Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 8 August

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 8 August 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 needs prayer, please let us know. You can post your prayer request here on our website.

I am extremely grateful to God that He has not given me a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. If I did not come to embrace this I would have functioned as a  timid, powerless person with a constantly wavering mind. I would have disregarded the gifts and abilities that God has endowed me with. I would have swayed in the direction of humankind, allowing limited intellects to determine God’s plans for my life. 

Sometimes when I assess life and its many issues, it feels like I am on a roller coaster not being sure where or how I am going to land. I felt like there is pressure to please man above God. I felt like if I am not careful, I would be expected to just place myself in a position where I sit easily and let life float around me so that I can enjoy the smoothness of it. 

There was a time when I was afraid to do the will of God, to walk in His stead. I felt pressured and weird standing away from the crowd to maintain a focus on God and the things of God, I was made to feel that way. Also, I felt like running for cover and hiding because of the stony-like words that were thrown at me. I felt weird because I stepped outside of the norm.

There were times when I felt numb because of the excruciating pain and disappointments that I experienced especially when I was not given much space for recovery. I faced persecution because I stood and spoke against situations when there was a display of forms of godly practices but denial of the very power of God, situations when there were impressions of godliness yet sin blatantly abounds. This is based on my direct experience.

There were times when I felt isolated. I have a friend who said to me that she does not want to experience some of the afflictions that I endured. She would look scared but strongly and repeatedly tell me so. However, this friend regularly prayed and asked God to break her, and mould her, make her a vessel for His glory. We would talk frankly about what she asked God and what she really wanted. She asked to be broken by Him but does not want to experience brokenness. 

You see, many times we keep doing things the same way but expect different results. I believe that some of us have implanted a template in our hearts and minds, always trying to complete it. So in many instances what we speak differs from what we do. We say we want change. We even pray and ask God for change. Yet in our hearts and minds, we go back to our implanted templates. We are not prepared to step out and allow God to do what is required for the change to take place. At times, we may not just do it to ourselves but hinder what God wants to do in the lives of others. 

There were times when I felt like apologising for the things that my gifts and abilities give me the opportunity and privileges to do. I was afraid of owning the freedom that I received through Christ. I noticed that those feelings had hindered me from stepping out in a way that allows for God to show Himself through my gifts and abilities. When I really thought about it, I felt like I was apologising for the way God created me and the things I am created to do. Yes, I am also trying to be mindful of pride and haughtiness. 

When you think about it, if we allow fear to stifle us; if we do not allow the power of God to be at work in us; if we do not embrace and demonstrate the love of God; how can the purpose of God for our lives be accomplished? How can God be truly glorified through our lives? 

As my thoughts are processed, I am taken to the experience of a set of women in the Bible. They were referred to as the Daughters of Zelophehad. The word of God tells us that while the people of Israel were on their way through the wilderness intending to reach the promised land, the Lord told Moses to take a census of all men. The men targeted were 20 years of age and over. They were also arranged according to their names. The Lord said to Moses, ‘The land is to be allotted to them as an inheritance based on the number of names.’” (Numbers 26:52-53, NIV). Women and children were not counted in the census but were expected to fall under clans led by men. 

There were five daughters of Zelophehad, namely Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah, who lost their father. He had no sons. (Number 27:1). One may say that the daughters would have been left without an inheritance. It seemed like they would have been left out in the cold of the streets. Those women decided not to be timid or remain powerless so they respectfully approached Moses, the priest and other leaders. They put forward a proposal to the team of leaders. They said, “‘Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.’” (Numbers 27:4, NIV). In law, we could say that those daughters piloted a Bill for it to be acted upon. 

Moses went and enquired of the Lord. “So Moses brought their case before the Lord, and the Lord said to him, ‘What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.’” (Numbers 27:4, NIV). We could say that the daughters’ Bill was successful so they were to inherit their piece of land. They stepped out from the crowd, they stepped out from the limited intellect and expectation of man and made a bold move resulting in a change. 

Guess what? It did not end there. The Bill piloted by the daughters became law. Read this. “Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter. If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, so that he may possess it. This is to have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’” (Numbers 27:8-11, NIV).

Wow! Wow! Chat bout! You may note that the daughters demonstrated an ability to litigate and advocate, resulting in a change that did not only have a direct success but impacted an entire nation. Can you imagine what God wants to do through you? Can you imagine what God wants to do through the next person? What say you? Where are you in your relationship with God? Chat “bout” it.

As you think, let us pray:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Lord, we thank You for Your continued grace and mercies. We honour and adore You. We bless Your holy name for You are worthy to receive glory, honour and praise. Hallelujah! Lord, we thank You for sustaining us, for guidance and protection in the midst of our circumstances. 

Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God. Lord, let thy kingdom come and Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Lord, in Jesus’ name we come as individuals, families, communities, Churches and a country as a whole. We ask that You forgive all of our sins. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil. Help us to forgive those who trespass against us. Lord, protect us from the minds, hearts and hands of evil and have mercy on us.

Lord, constantly fill our needs and satisfy us with Your unfailing love so that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.  Make us glad for as many days as You have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. May You also show Your deeds to Your servants, Your splendour to our children. May Your favour rest on us. So, establish the work of our hands for us. Yes, Lord, establish the work of our hands.

 Lord, we lift up to You the leaders in our country. 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 remember those who are not well, especially Deacon Loy, Sisters Nicole Evans and Kadine Stewart. We also 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, Cherrie Lee, and Lorraine Richards (Brother Cornel Richards’ wife); 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), Brother Cornel Richards and family; and any member or family member who needs healing and comfort. Lord, grant healing, strength and peace.

Lord, we pray for those who are in distress, mourning losses of different kinds. We pray especially for Sister Joyce Campbell, the Derbys and their families who lost loved ones. Lord, have mercy and help. Fill us with Your peace, Your presence and Your power. Comfort us and grant us victory in our circumstances.

In Jesus’ name, we pray with thanksgiving.


Our Prayers of Encouragement are for everyone. Therefore, if you also need prayer or comfort, please contact us with your request. We would gladly share with you.

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