Praying for Lipscomb, Alabama

I originally posted this on Oct. 29, 2013. At the time, I didn’t know much of anything about the city of Lipscomb. Recently, it’s made the news a couple of times, including this past week. Whenever I see a city we’ve prayed for on the blog pop up, it makes me go back and read how we prayed. I was amazed at how the Lord guided my prayers for Lipscomb nearly two years ago, and how relevant that prayer is for the city today. Let’s take a few minutes to pray for Lipscomb and its leadership.

Lipscomb, Alabama

Located in Jefferson County

 Mayor Lance McDade

Incorporated on June 30, 1910

Named for L Y. Lipscomb, one of three brothers who first settled the area

2010 Population  2,210

  • First settled in 1830s

  • First church established in the area in June of 1834 Union Baptist Church

  • Early 1880s called Wheeling after Wheeling, West Virginia

Okay – I really try to avoid sounding like a crazy intercessor on this blog, but sometimes the Lord will not let me pick a “safe, normal” verse from a “nice, normal” passage. Today is one of those days. Our verse comes from the chapter in Ezekiel that talks about his vision of the valley of dry bones.

Ezekiel 37:14 – “‘I will put My Spirit within you, and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,’ declares the LORD.”

Lord God, You are the giver of life and breath. You are the Resurrection and the Life. Death has no power over You and Your purposes. The grave did not stop You. The grave became the place of Your ultimate victory over sin and death on our behalf. Hallelujah!!

Lord, You know I don’t know much of anything about Lipscomb, and so I’m praying blindly here, depending on Your Spirit to tell me how to pray. Lord God, breathe Your Spirit into Lipscomb, Alabama. Let Your Spirit bring life and restoration. We pray that You would redeem what the enemy has stolen from the people of this town, and restore what the “moths” and “locusts” have consumed. Let the godly heritage be fully restored.

Holy Spirit, blow through this town, and bring joy where there as been sorrow. Bring peace where there has been strife. Bring Kingdom provision where there has been poverty. Bring hope where there has been depression. Bring miraculous restoration where there has been devastation.

Blow through the Church in Lipscomb, causing them to arise and be the Church You’ve called them to be. Revive them. Strengthen them. Equip them. Use them to bring You glory and honor and praise in their town and communities.

Spirit of God, blow on Mayor McDade, and equip him with the spirit of wisdom, of counsel and understanding. Cause him to acknowledge You in all his ways, so that You can direct His path. Pour out on him and on everything that concerns him.

We pray that Mayor McDade and all the people of Lipscomb will see and know and acknowledge that You are at work in their midst. Let them know You as their Lord God and also as their Great Provider. Blow on them, Spirit of God. Bring new life – Your life – into Lipscomb, Lord. We pray this in Your holy name, Amen.

Feel free to add your own prayer or a passage of Scripture for Lipscomb!

Take Courage, Leeds!

Website http://www.leedsalabama.gov/default.aspx

Located in Jefferson, St. Clair, and Shelby Counties

Mayor David Miller

Incorporated April 27, 1887

Named for the industrial city of England

2010 Population 11,773

  • Early settlers were European immigrants and Cherokees

  • Originally named Cedar Grove which was changed to Oak Ridge in 1869

  • Notable native: Charles Barkley, Basketball Hall of Famer

  • Places of interest

    • Barber Motor Sports Park

    • Bass Pro Shops Outlet

    • The Shops At Grand River

There are two other place that I personally love in Leeds. One is a restaurant called Rusty’s Bar-b-q. It’s fabulous, with a super friendly owner and staff, and they have won several awards for their food. The other place I love is Cahaba Clayworks and Earthborn Studios. Tena Payne is the owner and artist. Her pottery dishes are used in some high-end restaurants, such as the Hot and Hot Fish Club and one in…Las Vegas, I think.  They offer different types of pottery classes. I won a 6-week class there several years ago, and absolutely loved it! You can also buy some of Tena’s fabulous pottery from her studio!

I also noticed their city motto is “City of Valor”. I didn’t find any story that explains that motto, but found it interesting. I tried looking up some verses on valor, but I found ones for courage, instead. Since it’s a very close synonym (is there any difference between the definitions of the two?), we’ll go with it. On Blue Letter Bible, I noticed an interesting pattern. Most of the time that the word courage is used, it is by the Lord and/or Jesus, telling someone to take courage.
“But now, take courage, Zerubbabel,” declares the LORD, “take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,” declares the LORD, :and work, for I am with you,” declares the LORD of hosts.” – Hag. 2:4
“Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.'” – Matt. 9:2
“But Jesus turning and seeing her said, ‘Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.'” – Matt. 9:22
“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” – Matt. 14:27
“….In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“….the LORD stood at his side and said, “Take courage.” – Acts. 23:11

There were lots more, and in almost every use of the word throughout the Bible, it was given as a command to take courage. Let’s pray from these verse snippets for Leeds.

