The Barnabas Encouragement Connection

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Elohim
by Sister Altanita Pace

My God and Mighty Creator how wonderful and majestic You are. I stand in awe of Your power to speak the world into existence because from nothing came life and light and order and beauty. You filled the earth and called it good. Then You fashioned mankind to reflect Your glory as image-bearers and we were given authority to rule and reign over Your mighty work. Thank you! You are so wonderful and amazing and my heart just skips a beat at the thought of You. You are infinitely better than my wildest dreams and I don't even have the words to express all that You mean to me. Without You there is no life, no purpose, no point to it all. Because of You I can face each and every day with boldness knowing that the Creator of all is holding me and nothing can take me out of Your hand. Who am I that You love me, pursue me, call me Your own? You had me in mind from the foundation of the world. Forgive me for not always seeing the beauty in all that You have created and for taking for granted all that you have provided to me in this creation. You have blessed me with an abundance of resources, help me to use them wisely and generously to further Your plan and to uplift those in need. Help me to always be mindful of how I view and treat not only others but also myself, keeping in mind that we are all image-bearers of a Mighty, Unchanging God. All honor and praise to Your holy name.

In Jesus name,
Amen

Prayer Concerning The Corona Virus Pandemic.

In recent days, as COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic and countries have taken urgent measures to stem the spread of infection, I wish I could say that my first impulse has been to pray. It’s probably more honest to say that I’ve obsessively refreshed my feeds.

The crisis is urgent, and I feel powerless. But perhaps feeling small is the best reminder to pray. Prayer is how we actively practice believing, so simply, so confidently, that God has the whole world in his hands. It’s where we “let petitions and praises shape our worries into prayers, letting God know our concerns” (Phil. 4:6–7, The Message). Prayer is never the last resort of God’s people. It is our first point of action.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of 20 prayers to pray during this pandemic. Each one addresses the specific needs of a specific community. I’m fortunate to be a part of a church with many medical professionals, some of whom gave me advice on how best to pray for them at this time. I’ve included their responses here. I’ve also tried to think broadly about how the rest of us are impacted by the current crisis.

This list isn’t comprehensive, of course, but it’s a good place to start. My hope is that it can provide words for us as we pray collectively (if also virtually!) as a church body. We believe there is a God who bends his ear to listen, and so we pray:

1. For the sick and infected: God, heal and help. Sustain bodies and spirits. Contain the spread of infection.

2. For our vulnerable populations: God, protect our elderly and those suffering from chronic disease. Provide for the poor, especially the uninsured.

3. For the young and the strong: God, give them the necessary caution to keep them from unwittingly spreading this disease. Inspire them to help.

4. For our local, state, and federal governments: God, help our elected officials as they allocate the necessary resources for combatting this pandemic. Help them to provide more tests.

5. For our scientific community, leading the charge to understand the disease and communicate its gravity: God, give them knowledge, wisdom, and a persuasive voice.

6. For the media, committed to providing up-to-date information: God, help them to communicate with appropriate seriousness without causing panic.

7. For consumers of media, looking to be well-informed: God, help us find the most helpful local information to equip us to be good neighbors. Keep us from anxiety and panic, and enable us to implement the recommended strategies, even at a cost to ourselves. 

 
Praise God
by Sis Bell Chocolate

"Hallelujah! Thank you, Father!!!” Praises, Praises, to You the only wise God, Father of all. All Glory belongs to You!!! Praising gives me strength, and it leads me to You, Lord. Jesus goes before me as I lift my hands, my mind, my heart to You. With Your divine connection, the Holy Spirit who causes me to learn, teaches me how to greet others with love, testimonies of goodness and peace that at times I cannot understand. Because of You, I continue to praise and say “Holy, Holy, Holy, how wonderful You are.” Please allow me to be used by Thee, we love you Father God and I will forever adore, follow, and trust You. In Your Son Jesus' name Amen.

