Voice of the Youths

Voice of The Youths – 3rd Sunday June 2021

Deacon Arlene Burton presents the prayer “Voice of The Youths – 3rd Sunday, June 2021”. Deacon Burton owns the copyright to this post. We reprint here with her permission.

Hi Everyone, we are hoping that you are well but if not, please let us know by sending your prayer requests

Hi everyone, it is the Third Sunday of the month and the youths’ weekend! Today’s encouragement and prayer were done by Nackeemi Smith. Nackeemi is a first-year university law student and the treasurer of the Grace Youth Ministries. Please meditate on what he has shared concerning burdens. Thanking God for this powerful testimony, NOT TO BE MISSED.

Cast your Burdens or Hold on to Them

Two (2) weeks ago, I met with a family friend at Hope Gardens. This family friend will be referred to as ‘Auntie A’ throughout the text. Funny enough, I didn’t plan on going, and I was thinking of a way to decide on an excuse for my absence because I thought I knew exactly all that she would have said to me or wanted to hear from me.

Nevertheless, I felt an urge to attend and so I did. I do introspection regularly and I had noticed that my behaviour had changed somewhat. There were both positive and negative traits in these changes. However, now my attitude has changed. I was not fond of talking to others and letting my feelings go. I have been in many instances where women my age want me to talk about feelings and lovey-dovey things that I think are stupid and weak because I was not emotionally driven.

So I believed that Auntie A would have wanted a similar thing from me. I assumed she would want me to express my emotions. Then she would assure me that everything would be fine by reading the words of God and saying the everyday things that the church leaders would say to the younger members of the church.

I am a firm believer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that there is an ultimate creator and I believe in one God. This belief has been ingrained in me since I was a youngster (Yes, I am still young).  I am often reminded of Psalm 55:22. ” Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22, NIV). The King James Version said burdens and not cares but they are saying the same thing. What does it mean to cast our burdens on the Lord?

For a very long time, I have been struggling to understand what that scripture meant. I have been through some bad situations in the past and I have done things that hurt the ones I genuinely care about. I’ve allowed myself to be led into doing things that were neither good for me nor my family. I felt like in the past, I’ve betrayed my family’s trust. One of the most important phrases in the last two sentences is “in the past“.

According to the general tone of the Bible, we should be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another as God forgave us in Christ. So, we understand that we need to forgive each other. However, this also means that we should accept God’s forgiveness for ourselves. Often, we believe that if we forgive others and do not accept forgiveness for ourselves, we are okay.

We operate as if it is all good, just as long as we forgive others. This is unwise. I cemented that thought in my mind for years, as it relates to my past acts. So I had a hard time accepting forgiveness for myself and moving past the mistakes I had made. I thought I deserved to be crucified for what I had done because so many individuals were left hurt. Of course, it wasn’t entirely my fault, but I held myself accountable because I took part in some of those acts.

I would often pray to God and ask Him to show me a sign, help me to move on because I didn’t like the way I felt inside. Each time He would speak, I chose to ignore it because it was not what I wanted to hear. I chose to ignore God’s word. I decided not to accept forgiveness for myself, I decided not to move on, and remain unhappy.

While everyone else seemed to have moved on and past the situation, happiness left me because I chose to stay unhappy. It was almost like I was running in one spot and wondering why I was not moving. I decided to punish myself.

I was reminded of the Bible verses that said “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven; whose sins are covered.” [Psalm 32:1, NIV] and “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive all our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9, NIV] These scriptures resonated with me. Christ died for our sins on the cross. He undertook what all of us should have received, for we are all sinners saved by His grace.

No man is perfect, and no man is without sin. The most faithful and clean individual who walked the Earth was Jesus. His sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice, is what saved us from dying on the cross ourselves. He undertook what we deserved. If we do not accept forgiveness, then we are questioning the act of Jesus’ sacrifice.

As I sat with Auntie A, she gave me all the answers I was searching for all along. This goes back to the verse in Psalm 55. God has bestowed us natural freedom and free will. We are in charge of our decisions; we can choose to either accept or deny His words. She used a rock as an analogy.

I had a rock in my hand. It was a pretty big rock that would hurt if it were to fall on someone’s toe. I held the rock in my hand, and she asked me if I wanted to let the rock go. I replied by saying yes. She asked me why and I told her that the rock gets heavier the longer I hold on to it. After a while, she told me to throw it away. This scenario correlates with Psalm 55 verse 22. God has given us a choice to cast our burdens on Him, or we can hold on to them. God doesn’t give us more than we can bear. The life we live is rather challenging, and it comes with many struggles, so why not let go of the burdens and let God have his way?

Of course, we can choose to hold on to the load, but what good will it do us in the long run? We will resent ourselves for a very long time, and others. Unforgiveness is one of the keys that can lead us to Hell. We must forgive others and accept God forgiving us.

I am truly grateful to have learned to let go and move on and I am more in tune with my emotions. The Bible is the key and, oftentimes, when we plead with the Lord, He responds. However, it’s not always what we want to hear. God is aware of everything, including our pain, hardships, and struggles. What will you do? Cast your burdens or hold on to them? I chose to let go and let God have His way with me because I realised that this load only gets heavier the longer I hold on to it. The thoughts may come back but I will keep choosing to let go and let God.

Prayer

Most righteous and heavenly Father, as your sons and daughters, there is no distance between You and us. You remain with us in and through all things, even when we are asleep. Thank You for Your everlasting love and desire for us. You didn’t create us to keep weights on our shoulders eternally. Of course, there will be baggage and impediments that we must overcome. However, You expect us to pursue You as our source of strength.

Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, we ask that You forgive all of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Forgive us for the moments we disregarded Your message and chose to deal with our hardships, discomfort and burdens by ourselves, thus rejecting You.

We pray especially for our families throughout our country, and the leaders of our families. Lord, we pray for those men who are called to be fathers but struggle to carry out the task or totally ignore it. We ask that You turn their hearts to You. Renew the right spirit within them; granting them the right spirit to sustain them. We pray for Your sustenance upon those who have been good fathers. Help all fathers to see You as an example and follow Your ways. We thank You for the fathers who are no longer with us but impacted our lives in a great way. Lord, comfort our hearts as we draw on the memorable moments.

Lord, we pray for Your mercies and blessings upon all leaders of churches, businesses, government and our country as a whole. Help us to act responsibly and make every effort to keep ourselves and others safe, especially during these unusual times with the Covid-19 pandemic and other eventualities.

Lord, help those who are doing exams and strengthen them so that they have the will to complete.

Lord, You’re constantly willing and prepared to liberate us from the weight of life, and right now, we surrender it all to You. We recognise it is never too late to surrender ourselves to You, and as such, we cast it all on You. We relinquish all we should not carry into Your competent hands.

Lord, we know You listen to us so now we accept that You have taken the weight off our shoulders. We are free and boundless from the pressures of this world. We speak peace and serenity over our minds, will and emotions. Lord, we declare freedom and success over our lives.

Lord, thank You for bestowing on us free will. Thank You for encouraging us to choose You. Thank You for never abandoning or renouncing us. Lord, thank You for always being with us, and most of all for being our Creator and Father.

May Your favour, peace and strength remain with us, now and always. 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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