Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

The Prayer of Encouragement for 9 April

Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Prayer of Encouragement for 9 April 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 but 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 thankful to God that He is my Father. I no longer have an earthly father but I am comforted by the fact that He has adopted me through my second birth. Christ’s sacrifice of His life and His resurrection gave me the opportunity for a new birth. I am happy to know that He is my Saviour and Lord, that He is my provider and He is my refuge. He is a banner around me, my protector. At times, it seems like I have lost out because of the challenges that I faced but I believe that He restores. He is my defender and deals with those who try to defy His will for my life.

God is not only my Father but my creator. He created me for His purpose and pleasure, to have a relationship with Him and my fellow humankind.  Yet, God is a Spirit and we have to relate to Him in that way. It may be weird for some persons because we cannot physically touch Him. He is a supernatural being but He made us physical and spiritual beings so that we can connect with Him as a spirit.

Some people have either rejected God or not made an effort to connect with Him. I recalled the people of Israel calling on God for a king. Samuel felt rejected but God assured him that He is the one who the people rejected. He kept giving them kings who may or may not carry out His purpose. Many of them misled the people to worship idols instead of the One and only true God.

I found that some people talk to God as if they are talking to the empty air, not as if He is a person. Although you cannot touch or see God in a physical way, I pray that your relationship with Him will help you to realise that He is a person, and relate to Him in that regard. I pray that you will relate to Him with an awareness that He is with you always. He is aware of all that has happened and will happen to you. He wants to be your guide and the light to your path. May you connect with Him at the level He requires, and may you feel His presence. May His blessings and favour be upon you always.

Recently while on my hill walk, I saw a beautiful picture in the midst of two plants. A man was standing there with his wife and their son. As I got closer, I saw his hand stretched long enough to hold his family from behind like a brace and he was praying. They are normally on the walk but I have never seen them praying. It was a beautiful sight and very profound for me because I hardly ever see that kind of picture in public. Look at that! One may say that he took his role as husband and father seriously, as the leader of his family. Wow! He recognised the need for God and demonstrated that to his family, in public.

As I reflect on king Ahab and his relationship with Jezebel his wife, I see a completely different picture. Jezebel caused Jezereel to turn their worship from God to idols, and influenced Ahab to build the altar of Baal and Asherah pole for the worship of false gods (1 Kings 16:31-33; 18:19). You may recall that it was Jezebel who ordered many of the prophets of God to be murdered (1 Kings 18:4) and threatened Elijah who ran for his life (1 Kings 19:1-3). If Ahab wanted anything and was rejected, Jezebel made it happen (1 Kings 21`5-16). The king was appointed to lead but the function of his kingship lost its relevance, impact and potency. Ahab was not in control when it really mattered.

A couple of things came to mind when I thought of Jezebel. She hijacked the functionality of Ahab’s kingship and did things in her own way. The man was still on the throne, imagine that for a little. She stood tall and strong. She acted with great power and authority devouring whatever came in her way. Yeah, she was at the top of her game.

Guess what? Jezebel was prepared to win at all cost but she never met the Almighty, Sovereign God. She neither sought Him nor took instructions from Him. She did not realise that He had ultimate control. God gave Jezebel enough rope to exalt herself but there came a time for her to be reigned in. Jezebel seemed to be unstoppable. Elijah had prophesied against her and Ahab when she set up Naboth and caused him to be killed so that the covetous taste of Ahab could be satisfied. They took the man’s one vineyard, which he had refused to sell (1 Kings 21;19-23).  

The wait seemed long for God to act. Many of us who had numerous unfair treatments at times wondered what is God going to do? When is God going to act? Yet, God always acts in His timing for His purpose to be accomplished and for His glory. At times, we try to handle things ourselves and cause a mess because we do not diligently seek God’s guidance. We do not turn to Him in all that we say and do. We cannot wait!

Look at it! You know something? It was after Elijah’s departure from earth and ten years after Ahab died that the prophecy against Jezebel came to pass. My God, so long! Wow! It happened during Elisha’s time. He delegated a role to an unnamed prophet from the company of prophets to anoint Jehu (a commander at the time and son of Jehoshaphat) to be king of Israel and told him to run afterwards (2 Kings 9:1-13). What a dangerous job for a prophet. Yet, they obeyed the will of God and walked on the dangerous path. Yeah.

