Deacon Arlene Burton offers the Weekly Prayer of Encouragement 24 July 2020 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers.
My Brothers, Sisters and Friends,
We are hoping that you are well. Have you ever felt robbed and your privacy invaded? Have you ever felt involuntarily vulnerable? Have you ever felt dejected? Let me share part of an experience with you. I recall about four years or so ago someone tried to steal my car. It caught fire and burnt to nothing but the shell. It was a huge fire and the fire brigade did not arrive in time to stop the damage. I lost so many things in that car, and had to clean up the debris. A neighbour subsequently reported me to the authorities about dust from the car but I had to wait for the insurance company to remove it. Of course, I got a written order to remove the shell by a certain date.
I got another car six months later. Those six months carried a set of challenges with me trying to get from one point to the next. I had to still do my paid job, counselling, church work, among other things. So I walked, took taxi and begged for rides. I talked to God about it, cried, bawled etc. at different times, but kept holding on to what I believe. I was left stranded many days and nights.
Having gotten the car, within a year something else happened. I went to the hospital to pray for the parent of a member who was scheduled to do surgery. The person needed to pick up her car at home, so I took her there. It was late in the night at about minutes to 10pm so the road was very clear in terms of traffic.
On my way home, an uninsured Audi sports motor car was speeding and hit my car on the driver’s side. The Holy Spirit showed me a picture of this a week before so I was praying over the car especially the driver’s side. Brethren, I tell you, the Audi hit my car, spun around, went on the next side of the road, and ended up on a side road where it eventually stopped. Imagine the speed…
Emerging from the vehicle was an adult man and some teenagers. They went bowling and were returning home. The first thing that man said was; “How you going to fix back of my car door.” I exchanged information with him, and told him to meet me at the police station. The next day he went and told the police all sorts of lies. He subsequently admitted that he was speeding. He was never charged so I told the police that he should at least be warned, so he was given a written warning. He also went to the insurance company and told them no ends of lies. I did some research and learned that he was purchasing the car but the process was incomplete. He was using the old insurance document but the seller had cancelled it. I did not get a cent out of him.
However, my research helped me to realise that my car insurance company should compensate me, once I can prove that the other party is totally wrong. I learned that the focus tends to be on compensating the cost between the two parties involved in the accident. Case law is relied on by these insurance companies.
The man had messed up and confused the mind of the clerk at the company so it was the manager that the Lord showed me. The Holy Spirit told me to call on a particular date and time, and ask for the clerk. I did and she had left for the day. He said that I should ask for the manager, so I did. They had me on the phone for a while like a hanging fruit but I insisted on speaking with the manager.
She was very open and informative. We had a long talk, and she promised to personally assist with my case. The Holy Spirit showed me how to determine her email address and send her my particulars, and I did so. Believe me, it was correct. Yep! I followed up with calls and got a positive response. The clerk was still giving me a hard time but in the end, I got most of the money to repair the car. Thank God Almighty! Trust me, this is the short version.
Somehow, my experience reminded me of the passage of scripture about the vine and branch in John 15. I had to be attuned to God, staying in Him, relying on His leadership and guidance regardless of opposition. He said:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful… 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”John 15:1-4 (NIV)
The analogy of the vine and branch provides us with a structure. Jesus can be seen as the centre of the tree. We, His people are the branches. His Father is the gardener. The gardener takes off all the bad leaves, overhanging branches and fruits.
This can open our minds and hearts to a level of intimacy with God that calls us to a place of discomfort. Yet, it is a good place to start again and build up, to grow. Here, Jesus showed us that He is our lifeline. We need Him in life and for life. We cannot get the best results if He is not at the centre of what we do. It shows us what it means to lose, be willing to let those things go, and learn to deal with the pain and discomfort that follows. So we learn to see God work through us in mighty ways.
He also showed us the downside, which seems like a warning:
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned… 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”John 15:5-8 (NIV)
I lost my car, and shortly had to repair the new one because of someone’s irresponsible behaviour. I still had to allow God to work through my experience for His glory, stay in Him and let Him lead so that others will see Him in me, and know that I am a follower of His. It is when we stay in Him allowing for the growth to take place that we can achieve good results. Otherwise we may find ourselves in bad cycles. Therefore, as we try to maneuver through the challenges of Covid-19, injustices, losses etc. may we reach out to Jesus, our lifeline.
Let us pray:
Heavenly Father, Creator, Protector, Provider, Deliverer, we thank You for another day. We thank You for keeping us in our right minds. We thank You for covering and protecting us. Lord God, You are Awesome! Who can be compared with You! You are the Alpha and Omega. You are worthy of praise, honour and glory. We magnify and glorify Your name. Lord, Your name is above every name. It is to Your name that every knee must bow and every tongue must confess that You are Lord. Hallelujah! Hallelujah to the King of kings and the Lord of lords! Hallelujah!
Righteous God, we ask that You cleanse us from all unrighteousness and forgive us of all our sins. Lord, create in us clean hearts. Lord, cast us not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from us, but restore unto us the joy of Your salvation and renew the right spirit within us. Hear Oh Lord, and have mercy.
God of Healing – Jehovah Rapha, we ask that You pour Your healing power upon our families, church leaders, members and adherents, business and national leaders, and every citizen of our country, Jamaica. Lord, You see the brokenness, lack of resources, losses, grief, emotional and physical pain that many persons are experiencing. So Lord, we look to You for safe passage through these challenging times. Heal us and help to be good citizens, workers, family members, friends and followers of You. Hear Oh Lord, and have mercy.
Lord, we ask that You grant the national leaders, church and business leaders true wisdom to know the path to take; discernment and understanding to know how; the will and courage to take the journey; the resources to energise the growth; and the strength and peace to persevere. Help us to be selfless and not selfish; and cause us to follow Your agenda and not ours. Hear Oh Lord, and have mercy.
Lord God, You see the level of criminal activities such as stealing, murder, wounding and corruption that has been imposing its ugly face on this country. We lift up Jamaica from the east to the west and from the north to the south and ask that You intervene on our behalf. Lord, remove the dark cloud of crime and violence. Capture and captivate every criminal mind and intent, and turn these minds to serve only You as God and Lord. Lord God Almighty, let there be transformation in our country. Renew minds and spirit. Dear God, You see these people, and know them for nothing is hidden from You. So Lord, we cry out to You on behalf of this country! Contend with the forces that contend with us and fight against those forces that fight against us. Hear Oh Lord, and have mercy.
Lord, we stand in the gap and lift up the following category of persons to You. We ask for divine intervention in their hearts, spirits and lifestyle. We ask that You grant healing, covering, deliverance, protection and provision. Hear Oh Lord.
Lord, we call by name, 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 National Security Horace Chang, Minister of Education, Karl Samuda, Leader of the Opposition Peter Philips, 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 also put to You and ask for Your blessings on the Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck. We 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.
We lift up especially those frontline workers who are connected with our church: Medical Doctors: Asana Anderson Wilks and Rohan Wilks, Kahlete Falloon, Tina Kong, Vernon Jones, Leighton Logan; Dentists: doing emergency cases; Jhenell 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, we ask that You fill us with Your love. Refresh our strength. Comfort our hearts. Help us Lord to truly be our brother’s keeper, to love others and allow others to love us,
in Jesus’ name we pray with thanksgiving.
Our Weekly 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.