Lord God, we praise You because You are strong and mighty. You are our Mighty Warrior, our Defender, and our Deliverer. The battle belongs to You, and You have already won the victory over sin and death, and over every tribulation in this world. Hallelujah!!

We lift up the city of Leeds, Alabama to You, today. May the people of Leeds take courage and work diligently at what the Lord has called them to do. May they be people of faith in the One True God who forgives sins, heals our infirmities, and who has overcome the world. We pray that You would break off generational yokes of fear, and that You would bring the restoration of courage to their hearts.

We pray for Mayor Miller and all the city leaders. May they take courage in You to lead well and make wise decisions on behalf of the city as well as in every part of their lives. May they conduct themselves in such a way that You stand by their side. Let them feel Your presence in their lives.

We pray for the Church in Leeds to take courage and to wait and trust in You. Give them faith to take courage so that they can stand and see the salvation of the LORD on their behalf (from 2 Chron. 20:17). Enable them to step out of their boats and walk on the waves of their circumstances. Bring peace to their storms. May Your presence be very real to each of them. Give them courage to rise up and be the Church – to be Your hands and feet and heart to their city.

There is so much more we could pray, God. Show us how to pray courageously for our cities and communities, so that together we can see transformation, and the Kingdom of Heaven being lived out on the earth – as much as it’s possible until You return.  Amen.

What is your favorite “courage” Bible verse?

 

A New Thing in Birmingham

Yesterday, the new Birmingham City Council  and the new Birmingham Board of Education were sworn into office. The city council members are:

Maxine Parker – Council President
Jay Roberson – President Pro-Tem
Shelia Tyson
Lashunda Scales
Kim Rafferty
Valorie Abbot
Marcus Lundy
Steven Hoyt
Johnathan Austin

If you would like to read the news article about the swearing in, and to see pictures of the Councilmen and -women, click here for the al.com article. In their photo gallery of the event, you’ll notice a couple of them were anointed with oil. I found that very cool and very interesting. Praise the Lord for so much freedom to publicly display our Christian faith in Birmingham!

The members of the Birmingham Board of Education are:

April Williams
Brian Giattina
Wardine Alexander
Lyord Watson
Cheri Gardner
Sherman Collins, Jr.
Randall Woodfin
Sandra Brown
Daagye Hendricks

I thought it would be appropriate for us to pray for these new city leaders today by name. The verse that comes to my mind is Isaiah 11:2 – “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.”

Lord God, You command us in I Timothy 2:1, 2 to make “entreaties, and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings” to be made “on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” You also tell us that You are the one who appoints those who rule over us or lead us.  And so we thank You for appointing these men and women to lead our city and to lead the education of our children in Birmingham.

For each of them, we pray that the Spirit of the One True God would rest on them. If there are any who do not know You as their Savior and Lord, we pray for their salvation. We pray for the spirit of wisdom and understanding would guide them in all that they do. Give them the spirit of counsel and strength to bear all the issues that come across their desks and to address them accordingly. Give them the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

We pray that they would lead with righteousness and justice. Accomplish Your will through these men and women for Birmingham as it already is in Heaven. Raise up those who will be faithful to cover these leaders in prayer on a regular basis. May the power of the Gospel, carried on the wings of prayer, continue to transform our city from the top down and from the bottom up! For Your glory, Lord!!

Restoration and Righteousness in Kimberly, AL

http://www.kimberlyal.org/

Located in Jefferson County 17 miles north of Birmingham

Mayor Bob Ellerbrock

Incorporated in 1952

Named for a diamond-mining region of South Africa

2010 census population 2,711

  • Developed around a stagecoach station built in the 1830s

  • Also known as Kennelsville  and Jefferson

  • 1905 the town voted to change its name to Kimberly

  • Coal mines were primary employers through the 1940s

  • Many city records and history were lost in a fire at the city hall in 1989

  • The Kimberly Church of God, the oldest continuing Pentecostal Church in Alabama, was founded in 1902.

  • In the late 1890’s, the Kimberly Community Church met in the Kimberly School House and was served by “circuit riding preacher” each week. A Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian minister would rotate Sundays.

Isaiah 1:26-27 – “Then I will restore your judges as at the first, and  your counselors as at the beginning; aftJer that you will be called the city of righteousness, a faithful city. Zion will be redeemed with justice, and her repentant ones with righteousness.”

