Brother Ewan Oliver and Little Brother Anjesh Zodge offer the Weekly Prayer of Encouragement 21 June 2020.
My Brothers, Sisters and Friends,
We are hoping that you are well. We thank our Heavenly Father for sustaining and covering us through the week that has passed, and thank Him for this new one. You know, I am of the view that by God’s design, fathers are of utmost importance in the life of a family, a child, a country. However, when we think of fathers the feelings of some may be mixed. Some fathers are called “absentees” because they do not care for their children, neither do they have a presence in the child’s life.
Some children have never met their fathers, and in some cases, they have but do not enjoy a relationship with them. Some children have experienced abuse from their fathers. There are others who have lost their fathers. Yet, there are children who have really good relationships with their fathers. A lot of those fathers provide the necessary support for their children and families where applicable.
I am reminded of Job, a loving father, who developed a practice to pray for his children. He did not only provide the physical needs but saw it necessary to focus on the Spiritual.
“When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” “This was Job’s regular custom.”Job 1:5 (NIV)
The Scriptures also remind us of our Heavenly Father’s love for us:
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;”Psalm 103:13 (NIV)
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”1 John 3:1 (NIV)
Therefore, whether or not we have good earthly fathers, let us rest in the assurance that:
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fails.They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
May we hold onto the fact that we have a Father who loves us to eternity. He will never leave us, nor forsake us.
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers. God’s blessings.
Today we have two prayers, one from our own Anjesh Zodge, who is a 12 year old son, and student; and, Brother Ewan Oliver who is a father, businessman, and our Men’s Fellowship President.
We will now be led in prayer by Anjesh. Let us pray:
Heavenly and Righteous Father, we ask that You forgive us of our sins and trespasses against You and others. Lord, we come before You today thanking You. We thank You for providing us with all that we need, including food, water, shelter, money, and so much more. We especially thank You for keeping us safe and protected during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic that is currently taking the world by storm. Although we may be following protocols and procedures, many people still catch this virus, but we thank You for having mercy on all of us and keeping us away from this sickness.
Lord, we ask that You cover and guide the church, the government, private sectors and other institutions playing a major role in our protection, comfort and safety during these times. We ask that You guide them into making the right decisions for precautions that the public will make to stay safe during these times. We call some of them by name: Honourable Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness, Minister of Health Christopher Tufton, Minister of Finance Nigel Clarke, health workers and their support.
Lord, we pray for all the teachers, guidance counsellors, administrators and the students who ventured back into the schools to study and prepare for their exams. We ask that You keep them safe, and that they will take and use the precautions correctly and wisely. We ask of these things and more for the students preparing for Cape, CSEC and certain university exams. We put to You those from our congregation:
Romeo Elliott, Gabrielle Channer, Jonelle Campbell, Jhada Graham, Nachkeemi Smith and Shane Brown, Travis Scott, Kimeka Facey, Renae Lindsay and Carissa Heslop.
Lord, we also put to You our national leaders who are making decisions concerning their well-being; Minister of Education, Karl Samuda and support.
Lord, at the same time, we are having such a large crime crisis in the island. We ask that You will look into it and touch the hearts of the gangs, drug lords, and all the others who are taking part in the active crime situation. We also ask that You will touch the security forces; police officers, and the soldiers. Give them the strength to face these criminals and to capture them so that they may pay for their crimes.
We pray for those who are making decisions concerning this issue, especially the Minister of National Security, Horace Chang and support.
But Lord, in the midst of all of the harm, troubles and crisis in which we are found, we ask that You will bless the fathers, for t’is the day that we look to them in honour and recognition for the work and the role they play in all of our lives. Lord, I thank You for my own father, and ask that You will specially bless him. We ask that You will protect all fathers, bless them, keep them under Your endless watch and constantly provide them with the strength and the courage they need. Help us understand how important these men are to us, both now and the future generation to come. We cover them as we celebrate Father’s Day today.
We ask that You will be with us now and forevermore, live in our hearts and be with us through our smooth and rough times.
These things we ask and many more,
in Your Name, Jesus Christ.
Thank you Lord for hearing our prayers; be magnified oh Lord.
As we continue in this time of prayer, our Brother Ewan will now pray:
Heavenly Father, our fortress and strength, we come to You to find peace and holy contentment. You are our shelter and Your holy words assure us that; “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90:2, NIV). You are everlasting and Your mercies endure forever. We as Your children, once more approach Your throne of grace. We seek forgiveness of all our sins. We want to be washed anew and to continue in Your Spirit to experience Your everlasting love. We come in humility and within the frailty of our humanness to seek Your anointing, and comfort in Your presence.
Lord, in these very troubled times with much fear, hate and confusion in diverse places, we come to the sheltering rock of our spiritual dwelling place. We seek peace, wisdom and deeper understanding.
Today, oh Lord, the world celebrates Fathers’ Day. In this day therefore, we harken back to Your original and wondrous creation of Man. A creation that was made in Your image with one single purpose: “… to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 11:13, NIV). We, as earthly human fathers must seek to know Your words and to apply them to our daily lives so that we can fulfill that purpose and thereby, honour and glorify You in our role as fathers: being the head of our households, being in full Christian and equal partnerships with spouses, and provide guidance to our children.
A very serious understanding is that if we as fathers do not obey Your words and live righteous lives then we can be collectively held accountable for much of the turmoil, violence and broken homes that are in this world today. We need Your holy presence as fathers to guide our thoughts, words and deeds in order for us to fulfill Joshua’s mandate to serve You:
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”Joshua 24:15 (NIV)
Let this be our rallying cry. A signal point of redemption so that we as fathers can return to Your grace and find favour in Your love.
On this day of celebration, Lord, we pray for all our world leaders, some of whom are fathers, as they grapple with the challenges of the pandemic created by Covid-19, and as they consider the re-opening of borders and countries, and economies in these abnormal and strange times. We pray that You will stir in their inner persons the consciousness of Your divine presence and cause them to understand that You are Jehovah. Let them know within themselves that they need Your input and guidance, otherwise they labour in vain.
Lord, for our fair and blessed Jamaica where through sin and a turning away from your countenance, we are now beset by plagues, crimes and violence. The daily occurrences seem insurmountable. However, in spite of the chaos, depressing statistics, and constant killings, let us know that if we, and in particular fathers, were to repent of our sins, seek Your grace and redemption then all of these occurrences can be stopped. Abba-Father, we therefore, pray for forgiveness of our sins, and pray for a new anointing.
Lord, we put the leaders of our church, Grace Missionary before You and ask for Your outpouring of blessing and wisdom on them as they use Your guiding principles to lead us as a congregation and to impact the wider communities of both our physical and spiritual spaces. Help us to be relevant and to be able to reach all and sundry. Let our church and the congregation become like a beacon wherein we can draw souls to Your kingdom and thereby glorify Your name and fulfill Your holy mandate.
Lord, help us to renew our faith in You and to become strengthened in our walk with Thee. We need You in all our undertakings. Lord, let us be reassured that if we know Your words and keep Your commandments, we will be rewarded with Your rich promises and become witnesses of Your full glory as our Lord and Saviour.
We thank You Lord for hearing our prayers,
in Jesus’ Name.
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