The Prayer of Encouragement for 7 May
Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 7 May 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.
I am extremely grateful for the Holy Spirit who counsels me. I am grateful that He shows me the way that I should go and the things that I should avoid. At times, He allowed me to falter so that I can be taught a lesson or two. Sometimes I feel embarrassed as I go through the lessons. If I do not learn the lessons in the way that He requires, He creates or allows for me to learn through other circumstances. There have been times when I think that certain teachings are enough but they continue in order for me to develop a lifestyle of godly responses.
I pray that He will continue to counsel me, watch over me and that I will not be overpowered by evil. I pray that sin will not rule over me, in any way or form. You know something, there is no guarantee that I will not falter but I still pray that He will guard my heart, thoughts and behaviours. I pray that He will give me the strength and courage to be alerted to the wiles of evil, and be vigilant as I walk the path that He sets for me.
I pray that you will build an awareness of the counsel of the Holy Spirit. May you listen and allow yourself to be guided by Him. May you allow Him to dictate your path, the things that you think, say and do. And may you allow Him to teach you so that you can become more and more like Christ as you face the next experience. May He bless and favour you throughout your life’s journey.
I recalled having an experience some years ago with a neighbour. There were a couple of mango trees next door as well as where I lived at the time. A lot of mangoes were falling from next door onto the premises where I lived. Most of those mangoes were not good. They created a mess and it was at the back of the premises. On one occasion, a neighbour on the same premises where I lived decided to take up the mangoes and throw them back where the roots of the mango trees were located. I intervened, cleaned up the garbage and bagged it for disposal. Subsequent to that encounter, the person repeated the same thing and someone from next door gave the person a bad cursing. I think that person learned it was not the best approach to manage the situation.
In recent times, I had to deal with debris falling from a couple of trees located on one of the premises next to where I currently live. The types of debris were mainly blossoms from the trees, leaves and dried branches. Occasionally the branches were big so I had to break them up for proper disposal in bags.
However, there was a time when a couple of mornings straight I had to be clearing up branches and leaves etc. One of those mornings, there was a large dried branch so I took it up and threw it over the premises next door. Tell you what! I had to do a little gardening and realised that a piece of the stick would have been ideal to assist me. O yes! I thought about it really hard, then quickly went and retrieved the branch. However, I still had to break up the branch and use the stem. I must say that I have not been dealing with so much debris since that encounter.
Interestingly, I later realised that I may have thrown the branch onto the wrong premises. This is the situation. The top of the trees mainly hangs over another neighbour’s premises so it would appear that is where the trees have their roots. Oh no! It is not so at all. The person who planted the trees does not get much of the fruit. It is mainly given to another neighbour with a little on my side. Even then, the neighbour who has most of it, at times even picks the little on my side. Wow! I looked at them one day and asked about the fruits on their side just to bring some kind of awareness to their conscience. When I started having conversations with them, they decided to do a large picking and share with some of us, as encouraged.
I want to add something else. There are times when people say that I allowed people to “walk over me.” In their minds, I do not respond to defend myself and warn off persons. I recently recalled being asked some time ago by someone who constantly tests and hassles me why I do not respond to situations in a way that they expect or would if they were on my side. My response was that I could but made the choice to do otherwise.
I recalled when someone in that same environment came to me one day and said that there were a couple of things that they will walk away with where I am concerned. The person was moving on to somewhere else. One of them was my consistency as a follower of Christ. The person said that was a lesson. I was not aware that the person noticed those things. I still give God all of the glory for keeping me and I thank the Holy Spirit for His convictions and holding my hands when I could hit someone in the face or unload an unpleasant trail of thoughts because of the many hard and unfair issues that crowded me. Thank you, Lord, for giving me the right spirit.
You see, the Holy Spirit keeps on teaching me that I must respond to situations in a way that pleases Him. Trust me! “It nuh easy!” It is hard! “Mi seh, it hard!” I rely heavily on the leading of God almighty to take me through what I call the “caustic cities” of discomfort. I am reminded and encouraged by the experiences of those who have gone before as God showed me in His word.