The scripture tells us that Jehu killed the sons of Ahab. Then he went for Jezebel. Of course, she tried to work on him. Oh my God, she did, but I am thinking she must have been old by then. “Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she put on eye makeup, arranged her hair and looked out of a window. As Jehu entered the gate, she asked, “Have you come in peace, you Zimri, you murderer of your master?” (2 Kings 9: 30-31, NIV). She must have lost her spunk by then and Jehu’s heart was not touched with any tenderness. Yet he wanted to honour her father as a king. He gave the order to bury her. Anyway, if that happened, it would have nullified Elijah’s prophecy.

Jehu told Jezebel’s eunuchs to throw her down from the window, then “Jehu went in and ate and drank. ‘Take care of that cursed woman,’ he said, ‘and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.’ But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. They went back and told Jehu, who said, ‘This is the word of the Lord that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh. Jezebel’s body will be like dung on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, ‘This is Jezebel.’” (2 Kings 9:34-37, NIV). It was a hot death with a cold attitude towards Jezebel. Wow!

Brethren and Friends, we are called to a relationship with God and our fellow humankind. One that honours Him and accords worship to Him. One that diligently seeks Him and follows His lead even when it makes no sense. It is therefore one that trusts the process that He chose. At times, we are tempted to retaliate or respond when God will take on the battle for us.

Sometimes we mislead people or allow ourselves to be misled. We may not get to see it but be assured that God will intervene and apply justice. Yet, He can choose to grant mercy. However, we are required to have a clean and pure heart even to those who wrongfully use and hurt us. We have to pray for the person who wronged us. This provides the proof of who we are in Christ, our new birth. People at times try to mess with you and not realise how much they are messing with God’s plans. This puts them in a danger zone.

I realised more and more each day the need to surrender to God. Have a constant effective relationship with Him and He will guide our path. You know, we hear these things so many times but have we taken the leap for God? The people of Israel were told “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God.” (Isaiah 59:1-2, NIV). What is hindering God’s work in your hands? He is your Father, protector, Savour and guide. Have you just been blowing hot air concerning Him and running out of it? What do you have to say?

As you think about it, let us pray

Heavenly Father, we will extol Your name at all times. Your praise will always be on our lips. We will glory in You. Let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Lord, we exalt Your name together.

Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ, thanking You for waking us up in our right minds. Thank you for sustaining and protecting us as individuals, families, communities, Churches, businesses, government and as a country.

We ask that You have mercy on us. Cleanse us from all unrighteousness and forgive all of our sins.

Lord, we thank You for the reduction in the spread of the Covid-19 Virus and pray for an even greater speed of a downward trend. Help us to be responsible and obedient to the need to practice safe measures protecting those around us and ourselves.

Lord, as individuals, families, communities, Churches, businesses, government and as a country, in You we have taken refuge. Let us never be put to shame. In Your righteousness, rescue and deliver us. So turn Your ear to us, and save us.

Lord, be our rock of refuge to which we can always go. Give the command to save us, for You are our rock and our fortress. Deliver us, our God, from the hand of the wicked; from harm and danger. Deliver us from this Covid-19 pandemic; from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel; those who set to steal, kidnap, kill, cause bodily harm and destroy.

You have been our hope, Sovereign Lord, our confidence for generations. We have relied on You. Lord, You are our strong refuge. Our mouths are filled with Your praise, declaring Your splendour all day long. Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things. Who is like You, God?

Lord, though You have allowed us to see troubles, many and bitter, restore us as individuals, families, communities, Churches, businesses, government and as a country once more. From the depths of our circumstances bring us up. Increase our honour and comfort us once more.

Lord, we will praise You with music and instruments for Your faithfulness, our God. We will sing praise to You, most Holy One. Our lips will shout for joy when we sing praise to You, we whom you will deliver. Our tongues will sing of Your righteous acts because those things that come to harm us will be put to confusion and destruction.

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 remember also the judges in our congregation, Paula Blake Powell and Grace Henry McKenzie.

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.

 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; 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, be a comfort and shield around us each day. Cause us to experience Your presence in all that we say and do. In Jesus’ name, we pray with thanksgiving.

Amen.


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.

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