Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 8 October

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 8 October 2021 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers. Deacon Burton owns the copyright to this post. We reprint here with her permission.

Hi Everyone! I pray for God’s favour and sustenance in your life as you continue on this journey during these unusual times. May God’s hand of comfort and love permeate your spirit and cause you to transcend peace. If you or anyone you know has a prayer request, please let us know and we will include you in our prayers. You may post your prayer request here on our website.

A young man called me this week for some assistance and I went and provided the help. Another day he called asking for some advice to do with certain decisions. He called me a third time for some more advice concerning a decision that could turn out to be devastating. He also asked if I had any problems with him reaching out to me.

I was humbled by the reliance that the young man placed on me. This has been happening to me for a while. The fact is that I have provided different types of assistance to several young men in the past. Nonetheless, it is a privilege and honour for me to bring glory to God in this regard. I am also mindful of the role I need to play in the body of Christ. When I thought about giving, one of the scripture passages that came to me has to do with what king David prayed concerning the gifts given for the building of the Lord’s temple:

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever and keep their hearts loyal to you. (1Chronicles 29:14-18, NIV). 

We could garner from the passage David’s evaluation of self, the people he served and the appropriation of what they had and owned. They gave freely. They gave with a willingness of heart, and they were honest. Most importantly, David acknowledged and appreciated the fact that all that they had belonged to God. If everything in heaven and on earth and, by and large within the universe belongs to God, then what we claim to own are under His ultimate control. It could be talents, gifts and abilities and valuables. This understanding pulls the question of whether we keep it to ourselves or use it in accordance with His will.

The point that rang heavily is the question David asked himself. “But who am I…”. As a leader, he humbly sat under the microscope first. Then he looked at his people and added them to the apparent conversation in prayer. He continued; “… and who are my people…”. They were giving God what He owns. What is the sense in doing so? I used one word to describe the central reason, heart. He alluded to the fact that God tested the heart. We could say that once the heart was okay, we saw certain characteristics flowing from it such as honesty, integrity and a willingness to please God.

I find that when our hearts are in the right place, God uses us in many ways. Is your heart in the right place? When you really think deeper, things get a little more intense. Those who are born of God, children of God, are bought with a price. The payment was the shedding of Jesus’ blood for the remission of sins. Now, God has a right to us, and we have a right to Him. He owns us. We willingly gave our lives to Him by choice and we should function for His glory.

Another very important point that David made was that our time on earth is short. He said, “…Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope….” If we are here just for a while then we should make good use of the time.

I recalled when my father died, almost a year ago, all we could do was build a little house for him under the ground to allow his body to go through a process of decay. We call it a grave. I thought deeply about it as we laid his body down. I looked at the picture and thought that there was a casket with a man in it who was so strong and tall, full of energy, laughter and poise. My mother was the person who struggled over the years with different kinds of illnesses. Yet he was the one who became ill and weakened, and life came to an end for him. Still, death provides a beautiful transition for those who are born of God. It provides a hope of the promise of eternal life because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Yet when we scrutinise the behaviour of humankind, in many ways we have become tight-fisted, holding on to what we will lose; keeping what needs to be magnified by God for His glory; hardening our hearts. At times, we make the most noise. However, what we do in proportion to our abilities, gifts, talents and valuables drop way below what we can. Let us be reminded though that God sees the heart, your heart and mine.

I am not saying that we act carelessly. We can act in faith, although to some people acting in faith is careless. The way I deal with this is to say that at the end of the day, I will not lose because I rely on the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit. Interestingly, I had to assist a much older man just yesterday. He told me that so many people rejected him. When I assisted him as the Lord led, at first he seemed baffled and confused. I never said a word. He looked at me and never said another word but his response said it all.

There are other situations that I could mention that happened in just one week but I am used to it with or without a pandemic. Please, I am not boasting in self but in the way God uses us for His glory. I just pray that He gives me all of the resources that are needed so that He is magnified. I also pray that I will be able to discern so that my actions are dictated by Him, and importantly, that I have the right heart. What is your prayer? Think bout it, chat bout it. What are you going to do about it?

Let us pray:

“Praise be to You, Lord,  the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendour, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom. You are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honour come from You; You are the ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give You thanks, and praise Your glorious name.” (1 Chronicles 29:10-13, NIV).

Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ thanking You for Your mercy and grace. We are grateful that You continue to sustain us even when we are not walking in the path that You have set for us. We thank You for covering us and providing for us as individuals, families, communities, businesses, government and our country as a whole.

Lord, we ask for Your continued mercy and grace to take us through each passing moment as we try to do life. Lord, forgive all of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Help us to forgive those who have wronged us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil.

Almighty God, we ask that You visit the hearts that have become like stones, and break them and heal them into hearts of flesh. Turn the hearts of humankind to You because power and might are in Your hands. Lord, help us to know true wisdom and exercise it in all that we say and do. Help us to understand Your will and do it through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Help us to serve You in spirit and truth.

Lord, we pray for our children and youths who are trying to adjust to the new way of life. Some of them are being abused by parents and guardians who are confused, lacking the knowledge and understanding of the loftiness of their role. Some are finding it frustrating and have attempted to end their lives, while others have threatened to do so. Lord, we ask for mercy on them. Instil hope and provide them with comfort, strength and peace.

Lord, we ask that You help us as a nation to send out the search to assist every child with an education. Grant us the wisdom and knowledge to know what to do and how to do it. We pray for the teachers and administrators who are under intense pressure: those who are battling with the know-how to do school online; those who are emotionally challenged; and those who do not adequately apply their skills and talents. O Lord, have mercy and help!

Lord, 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, grant them wisdom, knowledge, creativity, strength, courage and understanding to conduct their work in the best interest of those they serve. Help them to act with accountability and transparency. Provide for and protect them and their families.

We lift up to You those among us who are in business: 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, cause it that they are sustained even in these deserted times and let Your blessings and mercy be upon them.

We also pray for the frontline workers connected with GMC: Medical Doctors: Asana Anderson Wilks and Rohan Wilks, Kahlete Falloon, Tina Kong, Vernon Jones, Leighton Logan, Emily Reynolds; trainee doctor (, Gabrielle Channer); 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. Lord, grant them physical and mental strength. Protect them from all forms of diseases and fill them with extraordinary bowels of compassion and strength as they carry out their daily tasks. Lord, we also lift for Your healing and restoration those who are hospitalised or experiencing physical and mental hurts.

Lord, we have so much to contend with daily. We need You to survive. We need Your hand of mercy over us as a nation, and the world at large. Many people are still finding ways to continue living in sin even when we are faced with tragedies of differing kinds. O God, help us! Hear, O Lord, and answer in Jesus’ name we pray, with thanksgiving.


Our Prayers of Encouragement are for everyone. Therefore, please contact us with your request if you also need prayer or comfort. We would be so very happy to share with you.
Grace Missionary Church is a member of The Missionary Church Association in Jamaica.

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