Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 4 June

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 4 June 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 is in need of prayer, please let us know. You can post your prayer request here on our website.

You know something, it feels strange saying this but I am very grateful that God has kept me on some rocky roads of life. There was a time when I wanted to move beyond certain situations. However, there was no release in sight. The prayers that I prayed seemed to hit a wall and just fell without reaching God. I am talking about years of waiting. Just waiting and not receiving the answer that I was looking for, the comfort that I needed. I fasted and prayed. I fell flat on my face and went through days and nights of prayers. Still, I did not get the answer that would change my situation.

I thought there was a need to ensure that I checked myself so as to clear the air of those things that may hinder my prayers. I went through years of searching but I also allowed the Holy Spirit to do His search since He had a greater lens. Oh, yes! I did that too. There were some things that I needed to set straight because the Holy Spirit showed me in no uncertain terms. I had to adjust. I also noted that this effort is continuous and I need to maintain that demeanour.

Did I pray for some people too? Oh yes, I did! I prayed and wept and fasted for some whose situations never changed. Some of them even died. I sat at their bedside, sang and prayed for them off. Just imagine that. I earnestly prayed and fasted about situations around me. At times, I put myself in danger because of how the Lord sent me to pray. Yet, it felt like I was in a sea trying but unable to swim. It brought frustration, pain, exhaustion and discomfort of all kinds. Yet, I felt compelled to keep praying. Still, at times, I felt stuck and there hardly seemed to be the kind of change needed, for others, myself and situations.

There was a time when I felt like the very bones in my body hurt. In all of this, I never stopped praying. I got to a point where I took a step back and basically said to God that He should talk and I will listen. However, last year one of the main stubborn issues on my personal prayer list was dealt with and gave rise to a change. Not in the way I had hoped, but the change was drastic enough. I am extremely grateful to God.

I must say that there were other situations during those times that I prayed about and God answered in a way that I thought was positive. In the last couple of weeks, I prayed for someone who had a tough situation. The person needed to do something but was about to give up. I mean totally give up. I encouraged the person to take the step and I prayed. The results were great! Another situation was still hanging and the person went into distress again. I spoke with the person and I prayed. Shortly after I prayed something happened that blew the person’s mind. I am extremely grateful to God for answered prayers. I give Him all of the glory, honour and praise.

You know, the Lord showed me that His answers to prayers vary based on numerous factors. There are those atmospheres wherein each person has an equal responsibility to contribute to the unison required. Many times, the world misses the point, the finger is pointing at us. Yet, no matter what, all we see is the other person. Like the flour that has become dough, there is no way to undo what is in some of our minds. We see through a different glass than what God is showing us. We kept throwing the blame, and it became a cycle, we reach nowhere. His timing is another critical factor. It is not what the world thinks but what He wants to accomplish; how, and when He wants to do so.

As I continue to reflect, I am reminded of an experience that I had this week. I was on my way to meet with someone and was trying to avoid a road in Hope Pastures that is now hard and rocky because of construction work. I went way up on another road but decided to take a shortcut, I had not taken that path in a long time. Lo and behold, I found myself heading on the same hard and rocky road that I was trying to avoid. You guessed it right, I hope. After all that trouble, I went into a circle.

I had to literally ride the car through the journey on the bad road. I had to take my time and keep focused, I did not complain. My aim was to try and get off the road in the safest way possible for me and the car. I complained during my first experience on that road but learned that it took more energy and threw me off the course of focus.

At times the Lord has us in situations that we try very hard to get out of because it brings discomfort. We may find ourselves going around in circles. No matter what we do, it feels like we have not made any progress. How should we respond? Do we keep our focus? Do we examine ourselves and the role we play in a particular situation? Or do we allow the Holy Spirit to examine us? Do we stop or continue with prayer and fasting? Or do we throw the blame at others? Do we make the most noise? Or do we take a step back, quiet our hearts and minds; try to understand what God is doing; and what we need to do?