 
A Little Talk With The Father
by Sister Shirley Moses

Father, as I am sitting here looking out the window, watching the children play, and the cars passing by, I wonder what the world will be like when they are all grown up! We as a nation, as a country have no idea what the next few months will bring. But this I know for sure “You” are the one that can deliver us from the fear of this unknown virus. I ask that You relieve us of our doubts and instead help us find the peace of You in the silence within. Lord, help us to release our anxiety, surrender our concerns, and to know that divine order is at work in this time of chaos. That is why I keep my mind centered on You Lord for comfort; I believe that the best possible outcome is unfolding for the betterment of Your Children. David said, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” Today Father, I choose to take a little time to relax my mind, even if for a few, refreshing minutes. I know that my outlook helps me to determine how I see the world. I continue to nourish myself with notions of peace and calming thoughts that leave me feeling restored. God your word says, “You will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety.” Father thank you for all you do for your children. In Jesus precious name, I ask these and all blessing.


Praying for National Leaders

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. I Timothy 2: 1-2. Lord, I pray for our nation’s leaders and ask that You would give them the ability to make wise decisions, to govern with integrity, and to accomplish their tasks in ways that build up our nation. May all the people I pray for now bring glory and honor to Your name as they serve our country: the president; the vice president; the secretaries of state; defense, homeland security, education, veterans affairs, health and human services, housing and urban development; attorney general; the national security advisors; the director of national intelligence; and the Supreme Court justices.

Acknowledgement:
Power Prayers for Women by Jackie M. Johnson
 
Prayer of Intercession
by Sister Tonya Smith

Gracious and Heavenly Father, We bow our heads and our hearts to you as we boldly approach your throne of grace. Lord, please hear our prayer on today as we cry out and intercede for your Saints. Lord, stretch out your hand upon your people and upon this land. You, our God, who sits high and looks low – You see all and You know all. Nothing happening in the world today has taken you by surprise; nothing has slipped through your Almighty hands. Lord, manifest Your glory and your greatness through our present circumstances. We ask that you comfort those who are in mourning on today; heal those afflicted with illness and disease; encourage those who have lost hope; gather the tears of those who are weeping; sit beside those who are lonely; provide for those in need; give peace to those in conflict; strengthen those who have become weary and burdened; whisper reassurance to the hearts of those who may question your presence; and touch the hearts of those who don’t know you. Lord, remind those in nursing homes, prisons, homeless shelters, and hospitals that they are not forgotten. For your Word tells us that “you will never leave us nor forsake us” (Hebrews 13:5). And Lord, please open our eyes that we might see, our ears that we might hear, and our hearts that we might be sensitive to the needs of all those who are hurting.
 
These and all things we pray in the Mighty and Precious Name of Jesus. Amen.
 
“KNOWING”
A Poem of Encouragement by Deacon Charles R. Williams

Far above the clouds
In a place where I can’t see
It’s there I know my Jesus
He sits and waits for me
And as I wander through this world
Sometimes lost and all alone
I still hold high His banner
Cause my life is not my own
 
There’s a comfort just in knowing
No matter where I roam
God is still my father
And this world is not my home
 
As I try to live this life
And to answer my God’s call
I falter and I stumble
And often times I fall
But my God He is so gracious
And forgives me once again
I’m so thankful He’s my father
So thankful He’s my friend
 
And there’s a comfort just in knowing
No matter where I roam
God is still my father
And this world is not my home
 
There’s a city that is lit
By the presence of my king
I hear the holy holies
Always echoing
No tears and no sorrow
In this city all around
Death and sin defeated
In this city can’t be found
 
Far above the clouds
In a place where I can’t see
It’s there I know my Jesus
He sits and waits for me
And as I wander through this world
Sometimes hurt and all alone
I still hold high His banner
Cause my life is not my own

There’s a comfort just in knowing
No matter where I roam
God is still my father
And this world is not my home
 

