wicked ways looking to You as God and Lord of our lives; to forgive us, to deliver and restore us. O Lord, help us! We cry out to You, Lord! Have mercy!

Lord, 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, knowledge, understandings and insights; the boldness and courage to act in the best interest of our country. Cause it that each citizen will act responsibly.

We lift up to You those among us who are in business: 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, sustain them even in these desert-like times; provide and protect; guide and direct their path.

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, Emily Reynolds; trainee doctor (, Gabrielle Channer); 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. We also ask that you endow them with compassion for those who they serve; strength for each experience and the will to serve with excellence even in the midst of challenges; protect them and their families and provide all the resources that they need.

Lord, it is a tough time for many of us. Our only hope is in You. So strengthen us, provide for us, grant us insight and help us to exercise good judgement and operate with soundness of minds in all that we say and do. Lord, instil hope in us and grant unto us Your peace. Hear, O Lord, and answer. In Jesus’ name, we pray with thanksgiving.


Our Prayers of Encouragement are for everyone. Therefore, please contact us with your request if you are also in need of prayer or comfort. We would be so very happy to share with you.

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