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word by which we can know You and know Your promises to us. We are so grateful for the grace and mercy You promise us when we turn our hearts toward You. You are altogether holy and righteous. Even at our very best, our own righteousness is as filthy rags. Yet, You are willing to impute Your righteousness to us through Your Son. Hallelujah!

Father, we lift up the town of Kimberly to You today. We pray that You would bless Kimberly with a multitude of wise, God-fearing counselors. Give the people of Kimberly a desire to pursue Your righteousness and seek Your kingdom about all else. We pray for their success in all that they do as they seek You.

We pray for Mayor Ellerbrock to seek after Your righteousness in all that he does. Give him a hunger and thirst that can only be satisfied in You. Enable him and Kimberly’s other leaders to keep their eyes fixed on Christ, and to trust you to meet all their needs according to Your riches in glory.

We pray that You would tear down every stronghold of unrighteousness in Kimberly, Lord God. Thank You for being a God of redemption; we pray You would redeem every wicked scheme and all that the enemy has meant for evil, and turn it for good. Wherever there may have been unrighteousness, bring repentance. Wherever there has been injustice, restore justice and bring restitution. We pray for righteous judges and wise counselors in Kimberly.

We pray that Kimberly would be known as a righteous an faithful city, for Your glory!

Praying for Kansas, Alabama

It’s a state! It’s a music group! No, it’s a town in Alabama!!! I know that was corny, but I couldn’t resist. It was either that or somehow using Dorothy’s quote from the “Wizard of Oz”, especially since this Kansas has also seen its share of tornadoes.

Located in Walker County 47 miles north of Tuscaloosa

Mayor Sheila Clark

Incorporated in 1956

2012 Population 224

  • First recorded land owner was James Tittle on November 28, 1822

  • A 1917 tornado destroyed much of Kansas. In 1961 another tornado destroyed Kansas School

  • Veterans Memorial Park in Kansas pays tribute to residents of Kansas who died in wars.

  • Annual events

    • Kansas Day, celebrated on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May (Decoration Day), features food, rides, and an auction.  Proceeds from the event are used for the renovation and upkeep of Veterans Memorial Park

  • Notable Residents

    • Cotton Clark, an Alabama football player in the early 60’s who played halfback under Coach Bryant

    • Lloyd Nix, quarterback of Auburn’s 1957 national championship football team and recipient of the 2010 Auburn University COSAM (College of Science and Mathematics) Alumni Award

Psalm 46:1-5 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.  Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, through the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.”

Lord God, thank You for being our refuge and strength. You are mighty to save. Nothing is too difficult for You.

We pray for this town of Kansas today, Father. May it know You as its refuge and strength. You have sustained them through storms and time. We pray that You would give the people of Kansas a deep and abiding assurance that You will sustain them through the fiercest storms of life. Set them free from fear. We pray that You would be their unshakeable Rock and Firm Foundation. Turn their hearts toward You, Lord Jesus, more than at any other time in their history.

We lift up Mayor Clark to You, Lord, along with the other city leaders of Kansas. May Your Spirit be poured out on them, to refresh them and make their hearts glad in You. Move them to make decisions that would make Kansas a town in which Your Spirit can dwell. As verse 10 from this same passage says, we pray that they would cease from their striving – whether it’s in their jobs as city leaders, or in their homes or families – and acknowledge and know that You are God. May their lives and their choices exalt You in their midst, as well as among their city and the nations.

We pray that Kansas would be known as a city filled with the Spirit of God. Dwell in her midst, God. May the river of Your Spirit flow through Kansas, bringing life and joy. Firmly establish this town for Your purposes and Your glory. Amen.

Please leave us a comment! It can be a verse that God brought to mind, or a quick sentence prayer, or just a thought or question. The Lord is honored when His people pray together!

Blessing and Favor for Jemison

Website http://www.jemisonalabama.org/

Located in Chilton County

Mayor Eddie Reed

Incorporated in 1907 (After the old City Charter became dormant, Jemison was reincorporated in December of 1919.)

Named for Col. Robert Jemison, a Civil War era politician and prominent businessman in Tuscaloosa

2010 population 2,585

  • At the geological end of the Appalachian Mountain Range and near the very center of the state.

  • Grew along a stagecoach route between Birmingham and Montgomery.  Travelers rested overnight by a spring located in Jemison. The spring was later named “Jemison Springs.”

  • First house built in 1869

  • First called Langstonville or Langston station. When the name was changed to Jemison, the U.S. Post Office misspelled it Jamison.  This name remained until 1888 when the spelling was corrected.

  • The railroad through Jemison began operation in 1870 and the first depot was built in 1872. This allowed Jemison to grow into a market center where local farmers sold their produce and cotton.

