Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 4 September

Sister Marlene McPherson offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 4 September 2020 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers.

My Brothers, Sisters, Friends, we are hoping that you are well. If not, let us know. Please make every reasonable effort to keep safe. 

Last week I spoke about my encounter with wasps while looking at the issue of torment. As stated, I am allergic to insect bites and the impact is my experience of physical torture. I also stated that God was accomplishing His purpose for His glory because they attacked me instead of my mother who is diabetic. It could have been more devastating for her than me. I also drew on biblical illustrations on torture. My experience did not stop there. When the wasps attacked and stung me, my mother laughed. I mean, really laughed. I was throwing out her pretty little bottles and stuff that only gave rise to clutter.  

You know, I was angry with her because of what the wasps attack was about to do to my body. I was upset because of the way she responded. So I told her that I could not believe that she was laughing at me. I did not say anything else but I was angry. She said that I was troubling her stuff. She eventually apologised but I was still angry because of the pain and discomfort that was about to emerge for a few weeks to come.

I made the choice to forgive her on the same day. This did not take away from my physical discomfort but it helped me to process and deal with my emotional state. How did I do this? I had to reason within myself and talk to the Lord about it. As I recalled other experiences in recent times when I started to get upset, the Holy Spirit kindly told me that my disposition does not represent Him. I should change my countenance though I have been repeatedly wronged. Of course, I did, and guess what? I felt better about myself for doing so.

How would you describe anger and forgiveness? I will use some descriptions and definitions from biblical writers. Holman enunciated that anger is an emotional response to being wronged. It is also referred to as God and man’s wrath or rage. Other emotions associated with anger are bitterness, vexation and fury. Nelson described forgiveness, on the other hand as the art of excusing or pardoning others in spite of their slights, short-comings and errors. Nelson is of the view that only the Bible teaches us about complete forgiveness (Hebrews 10:17). Vine’s description of forgiveness is to send away, remit, completely cancel, delivering the sinner from the penalty (Matthew 6:14, 25; Matthew 9:2, 5, 6; Romans 4:7). In psychology we are taught that forgiveness is a choice that involves a process. We have to remember that the choice was made to forgive though the process may bring discomfort.

Brethren and Friends, I remember the way a number of persons responded when they were angry. Jeremiah and Nehemiah asked that God withhold forgiveness because of the attacks that came against them and what they were doing, Jeremiah as a prophet, and Nehemiah who led in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. Jeremiah: “But you, Lord, know all their plots to kill me. Do not forgive their crimes, or blot out their sins from your sight. Let them be overthrown before you; deal with them in the time of your anger.” (Jeremiah 18:23, NIV). Nehemiah: “Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.” (Nehemiah 4:5, NIV).

I find that we may say and do things in the midst of our anger that can have devastating effects on others. Many times, people are unable to deal with watching someone’s downfall. The truth is that some people may glory in it. I try to keep quiet. Some people say they hold their tongues.

Later Nehemiah had this to say concerning his ancestors and their behaviour:

“…But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them.”

Nehemiah 9:17 (NIV)

What was Jesus’ instructions concerning forgiveness? In His teachings on prayer He said:

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Matthew 6:12-14 (NIV)

When His disciples asked Jesus about the number of times to forgive Jesus answered “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:22, NIV).

I remember Jesus’ last period on earth. He was trying to get into Samaria but was refused. “When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?’ But Jesus turned and rebuked them.” (Luke 9:54, NIV). They knew that Jesus had access to the power to destroy but He was slow to anger. He demonstrated this for us to emulate.  

The apostle Paul in his instruction on Christian living spoke with the Ephesians about attitudes and self.

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

“In your anger do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Paul expects the believer to demonstrate a change in attitudes and behaviours. He expects a change in thoughts, beliefs and actions; otherwise, we open ourselves to the devil messing us up (Ephesians 4:26-27, NIV).

When one gets angry, that person can end up in a rage. How then do you not sin? It goes with developing a relationship with God and working through the process. The truth is that some persons may need to seek the help of another Brother, Sister or a trained professional. It may make the person vulnerable but it could make the difference between a changed and an unchanged life, a life that is renewed, refreshed and one that is not.

I suppose that we all may experience some form of anger, even Jesus went through what some Believers call righteous indignation. 

When He saw what was happening in the synagogue “He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts…” (Mark 3:5, NIV). Anyway, remember that anything we do either pleases or displeases God. Just think about it.

I could not stop at forgiving my mother and the others who wronged me. Having forgiven them, the Lord called me to demonstrate love. 

It is also important for us to understand that reconciling with someone who has wronged us is not always possible or practical but we can still forgive or be forgiven.

Many are still angry and have not forgiven others. We may not realise or admit to being angry but it always comes out in our relationships with others and God, and the way we manage situations. I pray that God will heal our pain, and release us from such bondage so that we can be free, and refreshed. Please take a moment and pray. It is only you and God right now.

Our own Sister Marlene McPherson will now lead us in prayer for our country:

Holy God Almighty and majestic King, You are worthy of all honour and praise. You have poured out Your blessing upon us, and You have kept your promises and provided us with salvation.  We therefore ask you Lord to empower and strengthen us as we commit ourselves to bless, serve and encourage others to do likewise, for Your honour and glory.

Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, we lift up our political leaders given the responsibility to guide this nation in this difficult time. We pray for our Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader and the Members of Parliament. Unite us God in the work before us, so that we can now come together to build this nation.  

Dear righteous Father, politics has divided us as a people but give our political leaders the courage to come together for the greater good of our nation, Jamaica.

Mighty Jesus, we are dealing with a pandemic COVID-19 that is affecting our people and rapidly increasing daily. Almighty Father, put Your hedge of protection and safety around us we pray, and place a guard at our doors and protect us from all forces of darkness that want to destroy us.  We bring before You this situation because it is by Your stripes, the afflicted will be healed.

Lord, thank You for guiding and protecting us through the hurricane season.

Lord, we put before You the homeless, the voiceless and the indigents.  Help us to come together as one people and help each other.

We declare, trust and believe God, that the goodness of the land will not pass us by. Lord, we speak favour over everyone in the land of the living. 

We ask for Your Divine intervention in giving our Leaders the knowledge and courage to put measures in place to conquer the monster “CRIME” that is affecting our country Jamaica.

Lord, we are confident of the fact that You are our provider. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians  4:19, NIV)

Lord, we lift up to You and call by name:

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.

National leaders:

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 Education Karl Samuda, Leader of the Opposition Peter Philips, 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.

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; Jhenell 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.

Almighty Father, as we face the after elections periods we give you thanks for the freedom we exercise and the many blessings of democracy we enjoy. Heal us from our differences and unite us for a common purpose, dedication, and commitment to achieve liberty and justice in the years ahead for all the people of our nation. Let our leaders stand tall and be counted in our endeavour for a better Jamaica. Bind us together in the name of Christ Jesus so that as brothers and sisters, we can walk together in love and serve You with all of our hearts.

In Your name, we pray with thanksgiving.

Amen.


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.

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