Poems of encouragement by
Brother Gerald Standifer

GOD I AM CALLING

IN MY LIFE SOMETIMES I FALL.
PLEASE GOD HEAR ME WHEN I CALL.
MY VOICE FROM TIME TO TIME IS WEAK.
BUT IT'S YOU GOD WHOM I SEEK.
I KNOW YOU'RE WITH ME WHEN I CALL.
MY LIFE WITHOUT YOU IS INCOMPLETE.
BUT IF I WALK WITH YOU DAILY.
IT WILL HELP MAKE MY LIFE COMPLETE.
PLEASE GOD HEAR ME WHEN I CALL.


FIRE!
IT'S HOT AS BLAZING COAL
IT BURNS DEEP WITHIN OUR SOULS
FIRE!
MANY RUN FROM IT, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE
THE LIFE I LIVE AND EVEN ALL I GIVE
WILL NOT TAKE AWAY THE STING.
FIRE!
TO LIVE IS TO DIE SOME WILL CRY.
FIRE!
 

Poems of Encouragement by
Sister Altanita Pace

To the Saints

You are made wonderfully and intricately
From the crown of your head to the soles of your feet,
Every detail about you was birthed in eternity.
You are unique in His eyes,
A blessing to behold.
Because you are a blood bought, redeemed and precious soul.
You were created with purpose,
A destiny foretold
Unstoppable potential
And a heart that He holds.
You are an answered prayer
that your mother and father prayed
Called out of darkness to a life that only Christ could have gave.
My brothers, my sisters
We are knit together as one,
Family forever,
All due to the Son.

Be encouraged, you are who you are because of who He is.

Beautiful Brokenness

I have no where else to go. I'm at the end of my rope.
Every other option is an endless cycle of empty hope.
I tried it on my own but I know now that I am ill equipped,
to provide for myself sufficient, life changing strength.
My heart is torn in pieces because I keep offending You,
Despite all my best efforts, my depravity keeps showing through.
But, Your mercy and grace pours like fresh rain from above,
To my knees I fall where I'm caught by Your love,
No power, no weapons, can break Your strong hold,
and I realize the beauty of brokenness when in You I am made whole.
 
Prayer 
by Sister Sonja Coburn

Dear Heavenly Father, I come today thanking you for hearing my heart and my soul. I ask that you cleanse my thoughts and my heart and show me strength to not be angered, but to have a strong will to understand the continued hate and unloving display in others towards people that are not like them just because they are beautifully covered with a different hue. Your love is pure and I want to lift that in others and start the healing and remove the “hurt”.

I continue to remind myself of Genesis, “In the beginning when you created the heaven and earth and your creation was flawless”. You then created man and woman, and from man you created woman, and once again your creation was flawless. We all began from the seed of the woman and man to become a multitude of different and unique beings in a multitude of different unique hue colors. So, I ask myself if so many who confessed to believe in you, how do they now not accept your beautiful and unique beings regardless of their skin color?

I ask myself if so many believe in you, how can they not see beyond the hue of others and know that we are all children of your Kingdom? Behind the layer of our skin we are all the same unique wonderful beings that you made us. We are made of the same heart, organs, and circulatory system, we bleed the same, we hurt the same, and we should all have the same love in our heart and soul. But I remember you did give us free will, so the choice is ours. I pray for all those that profess your love in their heart and to help them spread that love to others. Help guide their hearts to turn away from temptation that harm others and turn their hearts to the understanding of the “CROSS” that they might truly understand the love you gave us when you died for us.
I pray that your love helps those in authority and leadership. Guide them and protect them to exercise the right decisions to the right path of morality, justice and integrity.

I pray for all the families that lost loved ones in these circumstances of injustice, in this pandemic, and through all other circumstances.

I pray you send comfort and peace to calm our cries.

Lord, my heart is broken, and my spirit is bruised, and I continue to lean on you for my strength that allows me to press each and every day.

