Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 7 February

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 7 February 2021 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers.

My Brothers, Sisters and Friends I am hoping that you are well but if not, please send your prayer requests to the Grace Missionary Church (Jamaica) website, and we will pray for you.

We give God thanks for His mercies, His kindness, His love and faithfulness. We thank Him for the air we breathe; for waking us up to face the freshness of the morning. May you experience His presence and power in all of your circumstances. May you turn to Him knowing that He is your ultimate source; your shield, your glory, and the lifter up of your head. May He endow you with blessings of good fruit.

I have been speaking on the issue of perseverance in the last few weeks or so. I still feel the need to continue with this issue. You know, I went on my hill walk yesterday. I saw a set of young adult men. It appeared that they were warming up for a session of football.

I was about to take on a steep hill when I heard an older man suggested that they walk backwards up the hill. I said to them “Let’s go.” The man told them to ensure that I am not ahead of them. After a few steps, one of the young men twisted his body and came to a halt. He said, “This is not for a boy.” I responded by saying; “You are not a boy, you are a man. Let’s go.” He eventually said; “I am going to finish it.” After much excitement and cheering from the others, he persisted and reached the top of the hill. I silently prayed for them and continued my journey to another set of hills.

Walking backwards is something I did a lot as a child. When I started doing so again, it took some practise for me to feel confident and build up my strength. I saw a much older lady and her daughter climbing the hill backwards and they did as if it was as easy as cheese. My walking partner has declined the challenge but she will do it one of these days.

Have you ever wondered why we walk backwards? Some persons may know but I will say it for those who do not. It is an exercise technique for the hamstring (tendons that attach the large muscles of the posterior thigh to the bone) and muscles, the buttocks muscles and the calf muscle (the muscle below the back of the knee). It also protects the knee especially when we go downhill. The key to the technique is to lean into the walk.

You may know that a hamstring and associated muscle injury is experienced by many athletes, and it is extremely painful. Sometimes the injury requires a lot of rest for proper healing. It depends on how much the muscle is pulled from the bone etc. However, a number of times athletes go into tough training and running with an injury, which may become severe. This may result in a longer wait for a return to the circuit, which could last for some years.

As I reflected on the foregoing analysis; rolling through my mind is the emergence of the Covid-19 Virus and its impact. Many persons have been experiencing unusual pains (physically and emotionally). At times, it seems the world is spinning in different directions and it is not clear where we are going to end up. We are placed in a position where there is the need to pull ourselves away from the limelight, the crowd; the need to be strategic and creative; the need to adjust from the old way of doing things; to change the framework in our minds; the need to do things differently; the need to diligently and painfully seek the mind of God; and the need to act.

It was a painful experience for the young man who was walking backwards for the first time. He was not told the benefits of that walking technique but after much crying out and stopping, he persevered to the top of the hill. Therefore, as we associate this young man’s experience with what we may need to do a few questions are lingering in my mind. Do we have the fighting desire or will? Have we lost our energy to stay the course?

You may note that the more countries loosen their restrictions as it relates to the Virus, the more the world opens up. However, this has led to a more severe spread of the Virus, and the number of persons infected and died has increased. Some may say allow that to happen so that the world can be naturally vaccinated. What is the implication for doing so? Like the possible implication of injury to the hamstring and muscles. As nations, would we face a severe medical and negative economic impact? How do we assess and act to deal with the issues that arise? Do we rely on man’s wisdom or God’s?

You know, as I process my thoughts I am reminded of Jesus’ walk on the earth and the uproar and instability that His presence caused among religious and non-religious leaders. He had a response that many people did not understand at the time until it happened. “And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life’.” (Luke 9:22, NIV).

Many persons got caught up in the “noise” and were not diligently seeking the mind of God. They lost sight of what God was doing. Are we losing sight of what God is doing in the midst of the Covid-19 Virus and its impact? We may have to painfully seek him. That is, seeking Him in a way that causes us much discomfort. Are we prepared to do so?

I am reminded of a scripture passage:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8 (NIV)

What can we garner from the passage? A few words and phrases popped in my mind; direction, guidance, wisdom, surrender of mind, spirit and body, well-being, insight, God’s way over Satan’s, acknowledgement of God, His power and authority, constancy and consistency, reliance on God. What do those things mean to you? Also, how do you associate them with your current state? How do you associate them with the state of your environment? What is God’s role for you in the picture? Are you painfully seeking Him for direction and understanding? If you are doing so, what is your next course of action?

As you meditate, let us pray:

Great and Holy Father, we thank You for a new born day. We thank You for the beauty of nature. We also thank You for protection, coverage, provision and guidance. Lord, we thank You.

Lord, we praise, honour and glorify your name. You are awesome! You are perfect in all that You do! We adore You! All that is within us bless your Holy Name!

Most Righteous Father, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, asking that You search our hearts and thoughts. See if there is anything in us that displeases you. Forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So Lord, have mercy on us as individuals, families, Church and associations, communities and as a nation. Hear our cries, O Lord.

God of provision, we lift up to You all leaders in every segment of our societies and ask that You endow us with your mercies, guidance, wisdom, insight, discerning power and a renewed desire and will to act with integrity in the best interest of those we serve. Let us not be overpowered by evil but cause it that we honour You in all that we say and do. Lord, we also ask for your continued provision for us in every sphere of our lives, of our economies. Therefore Lord, show us the way we should go and cause it that we do not depart from it.

We pray especially for 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 remember also the judges in our congregation, Paula Blake Powell and Grace Henry McKenzie.

God of Armies and battles, we present to You all leaders of criminal activities, their minds, hearts, resources, weapons, support personnel, and schemes. We ask that You identify them, expose them and let there be indisputable evidence against them. Also, cause it that they are held accountable for their actions or intended actions. So Lord, turn their hearts to You and let them seek for their bread in the right places.

God of compassion and peace, we ask for your divine comfort and restoration for those who are painfully going through life. Some people have lost hope and their energy for life so we ask that You instil hope in us as individuals, families, Church and associations, communities and as a nation.

God of healing, remember those among us who are on the usual sick and shut-in list, as well as Sisters Iris Lawrence, Sister Valerie Smellie, 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 Lloyd Trusty, Mr Alan Ashley (Sister Dawn Ashley’s father), Brother Danville Japp’s father, Mr Isaiah Japp, Mr, Delorn Dixon (Sister Rachael Dixon’s husband) and any member or family member who is currently struggling with the Covid-19 virus. We pray for healing, comfort and restoration.

So Lord, hear our cries and attend unto our prayers. Fill us with your peace, presence and power, and envelope us with your love we pray 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.

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