Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 7 March 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 hope that you are well but if not, let us know. Remember to submit your prayer request on our website.
I am humbled by the work of the Holy Spirit and the things that He reveals concerning my life and that of other people and situations. I am thankful for the empowering of gifts and abilities to enlighten, encourage and act according to the purpose of God. I am thankful for the teachings and guidance that the Holy Spirit provides as I take the journey of life. I am grateful that Jesus Christ came to earth in the form of man, and that He sacrificed His life so that I can have eternal life by accepting Him as Lord and Saviour.
I am so grateful that Jesus Christ rose from the grave, conquering death, and that the same power that raised Him from the dead is in me. It means that God can do many things through my life by His power at work. I am thankful and I am humbled. I do not think that I am deserving of these things. I consider His extended hand of grace, a privilege. Thank you, Lord.
I pray for God’s favour and blessings in your life. I pray that you may receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know and appreciate your Heavenly Father more and more each day. I pray that you will know and appreciate the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power (Ephesians 1). I pray that you will accept and appreciate the work of His power, and you will act in accordance with His will and purpose.
As I reflected on the work of the Holy Spirit a few thoughts emerged from my mind. I am reminded of what Elisha said to his servant Gehazi when he took valuables from Naaman and lied about it. This was displeasing to Elisha who had rejected a proposed offer from Naaman (we dealt with this in the previous post).
But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.2 Kings 5:26-27 (NIV)
Elisha made an interesting comment. “Was not my spirit with you…” (2 Kings 5:26, NIV). One could say that God allowed Elisha’s spirit to connect with Gehazi’s spirit. This resulted in Elisha having knowledge of Gehazi’s whereabouts and actions. On the other hand, Gehazi was not aware of what Elisha knew so he lied when asked to disclose what he had done. I am finding a few questions rolling over in my mind. Here they go. Could it be that Gehazi was overcome by the spirit of greed, which led him to lie about what he had done? Was his experience and knowledge of the work of God in Elisha’s life clouded by greed? Was his fear of God clouded by greed? Was he committing a wilful sin?
As my thoughts continue to process what Elisha said to Gehazi, I am reminded of a few experiences that I had but will disclose two of the most recent ones. I am sure that a number of persons can identify with these experiences. Here goes the first one. I felt an unusual connection with someone who I know and the Spirit of the Lord was saying to me that the person was in need of some things. It happened a few times so I made a call and realised that I was not having a weird daydream. It became more revealing when I was visited by someone who was going in the direction where that person lives. I am talking about another parish. I was able to send the stuff in good time. We talk about a God who is never late.
The other experience was a little challenging because I was so preoccupied and busy. Nonetheless, I felt the Lord connecting me to someone and I was feeling a physical weakness in the connection. It happened a few times. Although I was so busy, prayer for the person is my usual port of call. It was afterwards that I got some information, which revealed to me that the person was ill. I spoke with the person who confirmed some of what the Spirit of the Lord showed me.
Brethren and Friends, it is God’s power and Spirit at work. Although there may be work for our hands, it is a lot better when He establishes such work (Psalm 90:17). So He must be glorified. In the sermon on the Mount of Olives, Jesus encouraged His followers, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, NIV). The apostle Paul also informs us that “Now to each one, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit….” (1 Corinthians 12: 7-8, NIV).
Elisha’s experience showed that God connects us to do things for His purpose but it requires us to align ourselves, to maintain that alignment, and grow. Elisha has done many exploits for God’s glory. Even in the midst of what we call busy, God is showing us many things to do. He is revealing Himself. My philosophy has become “To do what God wants in the time.” I set it many years ago and try to live by it but I am so reliant on His grace and mercy because, let me tell you, of myself, I would not know what to do. My philosophy requires me to stop, listen and do what God wants. Yet, it is a process of depending on God for guidance and His equipping. You know, I am still seeking Him daily and learning. What say you?
As we meditate, let us pray:
Our Lord and Saviour, we thank You for the gift of salvation. We are grateful for the freedom that we have received through Jesus Christ. Lord, we thank You for waking us up in our right minds. We thank You for sustaining us as individuals, families, Churches, communities and as a country.
Lord, we honour and adore your matchless name. You are Awesome! You are worthy of all glory, honour and praise. Hallelujah! Our souls magnify your name, and your praises will continue to be on our lips.
Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ asking that You have mercy on us, forgive all of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Lord, so much is happening in our lives. We can think of the most talked-about issue, Covid-19 and the vaccines. Many are contemplating whether or not to take it. Yet, it is not clear if the amount that we need will be made available. Lord, we lift up to You those who will make decisions concerning the vaccine. We pray that You will endow us with the Spirit of knowledge and revelations. Lord, cause it that the right decision will be made by our leaders and citizens. Protect us from harm and danger, and guide the process, Father. Lord, remove hearts of stone, show us the way that we should go and cause it that we walk in it.
Lord, we ask that You grant wisdom, knowledge, insight to leaders in every sphere of society. Refresh their thought process and way of life. Remove selfish thoughts and attitudes and instil in them compassion for those who they serve. Lord, cause it that they act with creativity and courage. Lord, provide the resources that we need.
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, we pray especially for our Churches, associations, institutions, leaders, members and adherents. The restriction on our worship has been a blow to many people. Help us to not lose our focus knowing that you are a Spirit and you do not require a building to connect with us. Help us to be drawn close to you, to feed on your word and enjoy sweet communion.
Lord, we pray for peace and safety as we do life. Help us to be the best neighbour to each other. Help us to be the light that shines in the darkness. We present to You those persons who have been stealing, killing etc. Lord, take control of every criminal mind, scheme, resource and activity. Turn their hearts to You. Help them to find a legitimate and moral way to live.
God of grace, we present to You those among us who are on the usual sick and shut-in list, as well as Sisters Iris Lawrence, Merle Braham, 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), Mr Lyn Cook (Sister Marcia’s husband) and any member or family member who is currently struggling with the Covid-19 virus. We pray for healing, comfort and restoration.
Lord, saturate us with your presence, instil your hope and peace in us. Strengthen us where we have become weak and renew our energy, 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.