In the name of Jesus, Amen.
 

F.A.T.H.E.R.S (We See You)

Father's Day Tribute
by Sister Altanita Pace

Father's of Berean, look in the mirror, do you see what we see?

You are:
F - aithful to God and His Word, unwavering in His truth, trusting in Him for all things
You are the:
A - uthority in your home to train and lead your family in the service and fear of the Lord
You are a:
T - eacher of Wisdom to the blessed arrows in your quiver
You are a:
H - usband that loves your wife as your own body, tender and understanding you are with her
You are:
E - ssential as an example setter for righteousness and justice, and your family follows after you
You are a:
R - efuge for your family and a strength they can rely on
You are:
S - acrificial in how you care for your family, putting their needs above your own

Father's of Berean, look in the mirror, do you see what we see?

You are a:
F - ruitbearer of the character of Christ, walking in love and integrity
You are an:
A - dopted son in the beloved family of Christ
You are a:
T - reasured possession, protected and cherished
Your life is:
H - idden with Christ in God and you are sealed until the day of redemption
You are:
E - quiped for fatherhood through the Holy Spirit that dwells in you
You are a:
R - efreshing reality of the marvelous work of God
You are a:
S - tewart of the delicate and precious lives of your children, diligently guarding and guiding them into the truth of God's Word

Father's of Berean, we see you and you look a lot like Christ. We praise God everyday for you. Happy Father's Day!
 
El Olam
by Sister Altanita Pace

My Everlasting God, You have no beginning and no end, You are my God for whom a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day. You are the ancient of days and Your promises are lasting. Thank you for the promise of eternal life that was fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Thank you for Your sustaining strength to my weary and broken body. Thank you for an unconditional love that is everlasting and a faithfulness that endures through all generations. Forgive me for not always living with a reference to heaven, for those times I live like this world is all there is. Help me to gratefully make wise use of every day given and teach me to number my days that I might grow in wisdom. Deepen my hope of heaven and fix my heart to be steadfast and unwavering in my devotion to You. You are beyond the limitations of time and space and I am so humbled because my mind cannot comprehend the fullness of Your eternal nature. You have always been and I am but a vapor, and yet in still, You love me and always will. I am eternally Yours and You are mine. Forever.

In Jesus name,
Amen
 
My Prayer of Hope
by Sister Bell Chocolate

Thank You, Thank You, Father God from my heart. I Praise and Adore You, “Hallelujah, Hallelujah!” the highest praise belongs to You, so in the name of Jesus, Your Son, who died, rose and is coming back. By the power of the Holy Spirit within me, I love you Lord God! Not with just my lips but with all my heart, mind and soul, I love You Lord! 
You are Amazing, You are Marvelous, there is no one above You. You are the One who made me, You created me. I was born, dear God, to worship you! Thank You for taking care of me and my family and I know that You are still in control, in control of the sickness of this world, the sufferings of this Corona virus, the dying, the violence and killings, and crying and loss of love ones Father, I believe You still reign and that You can fix it, You can fix anything, all sickness is not unto death. HELP! I trust You every day, You prepare a table before me, and You provide for us Hope, You give us HOPE in JESUS. This too shall pass, and because we know that we know that we know that Your Son is coming “Have Your way Father” for You Reign Forever and Ever…In Jesus name Amen…
 

"Anthem"

Poem by
Brother Donald Codrington

I found the new me
Found it behind the old me
The one that made me loose me
In finding me I remembered me
The real me, not the me that U used to see
But the real me
The me that loves Love since Love first loved me

Do you feel me?
The me that God loves …… Unconditionally

But you don’t see me
U see what you want me to be
You want a fake me
What U claim me… to be
A sad and depressed me
So U could control me
Thru lies and manipulation to use me


But now I see me, Looking past U…. I see me
Cause U have no effect on me
And U don’t faze, daze and can't rearrange me

That was the old me before the old me
Now the glorified me The me that you will hopefully see

After the current me….. happy
The me that likes to read God's word
Lifted daily, cause God loves me
Since I was made in his image what does that say about me

It’s about God loving………ME!
 