Remember that Elijah was pressured to a point of distress and had to run for cover from the threat of Jezebel. “ So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, ‘May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.’” (I Kings 19:2, NIV). He begged God to take his life. “…’ I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’” (I Kings 19: 4, NIV).
Elijah wanted something to be done in order to experience peace. He wanted immediate relief. He was a strong man of God but demonstrated to us that anyone can be weakened. The question is, how do we deal with it? He demonstrated that anyone can be in distress and deeply disturbed. The question remains, how do we deal with it? God did not only restore Elijah. He sent him back to complete the work set for him. Oh my God, yes or no… Oh yes, God sent him back.
The Lord had many things for Elijah to do. “The Lord said to him, ‘Go back the way you came and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.’” (I Kings 19:15-16, NIV).
Brethren and Friends, you know, I got frustrated with cleaning up the branches. Yet God was teaching me a lesson to be consistent in what I do as a child of God. One could also say that in my frustration, I blamed the wrong set of people by throwing the branch in the wrong direction. I also learned over time that people who need to know Christ, and people who need to be encouraged as followers of Christ are looking for Him in you and me. It is the Holy Spirit who ministers to us and provides comfort in our times of trials. We have to tap into that source as we constantly walk the paths of life, regardless of the kind of “cities” we may find ourselves. What say you? Chat “bout” it.
As you think, let us pray:
O Lord, O Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth. The earth is Yours, Lord, the people and all who dwell in it. Lord, You have founded it upon the seas and established it on the waters. You are an awesome God. Who can be compared to You? Who counsels You? You are infinitely great, Awesome! Nothing and no one can be compared to You, Lord! Hallelujah to Your name! Hallelujah for the Lord God Almighty reigns! Lord, You reign in our circumstances. In our lives, in our families, Lord, You reign. In our communities, in our Churches You reign. Lord, You reign in our countries. You are the ultimate power and authority and nothing, absolutely nothing can circumvent Your power. So we give You all of the honour and glory. Hallelujah to Your name. Hallelujah for the Lord God Almighty reigns!
Lord, we thank You for providing, protecting and keeping us through these times.
Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ asking that You forgive all of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Take away hearts of stone and renew the right spirit within us. Restore unto us the joy of Thy salvation and grant a spirit that is obedient to Your directives. In all that we say and do, Lord, cause it that we seek peace and pursue it.
Lord, as individuals, families, communities, Churches, businesses and countries have mercy on us and forgive our wrongdoings. Help us to be selfless, transparent and compassionate in all that we say and do.
Lord, we pray for those who are in leadership positions, for those who are in businesses and for those who are working on the frontline during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Grant courage, creative thinking, boldness, wisdom and discernment. At the same time, Lord, grant peace and compassion. Help us to serve with honour and not for honour, to look out for each other.
Lord, we lift our families in Jamaica and throughout the world. The death of a loved one or separation from a loved one has disturbed or dislocated many families. There are families who are struggling to make ends meet. Lord, instil hope and provide a way. Help us to reach out and help especially as the body of Christ. Let us not be weary in well-doing but consistent in our efforts to do Your will, to walk the path that You set for us. Lord, let us not be selfish, talkers only but doers. Cover and continue to bless and favour us throughout these challenging times.
Lord, we pray for the many youths who are trying hard to navigate online learning and prepare for exams. O God protect their thoughts from confusion and their lives from destruction. Keep them, O Lord, we ask.
Lord, we present to You those who are still trying to steal, kill and destroy. Turn their hearts to You and cause it that they will seek and find the right way to live.
Lord, we lift us those who need a word of comfort, a gleam of hope; strength to continue and peace to sustain their troubled minds. We ask that You surround them with Your banner of love and be a voice of comfort as You grant them peace.
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 pray also for 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.
In addition, we 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.
So hear the cries of Your people, O Lord 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.