Prayer of Encouragement, Voices of Youths, 2022

Weekly Prayer of Encouragement 31 July

Deacon Arlene Burton offers this Weekly Prayer of Encouragement 31 July 2020 for our country, businesses, frontline and other workers.

My Brothers, Sisters and Friends,

We are hoping that you are well.

I recently went to visit with my parents and had a number of things to sort out. I was exhausted because my stay had to be extended. The morning that I was getting ready to leave, my mother called out to me and said that the room door was locked. I asked her what happened. She said that it was locked, and it was not her who did it.

My father was there with her and we knew he did not lock it. I was on the outside of that door so it was not me. The door could be locked from inside without a key, and the key could not be found. We agreed on those things, so I said that she may have locked it in error. Of course, she got upset especially when I told her to pray. I suggested that she used her energy to pray instead of getting upset with me. She eventually did and the door opened. Yes, it did! I understood that the same thing happened the next day and we realised that the lock was malfunctioning. I had a logical thought concerning the lock, that is, she must have locked it, I was wrong.

The incident reminded me that many times we rely on self and our historical understandings of life to determine the way things should operate. As my thoughts survey the details of the incident, I am reminded of David’s relationship with God at certain points in his life. The way that he relied on God was very admirable. The results were so profound.  

You know, we could say that David had the spirit of a warrior. He entered into many battles to defend God’s people. As a shepherd, he had defeated many animals that came against his flock. He later defeated Goliath, the tough overpowering Philistine (1 Samuel 17). David was obviously well-trained to fight and win. He built a reputation for himself and was able to attract followers. Yet, when we search the scriptures, we note that there was a time in David’s life when he frequently inquired of God before entering into battle against the Philistines. He also inquired of God concerning king Saul’s pursuits against him.  

In one instance because David’s men doubted, he inquired of God twice. “When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,” he inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The Lord answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah;” (1 Samuel 23:1-2, NIV). The men were afraid, so; Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand;” (1 Samuel 23:4, NIV). 

King Saul was jealous of David and wanted him destroyed. On one occasion, David inquired of God concerning Saul’s pursuit against him.

10 David said “Lord, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? Lord, God of Israel, tell your servant. ”And the Lord said, “He will.” 12 Again David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will.”

1 Samuel 23:10-12 (NIV)

David’s and his men’s families were raided and captured;

and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”

1 Samuel 30:8 (NIV)

We saw that on a number of occasions, the Lord had given David the green light to battle, and promised victory. David enjoyed success based on God’s counsel and guidance. David had a history, a background wherein God’s responses were similar. He could have gone into battle and rely on previous experiences. However, he did not think that “Hey, God had given me a brain so I should not bother Him” or “God usually gives a particular response, so no worries, I will proceed.”

David’s experiences also taught that regardless of history and background, God’s response to us may not be the same. On another occasion, this proved to be true.

18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 19 so David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands? ”The Lord answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”

2 Samuels 5:19 (NIV)

The Philistines were persistent, so the Lord gave David a different approach to fight. Interestingly, this time the Lord told David that He would have been in the battle to lead it.

22 Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; 23 so David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.”

2 Samuels 5:22-24 (NIV)

David’s experiences can also show us that our reliance on what we know can confuse and cloud our minds. We may end up thinking that there is only one logical way for functioning. I thought the door would lock if someone deliberately locks it but it was malfunctioning. There was information that I neither knew, nor considered as a possibility. This resulted in me arriving at the wrong conclusion.  

Some of us have a built-in mental framework that works like a strong old clock and nothing should disturb how we think, believe and act. The challenge is that it becomes a natural part of us so it is hard for us to see and hear ourselves. We may not admit that we are wrong. Yet, it is our frequent and consistent consults with God that take us out of our boxed-in acts that block the work of God in and through us. He can open the eyes of our minds and extend the sound of our ears, to see, and hear beyond the natural. Yes, there is hope! 

Are you willing to consistently admit your shortcoming, let go of self and let God do His mighty works in and through you? Are you, my Brother, Sister, Friend?

Shhh…this is between you and God. Just…think about it.

As we contemplate, let us pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank You for being our Shepherd, our Guide, our Provider, our Protector, the Lord and Saviour of our lives. Lord, we are very grateful for Your loving kindness and the multitude of Your tender mercies. We thank You that Your arms are opened to restore us, as our Saviour continuously intercedes on our behalf. Thank You Lord.

Lord, You are very great. The wind (we cannot see it) that moves the trees and the air (we cannot see it) we breathe cause our bodies to move. These are testimonies of the way You reveal Yourself to us. You are Awesome, clothed with majesty, power and authority. We are grateful, privileged and honoured to be called Your children.

Abba, Father, we come in the name of Jesus Christ asking that You cleanse us from all unrighteousness and forgive all of our sins. Lord, blot out all of our transgressions. We appeal to Your mercies, most righteous God and ask that You will make us worthy vessels in Your sight, for Your glory.

Lord, we intercede today on behalf of our country, workforce, national and business leaders. We forget not Your benefits because it is You who have protected most of us from the Covid-19 virus and healed most of those who became ill as a result. You grant covering and strength to our frontline workers and leaders. Lord, we thank You.

Our Lord and God, we note that there is an escalation of crime and violence in our country, and in some other parts of the world. We know that only You can rescue us from the surge in domestic and other crimes and violence. We are depending on You to help us, to go before us and lead our charge against the senseless robberies and murders that are happening at this time. You see the hearts and minds of humans. 

We ask that You will hold to account every criminal thought, attitudes and beliefs throughout the length and breath of this country in every business, community, and home.  Lord, expose, confuse and disintegrate every thought and activity of criminal schemes and set-ups. Lord, have mercy, deliver and protect us from the wiles of evil. Let the peace of God reign in our hearts, and in our country. Therefore, restore us, O Lord, we pray.

Lord, we ask for Your continued protection and empowering on our leaders and frontline personnel. LORD, grant them insight, wisdom, understanding, strength, provision and compassion in the measure You know that it is needed. We call out to You at this time:

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 put to You and ask for Your blessings on the Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck. We also remember the judges in our congregation; Paula Blake Powell and Grace Henry McKenzie.

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; 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, help us in the workforce to act responsibly and diligently in the best interest of our country knowing that we (Your followers) represent You in all that we say and do. Fill business leaders with the wisdom, strategies, understandings, and compassion that are needed to survive during these challenging times. We call out to You especially:

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, we lift up every child in this country and ask for Your protecting and providing hand in their lives. We remember those who are doing exams at this time especially: Romeo Elliott, Jhada Graham, Nachkeemi Smith, Shane Brown Garvey, Travis Lawrence, Kimeka Facey, Renae Lindsay, Justin Grey, Taye-Vaughn Jones, Nigel Stewart, Alya Dyce, Parisa Martin, Carissa Heslop and Danielle Russell. Lord, grant to them uncommon insight, wisdom and understanding. Help them to be good agents of change in their families and communities.

Lord, we thank You for protecting us from storms and hurricanes and that You continue to do so. You know that we cannot manage anything else at this time, so we are relying on You to be our shield, stronghold and guard.

Lord, comfort those who suffer from mental and emotional disturbances and grant them Your peace. So help us all to consult You, trust, rely and hold on to You in all that we think, say and do.

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.

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