Church Folks

Having faith in the Lord, I have witnessed great attributes of most church folks, some of them are;

A follower of Jesus Christ!

A person who has a relationship with God!

A Bible believing person who desires to please the Lord!

Church folks can praise God anywhere at anytime!

Really good people to know are people who know and love the Lord. People who pray and praise God. Church folks are really fun people to be around. Most of them I know are really smart. Smart enough to know it’s a privilege to be a part of the family of God and that it is a joy to serve Him. Church people are called Christians!!!

Now I know this faithful Christian couple who taught Sunday School and they were always a delight to talk to. They wore lovely colorful attire to church. His colorful suits always matched his colorful shoes. He and his pretty wife said to me, when they were in the world that they would dress up for the world and now that they are saved, they surely want to dress up for the Lord. Sometimes after church services he would find me to show me his classy colorful shoes. As we were all laughing, I'd say to him “Wow your shoes are so nice, so cool!” He would laugh and turn them from side to side for me to get a better look at um and I would say again, “Wow young man I think you have a shoe ministry here, looking at your shoes makes me wanna be a better saint!” We would then all have a good laugh. Church folks are sometimes delightful to talk to. We should call them up just to hear their voice, to share a testimony, because we all have one.

It’s great being “Church Folks”

***Taken from the book entitled "Church Folks" by Sister Bell Chocolate***
 

Meditate on These Things

Father, You are the melody in our hearts and the reason we have joy. When we look out, we are faced with chaos and destruction. When we look within, we are confronted with our own sin and fear. So, Lord, we fix our gaze upon You. We will delight in Your law, meditating on it day and night that we may walk in obedience. We will ponder all Your wonderful deeds and mighty works. We will consider Your unfailing love and glorious promises. We will think on things that are true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely. We will reflect on all that is excellent and worthy of praise. Father, You have equipped us with all we need for doing Your will and You produce in us, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to You.

Now, may the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, our Rock and Redeemer.

 

Our Father which art in heaven!
by Brother Gerald Standifer

First, I thank you for life, for health, for strength, and allowing me to move another day. Lord, allow my flesh to die daily so I can be a pure servant for the Kingdom. Father, I thank you for your mercy being renewed and refreshed every day.

God, help me to speak the truth in love! I pray that someone may have an encounter, an experience, or be delivered through the Holy Ghost. Lord, I pray you take control and their life will be changed for eternity!

I pray master and ask that you will forgive the sinful minds of the people in this world today. God, we can see you moving in a way that we haven't seen you move before. We know that you are speaking because we can see the evidence in the environment with COVD-19, the violence in the streets, all the destruction going on in this world, and Black Life Matters.

 Father, I pray for the entire democracy of our United States of America! The enemy is going to and fro in the land causing all kinds of problems. God please, heal those that are lost, hurting and mistreated. Father, also help those that are homeless, poor, in nursing homes, and behind prison walls. I also pray that you will bless the people that read this prayer. In Jesus Name Amen!

 
By Brother David Pace

Heavenly Father, holy is your name. We say hallelujah as we pray that your kingdom come and your will be done in our lives, in your church, and on this earth. Everything that is visible and invisible all belongs to you. We thank you for your daily provision and protection. We pray for your wisdom, discernment, and strength for today's challenges. We pray that you fill our hearts with faith and courage. Lord, cast out doubt and fear. The fear of people, the fear of failure, and the fear of uncertainty, we pray that you cast it away so that we may trust in you for our future, in Jesus’ name. We trust that you will neither leave us nor forsake us. We thank you that you are a present help, Lord God. Help us to do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility count others more significant than ourselves. Let each of us look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others. In Christ’s name amen.
 

Prayer of Comfort
by
Sister Precious Miller