Sister Alana Morgan offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 4 December 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.
I looked at the issue of fear in the last writing and will continue to do so today. My focus at that time had to do with fear as an emotion. However, I felt the need to talk about fear as a hindrance.
As I reflected on fear as a hindrance in my life, I recalled feeling like Gideon (Judges 6:15). I am the third child for both of my parents. I have two older brothers. We grew up together. People may think that I was spoilt but I am of the view that my brothers and father were a bit easy on me. I really needed that kind of support because my mother on the other hand was never easy on me at all. She ensured that I was well disciplined. My older brother would play pranks on me, as well as anyone else he could find.
I did not grow up with a sister. I have a sister who is my father’s child but she left Jamaica at a tender age. My brothers and I were under heavy manners as children. It was not the norm for us to just leave home unless we were given the permission to do so. My older brother found his way around this at times. We could not take anything from other people, and not from some family members, even when we were in need. Those my Friends were some of the laws of my family at the time. I am still learning to change the latter attitude with guidance from the Holy Spirit.
I was close to a female cousin and later in high school a female classmate. This helped me a lot. However, I felt somewhat inadequate. We did not have mobile telephone at the time to call or text our friends and build sustainable relationships. As for me, I could hardly meet with my friends outside of school and church. If I had a thermometer on fear, I would say that mine was over 60. This affected my self-confidence and self-esteem. I alluded to this in my last writing. You should read it, if you have not done so.
I never had a sense of purpose. I did not understand or come to the realisation that God has placed great things in me to be accomplished, I only looked forward to the next day. When I started to do intense readings, they stimulated my imagination. I started to have dreams but those did not seem to be realistic. Imaginations took me to places and things that I never experienced but they were not in touch with my reality. Nonetheless, some of the readings informed me and influenced my ability to be analytical, and practice critical thinking.
However, I met a teacher. She took me aside, and affirmed me. She paid attention to me. How many of you met that teacher in your life? I had mentioned before in the last writing that other things helped me, but as I reflected after that I remembered my teacher’s influence and support. I believe that was the turning point for me, I started to feel better about self. This boosted my school performance. I also got the support of another teacher but she was the reality checker. Her focus was not tender. Instead, her attitude centred on performance. Notwithstanding this, I could still go back to my other teacher.
Reflecting on the way fear can cripple us from an early stage and hinder God’s purpose for our lives still reminded me of Gideon and Jeremiah. They felt inadequate especially Jeremiah who was called at a very young age (Jeremiah 1). God spoke directly to Jeremiah God. One thing that kept coming to my mind concerning Jeremiah is that he was always going back to God to spill his thoughts and feelings (Jeremiah 11:18-20; 12:1-4; 15:10-21; 17:12-18; 18:18-23; 20:7-18). They are referred to as his complaints. You may note that Jeremiah was very blatant and did not spare or coat his feelings. He felt fearful and inadequate but there was an outlet. He used it to empty his mind. How many of us use that outlet?
Jeremiah’s ministry started with fear but throughout his tenure, one may say that he had a mix of emotions that could have hindered God’s purpose. I am particularly drawn to chapter 20, which I previously examined because of the wave of emotions that were displayed. He was bluntly honest with God. “You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed….” (Jeremiah 20:7, NIV).
There were times when Jeremiah never felt that he had a choice but to do the will of God. “But if I say, ‘I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:9, NIV). We may say that he was not always displaying fear but frustration, and weariness. We can see that there was conflict between doing the will of God and yielding to the oppositions that he faced. Yet, he felt the will of God was paramount or there would be no peace in him.
Another thought that came to me is the attitude of king Josiah. He was appointed as king at eight years of age and ruled for 31 years. He was bold and courageous. Josiah was eager to follow the way of the Lord and ensured that the people of Judah did the same. He set the right tone for leadership, honouring God. There was no indication of a struggle with fear when he was called to be king (2 Kings 22). What a contrast between Josiah; and Jeremiah and Gideon; and I? Yikes! Could this have anything to do with the way he was socialised? Does the fear that we have relate to our process of socialisation? Should we remain under that banner or allow the Holy Spirit to pull us out so that our Father can accomplish His purpose? What do you think?
Let us pray:
Heavenly Father, Creator of all, we thank You for waking us up in our right minds. We thank You for the air that we breathe, the wind that blows, waters that gush into seas, lakes and rivers. We thank You for the birds and flowers; the trees; moon, stars and sky. Lord, we thank You for family, friends, teachers, church, work, and our country as a whole.
Lord, we thank You for Your courage, coverage, protection and provisions; Your favour and mercies. Lord, we thank You that even in our inadequacies You still help us to accomplish Your purposes.
We thank You, Lord.
Lord, we ask that You have mercy on us as individuals, families (church and biological), a workforce, and as a country. Lord, we ask that You forgive all of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Please make us worthy vessels in Your sight.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, we present to You all leaders in our country; leaders of government and churches, political leaders, private sector leaders, voluntary leaders and leaders within homes. We ask for Your mercies and guidance in our lives. Help us to remain focused on doing what is right and act in the best interest of those who we serve. Grant us true wisdom, knowledge, revelations, discernment and compassion as we pursue our tasks.
The Honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, Minister of Health Christopher Tufton, Minister of Finance Nigel Clarke, health workers and support staff, Minister of National Security Horace Chang, Minister of Education, leader of the opposition and their families; Jamaica Defence Force and Jamaica Constabulary Force personnel and Security Guards, all other leaders of government and their support staff.
Minister of National Security, Horace Chang and his team, as they fight the good fight to overcome the challenges we face each day. Lord, we put to You, and ask for Your blessings on the Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck. 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 ask that You help those within our homes to be more compassionate yet strike the necessary balance as suicidal ideation seemed to be increasing among our youths. Build a banner around us as a country and protect us from evil. Lord, provide for us as a country and help us to be efficient and caring towards each other.
Lord, we pray that our churches will become a strong tower in our communities and our country as a whole. Help us to get the vision and work the vision. Lord, grant us the courage, discernment, will and resources to do so. Cause it that we will not be fearful but understand and follow Your lead.
Lord, we pray for the criminal minds especially those with seared consciences. Lord, You can restore them with hearts of compassion; and turn their hearts and minds to Your will and way. Lord, reach out and touch each community and let Your continued blessings overflow us.
Lord, we present to You those who have been tirelessly working in the health field. We ask that You grant them strength, courage, compassion and peace. Lord, we ask that You protect us from the Coronavirus, and help us to practice good hygiene, as well as follow the government protocols.
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; 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, help us.
Lord, we pray for those of us who mourn. I recall Sister Sonia Dean and her family; as well as my family who mourn the loss of a parent. Help us through each day as we process our loss; and cover and guide every aspect of funeral plans and celebrations.
We pray for those who are emotionally disturbed, and contending with losses of all kinds. We pray for Your hand of assurance, comfort, favour and provision.
Hear our cry O Lord and answer, 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.