Today, I just launched straight into prayer for this city, without a Scripture passage to pray out of. As I looked back over it, I noticed themes from Revelation 4, Psalm 127 (I think that’s the correct reference), Psalm 119, Psalm 91 and Psalm 85, and maybe a couple of others. It’s like a melting pot of Scripture!

Dear Heavenly Father,

You are good and Your love and mercy endure forever. You have created all things, and for Your pleasure and purpose, they were created. To You alone be all honor and blessing, glory and power.

Father, You have established the town of Jemison for Your pleasure and purpose. You love this town and want Your best for it. We pray that righteousness and peace would be established in Jemison. May the people there see Your mercy and grace all around them. May the glory of the Lord shine on them.

We pray that You would uphold Mayor Reed and the city leaders with Your righteous right hand. Go before them to guide them, and stand behind them as their rear guard. We pray that the Word would be a lamp to their feet and a light to their path in all that they do. Give them grace to accomplish all that You have given them to do, and may You receive all the glory for it.

We pray that You would bless the Church in Jemison with unity and provision. Cause her to manifest all the fruit of the Spirit in order to reach the lost, to take care of the widows and orphans, the least and the lost, and to worship You in spirit and truth in all that they do. May Your Church be Your wings of safety and refuge for the broken and hurting, and let it be the light that shines in the darkness.

We pray for blessing and favor for the town of Jemison, Father. We declare this town is beloved by its Creator. Cause Your face to shine on Jemison. Amen.

It’s the weekend, and a beautiful Fall weekend at that. Still, take a few moments to lift up a prayer for Jemison. You’ll be glad you did!

 

 

The Father’s Kingdom in Jasper, Alabama

Well, it’s October and feeling like Fall here in the Deep South! I’ve read so many Facebook posts from friends talking about how happy they are that it’s October because it means Fall is really here. Meanwhile, I’m excited about Fall because it means I’m going to the beach before the month is over! I might be a bit behind-the-times on this seasonal thing….

Oh well, let’s pray for the city of Jasper today.

Website: http://www.jaspercity.com/site/

County Seat of Walker County

Mayor:  V. L. Posey

Incorporated on Dec 26, 1887 (some resources say 1886)

Named in memory of Sgt. William Jasper, a Revolutionary war hero

2010 Population 13,857

  • Settled around 1815

  • First settler E.D. Musgrove donated land to the county to establish the city with the stipulation that it be designated as the county seat.

  • Located in the middle of the Warrior Coal Fields, the second largest in the nation

  • First significant growth of the area in 1886 when two railroad lines were completed through Jasper.

  • The Bankhead House, built for John H. Bankhead in 1910, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places

  • Annual events

    • Annual Foothills Festival in the fall of each year.

    • Walker County Art in the park held in the Spring

    • Antique car show in October

  • Notable residents

    • Bankhead family, including John H. Bankhead II, United States Senator; William Bankhead, Speaker of the house of the U.S. Congress; Tallulah Bankhead, actress

    • Carl Elliot, former U.S. Congressman

    • George Linsdsey, actor

    • Tom Bevill,  Alabama Congressman

Even though we’ve done this before, I feel led to use some of the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6 as our scriptural prayer prompter.

Heavenly Father, You rule and reign on high. We worship You and adore You. We pray that Your name would be honored as holy in the city of Jasper. Magnify Your holy name among the residents, the workforce, the children, and the leaders of Jasper. May they see the blessing that comes when Your name is magnified among them.

Father, let them see what Your Kingdom looks like here on earth. We pray that the hearts of the fathers would be turned to the children, and the hearts of the children be turned toward the fathers. We pray that grief and loss would be swallowed up as You bring redemption and restoration into Jasper. We pray that every child in Jasper would have a safe place to live where they are loved and nurtured. We pray that every broken heart would be healed in Jesus’ name.

We also pray for Your supernatural provision for this city. Please give Mayor Posey and the city leaders wisdom to steward the resources of their city well. We pray that churches would have enough resources to be the Church You’ve called us to be in their communities. Let the Church in Jasper be the solution to the social ills that every city must battle. Let them be ministers of Your grace and truth, rightly dividing the Word of God. Give everyone in this city their physical and spiritual daily bread, and let the people recognize it is only by Your hand.

We pray that spiritual revival would sweep through this city, bringing the power of Your forgiveness of our sins into every life. Transform lives with the power of the Gospel. Let those who are saved by grace be compelled by love to seek after You with all their hearts, and to live for You in all that they do. May Jasper be known as a city of people who love and serve like You do. We pray all of this for Your holy name’s sake. Amen.

What are you trusting God for Jasper, or for your city, today?