Prayer Blog for September 3
Mark Barbee

Encouragement- We All Need It!

What encourages you?  Literally, the word means to “take in courage”.  We all need that today, especially when we see such problems in our culture.  We have been slammed by a virus, then unrest in our cities, accompanied by the most outlandish lies ever.  The Lord encourages us through His Spirit within us, through fellow believers and sometimes through special signs.  These signs could often be called coincidences, but many times they seem to be special messages from the Lord.  Here are a couple examples.

A senior citizen last week told me the story of a wasp.  She lives alone and knew there was a wasp in her house.  She couldn’t find it, nor could she sleep.  She whispered a prayer and then “something” led her to a calendar on the wall.  She flipped it up and there was the wasp!

I was walking on the beach a few years ago after a particularly difficult time in ministry.  I was alone on the beach, walking at the edge of the surf.  There were many tiny and broken shells.  All of the sudden I saw something rolling in on the surf.  There before me, at that exact time and place, was a conch shell as large as any I’d seen.  I picked it up and thanked the Lord because it seemed especially for me.  He knew me and my situation.  I was encouraged!

Most of us can recount many times when a brother or sister, in the spirit of Barnabas, encouraged us.  The Lord is faithful, but it sure is nice when he sends us these little messages.  Where do you find encouragement?  Is it in the clouds or the sunset, or the beauty of nature, or God’s amazing creatures?  If you lived farther north, maybe it would be the northern lights for the long northern nights.

Maybe you have a song in your head from years ago that just comes to mind.  A hymn you grew up with, or a song you learned a decade or more ago.  These are special times with the Lord.  “The One who gives me songs in the night.” Ps. 42:8 says, By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.

And maybe the Lord will use you to encourage someone else today.  That is also encouraging to you!  Who can you bless today with a word of encouragement?  Last week our church staff prayed for some of the members of our school staff returning.  We were all blessed!

Lord, thank you for the power of encouragement.  Thank you for encouraging me so many times, especially the unexpected times.  You know when we need it.  Thank you for your word, for hymns of praise, for words from our friends.  And thank you for wasps, sea shells and clouds!

So let us be encouragers to others.  Remind us of how a little encouragement goes a long way.  You even encourage us in times of trial by bringing just the right person at the right time.  We pray for encouragement for those we love.  We pray for encouragement even when there are broken relationships.

Lord, let our church be a place of encouragement, especially as more and more are able to return to worship.  That is encouraging too.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


We will begin our September season of prayer this Saturday at 10 AM in the Clubhouse/Chapel.  You can park in the lot next to it and join us as we intercede for the nation.  This is next to the corner and traffic light.