Number 24: The Power of Encouragement

I wrote my first poem, “Prayer – Lift, Lay, Leave” when I was in the Sixth form at Ghana National (the poem is reproduced below). I never published, not even on a notice board. I wrote an article on how to study effectively, again in Sixth form that never saw the light of day. I knew my writing was good, after I got good praise from my history teacher in Secondary Form one, when I wrote an article “A Day in Carthage!” (Carthage was an ancient city-state in North Africa). But I didn’t have the confidence to publish any of my writings.

My first published work was in the The Mirror, a short story published in 1995. I had written the story during the period when lecturers at the Universities were on a year’s strike. I showed the draft to our family friend, Sam Okaitey of Graphic Sports, who gave it a thumbs-up. With his encouragement, I submitted the story and within a month, I saw my name in the national newspaper!! I was so excited, and it had taken just an encouragement to get me to appreciate what God had freely given to me. Between 1995 and 1999, I got about four more stories published in The Mirror and one in the Weekly Spectator.

In my second year at University, I joined the Literary Wing of the Inter-halls Christian Fellowship of the Ghana Fellowship of Evangelical Students (GHAFES). Literary helped very much in my finally unearthing my writing skills. Within Literary, I shared my poems and got constructive criticism, as well as tons of encouragement. Literary Wing gave me the title of poet, and writer, and that was really what I needed. Encouragement. A kind word.

I can write now and bless you with this piece because Sam and my colleagues in Literary found time to encourage me and to say “Nana, that is good, go on”. And I continually showed progress and improvement.

The CEO of Unilever Ghana, Mr. Charles Cofie, described empowering leadership as the environment that you create such that anyone who leaves your presence goes away with the sense of “can do”, with the feeling that you are approving his competencies and telling him that he is capable. Encouragement is the key ingredient of empowering leadership.

Look around you today and you will see many people who need encouragement. Look around you today and you will see many who look up to you and will keep listening and listening to your encouraging words like a tape. Look around and you should be able to identify at least one person who is feeling down and will use your encouragement very much.

Encourage someone today!! You may be creating a writer of Empower Series! Indeed, we all need encouragement.


“Three billion people on the face of the earth go to bed hungry every night, but four billion people go to bed every night hungry for a simple word of encouragement and recognition.” Cavett Robert

“We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more.” Madam Swetchine

Poem – Prayer – Lift, Lay, Leave

Are you troubled
Because of problems
All around you
Difficulties, mountains
You cannot overcome
Lift them up
Lay them down
Leave them there
In the Lord’s hands

Is it family problems
Problems with marriage
Being on the brink of
Divorce, breakup
He said “Unto me all that labour,
Come on,
Lift them up
Lay them down
Leave them there

Financial difficulties
The gold and silver are His
Worried about what to wear
He clothes even the lilies
Troubled about what to eat
The sparrows grow not
But eat big!
Our Lord is all-sufficient
Get smart
Lift the problems up
Lay them down
Leave them there

What marvellous promises
In His Word
In Luke He said not to worry
In Matthew He said we must ask, knock and seek
In Philipians He said
Be anxious about nothing
But in prayer
Lift everything up
Lay everything down
Leave everything
Here in my Hands
Come on, obey
Take the best step –


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