I noticed time and time again that persons have become hesitant, scared or refused to pray publicly because of criticism that has been launched. Some people feel they can never measure up to a perceived standard. I recently had a session with our youths and some of them expressed concerns about corporate prayer and the way it is viewed and done. I encouraged them to pray from their hearts, and use the word of God as part of their prayers. Be confident and talk to God as they would to me but ensure that they showed Him respect. Think about it, is prayer one of the main things that the devil used to confuse us? Why do you think this happens? It is our connection with God. It is critical to our existence, the way we function.  

I pray that you will continue in times of prayer and fasting. I noticed that there are certain acts in other religions that involve prayer and fasting, that maybe we should adopt. Those persons are worshipping gods that have eyes but cannot see; ears but cannot hear; neither can they utter a sound from their throats. They are honoured and adored. Persons spend hours in worship making sacrifices to those gods. They have set times for worship and those are not missed. May you allow Him to continue to examine you through His lens. May His favour and blessings be upon you.

I am reminded of the prophet Jeremiah who had hard knocks. He has been coloured the “complaining prophet”, but he really had some hard experiences, even from the very people God used him to help.

Jeremiah said, “Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction, so the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. 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 20:8-9, NIV). There were times when Jeremiah experienced his bout of exhaustion but felt compelled to continue with the work of God. If he did otherwise, it would have made him feel very uncomfortable. At the end of the day, what we do is for the glory of God and that is the comfort we can sit on, and find peace. “Think bout it, chat bout it.” What are you going to do about it?

Let us pray:

Almighty God, we thank You for this privilege, this awesome opportunity to connect with You through prayer. We thank You for being our main source. We thank You that You have the last word on us, on our lives. Lord, so many times we seemed to know what You want but have not diligently sought Your direction in the things we say and do. Lord, we thank You for Your grace and mercy. We thank You, Lord.

Lord, we thank you for waking us up in our right minds. We thank You for providing, protecting and guiding us as individuals, families, communities, Churches and related associations; businesses; political representatives and as a country.

We praise You, Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God. How pleasant and fitting to praise You! You determined the number of the stars and called them each by name. Great are You, Lord and mighty in power. Lord, Your understanding has no limit. You sustain the humble but cast the wicked to the ground. We sing to You, Lord with grateful praise. Lord, Your pleasure is not in the strength of the horse. Nor is Your delight in the legs of the warrior. Lord, You delight in those who fear You, who put their hope in Your unfailing love (Psalm 147).

Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, asking that You cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Forgive all of our sins and make us worthy vessels in Your sight. It is against You that we have sinned and done wrong. Out of the depths, we cry oh Lord. Hear and have mercy.

Lord, so many cruel things are happening around us to our children, youths, women, families; workers and citizens as a whole. Some of us are finding it really difficult to make ends meet financially and otherwise, and our frustrations have turned to anger. Lord, have mercy and help us.

Lord, cause it that we turn our hearts and minds to diligently seek Your face and wait on Your guiding hand. Help us to seek You with all of our hearts and understand what that means. Help us to also love as You love, exercise justice and brotherhood/sisterhood, seek peace and pursue it.

We pray for all leaders of this country, the region and other countries. Lord, You know the measure of need for each. We ask that You grant it. We pray for selfless hearts and hands; accountability and transparency in all that we say and do. As we continue to navigate our way through the many unusual happenings including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we pray for Your mercy, provision, healing and protection.

As we face another season of rainfall and heavy winds we ask You for mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Lord, so many of our people are losing hope but we pray that You remove the dark clouds from the east to the west and from the north to the south of this country. Grant us strength, and peace. Lord, instil hope and cause it that those who do not know You will reach out to You for comfort and assurance.

We pray for those who are preparing for and doing exams. Lord, grant the spirit of excellence and success, strength and peace, we ask.

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.

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.

 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, we pray for the increased number of persons who mourn, those who are doing surgeries, the sick and shut-ins. We ask that You build a banner around them. Provide Your power of physical and emotional healing. Let Your peace fill their minds and hearts. We ask all of these with thanksgiving, in Jesus’ name.


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.

Similar Posts