Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 8 January 2021 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers.
My Brothers, Sisters and Friends, we give God thanks for each day. We praise and honour His name. Regardless of our circumstances, we serve an awesome God. I pray God’s richest blessings and favour upon you and your family. I pray that God’s goodness, mercy, kindness and peace capture your hearts, minds and lives. If you or anyone you know is not well, please send us a Prayer Request, and we will include it in our time for special prayers.
Brethren and Friends the foot journey continues with its set of experiences. I have been walking a lot of miles in recent times to get a number of things done. As I go along the pathways, I am trying to understand and do what God requires, believing and insisting that not having a car at this time must be for His glory.
I mentioned in the last set of writings about the man who was very upset because I created a distance between him and myself while walking on the road. This week I tried a different approach. I decided to wave and bless people on the way. At times I have a short conversation, as time allows me. Of course, I wear my masks and speak at a distance. Most persons were very receptive while others seemed oblivious. I realised that extending warmth mitigated their notice of the distance that I created. You know, the response was mainly welcoming. I also noted that extending warmth is a practice which is more acceptable out-of-town than in the city.
Another thing that I came across was an obstacle in the middle of the road. Apparently, a piece of board fell from a truck and persons were trying to drive around it. This caused an obstruction for drivers on the main road and those who wanted to get onto it. I decided to stop the traffic and take the board out of the road allowing for a normal flow. I left it on the side of the road and went on my way.
In another instance, I was on the telephone dealing with a matter that needed to be resolved. I was at a lonely spot and told the person that I needed to get off the telephone. A man rode up next to me on a bicycle and said that it was not safe to be on the telephone. He advised me to end the call and put it in my bag. I told the person what was happening, hung up the call and put the telephone in my bag. I thanked the man. He rode alongside me as I walked and after a while, he rode off ahead.
As I reflected on my experiences, I remember Jesus when he walked the earth. It flashed across my mind that He had so much to do along the way. He was aware of His environment and He paid attention. He knew when to stop, share, give, heal and move on. Jesus was very measured in His approach to life. He was in no rush. Yet His life was well spent.
You may recall the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Jesus showed compassion. Some persons close to Him questioned His timing as it relates to His arrival. The death of his friend touched Him. He provided comfort to the family though He was hurting. In His own time of hurt, some persons questioned His power and authority. They criticised Him. He never lost focus because His Father had to be glorified, even in the midst of His hurt and pain (John 11). What an awesome example for us to emulate?
A passage of scripture that kept lingering in my mind is:
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man. 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.Proverbs 3:3-6 (NIV)
We are encouraged to put love and commitment at the centre as we present self but it is critical that our trust and dependency is on God. He will show us the way and how to take the paths of life.
You know, we can allow the challenges of life to cripple our movements and confuse our thoughts. We can become grumpy and complain. Or, we can choose to get up and continue living as we deal with the obstacles that keep coming our way. We can change our thinking, have the right attitude, show love and remain faithful to who we should be in Christ. We can allow the Holy Spirit to minister in and through life experiences, trusting His leading. Also, we can surrender everything in God’s hands and allow Him to be glorified.
Think about it. How do you respond to multiple challenges? Do you allow God’s leading in your experiences? Do you act according to His will or do you just sit and pray, or not?
What should you do?
As we meditate on our lives, and the way we have been living, let us pause to pray:
Heavenly Father we thank You for your love, grace and mercies. We thank You for waking us up in our right minds. Lord, we praise You for your infinite greatness. We extol your name on high and give You all of the glory, honour and praise. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
God of mercy and truth, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, surrendering every thought, attitude and behaviour for your purification. We ask that You cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Forgive all our sins and save our lives from destruction. Counsel us, and watch over us. Let evil not overpower us.
By your will Lord, let us not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners. Lord, cause it that your will, grace and power is established in our lives, that we delight in the instructions through your word, meditate on your word at all times. Cause it, Lord, that your praise will always be on our lips and that You are glorified in all we say and do.
Lord, as leaders and believers of churches and related associations, and institutions, let faithfulness and love never leave us. Cause them to be at the centre of what we think, say and do. Let them be imprinted in our hearts and activated through our experiences so that we find favour and a good name in your sight and that of our fellow humankind.
Lord, help us to open our hearts to You, trusting You. Cause it that we do not lean on our own understanding but rely and depend on you in all that we think, say and do. Lord, cause it that we submit all of our ways to You so that You make our paths straight. Let us not be deceived. Cause it that we are not wise in our own eyes but shun evil and cling to that which is good.
El Shaddi, we pray for the leaders of government, the main opposition party, the political directorate, private sector, businesses, voluntary institutions, families and communities. Lord, cause it that their hearts and minds are in the right position to lead according to your will. Let them exercise humility, act with transparency and accountability but in strength, courage, true wisdom and boldness. Help them to make the right decisions concerning our economy, and provide for us.
We present to you especially 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, Youth and the Environment, Fayval Williams, leader of the opposition 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
Lord, we also present to you the 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.
Lord, protect our communities from the spread of Covid-19 Virus and cause it that we act conscientiously protecting our families and neighbours. Lord, the workforce has been getting its share of beating due to the Covid-19 Virus. However, You have gifted peoples of the world to be creative and strategize. Help us to exercise this in all that we say and do. We pray for your divine covering and strength especially on those who are on the frontline. Lord, we ask for a divine covering over them and us, as a nation.
We pray especially for 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, Dainia 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.
Hear our cry O Lord and have mercy. From the depths of the earth Lord, we cry unto You.
Lord, we pray for the leaders of criminal activities, their personnel and schemes and ask that You identify them from wherever they operate whether locally, overseas or from prisons. We pray, therefore, that You will confuse their schemes and activities. Also, nullify and make impotent the use of their abilities to do evil.
Lord, guard us as a country and protect our borders. Let your peace reign over us and in our lives.
Lord, we pray for other countries in our region and the world at large. Cause it that we act justly with good judgment and exercise humility. We also pray that humility finds ground. Let there be a renewal of the right spirit and healing in the United States of America. Cause it Lord, that the decisions that they make legally and otherwise will only bring glory and honour to your name. So Lord, capture every heart and let none escape.
Lord, we pray for those who are hurting because of financial losses, challenges, loss of loved ones, confusion and mental disturbances due to the heightened uncertainties and problems of life. So we ask that You empower us with strength, hope and peace. Also, keep us focused with our eyes on You as You engulf us with your love. We ask for all of these 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.