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Becoming an Armor Bearer

January 29, 2021 by Rev. Kimberly C. Orr

On January 28, Rev. Junius Dotson, General Secretary (CEO) of Discipleship Ministries, in which The Upper Room is a part, shared that doctors had found a mass in his pancreas and several more in his liver, confirming a diagnosis of Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer with metastasis to the liver. In a note to agency staff Junius writes, “Despite the low percentage of survivors, I am determined to fight. I intend to beat the odds. I also plan on working as long as the Lord allows. Though many regard this diagnosis as a death sentence, I choose to see it as an opportunity to display God's healing power working through me. I will remain hopeful. Researchers have made strides in treatment. I hope that you will pray for me daily as my journey to victory begins right NOW!”

The Upper Room is honoring Junius' request for daily prayer.

Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.”

1 Samuel 14:6-7, ESV

Photo by Juergen Striewski from Pexels

Within the African-American church tradition there is often a brother or sister, a sibling in Christ, known as an Armor Bearer who supports a pastor or church leader (such as a choir director), attending to any and all details that may distract the leader from preparing to deliver the Word of God in sermon or song. In addition to praying, an Armor Bearer is integral to aiding a leader’s ability to stay focused on the ministry to which they have been called.  

Recently, many of us have become aware of the battle against cancer that our friend and brother, Rev. Junius B. Dotson, has begun to fight. In response, my hope is that we will rally around him as his Armor Bearers in prayer and provision. 

May we lovingly make room for Junius to stay focused on the task at hand.

Join us in praying without ceasing.


In unison with Jonathan’s armor bearer we pray with our brother,

               Inhale: Behold, we are with you,
               Exhale: heart and soul.

               Inhale: The LORD work for you,
               Exhale: for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving.


Whether the odds be great or small, may YHWH-Rapha (Exodus 15:26), the LORD who heals, be the “lifter of your head” (Psalm 3:3) and may your Creator “increase the strength of your soul” (Psalm 138:3) for the fight ahead. Amen.


Rev. Kimberly C. Orr serves as the publisher of The Upper Room.

See also Discipleship's Top Executive Battles Cancer by Heather Hahn, UMNews

Pray with us by visiting The Upper Room prayer wall.


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I’m learning about plants, and plants are teaching me about RESILIENCE—the ability to recover from difficulties.”


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