Praying Ephesians for Sipsey, Alabama

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day, and took time to remember and give thanks for those who have paid the heaviest price for the freedoms we enjoy in this country. It also makes me feel especially grateful for Jesus laying down His life. Not only because without His sacrifice we would probably never know what it’s like for anyone to give their life for ours, but also because His death purchased for us a freedom that is not dependent on politics or the will of man, but on the everlasting, unchanging promises of our Heavenly Father, and that freedom will last forever.

Located in Walker County on the Sipsey fork of the Black Warrior River

Mayor Belinda McCain

Founded in 1912 as a company town to house local minors

2010 population: 437

  • First school house built in 1854
  • In 1912 Sipsey Mines opened (under the name of Maryland Coal Co.) which was owned by the DeBardeleben family
  • Dr. Milton H. Fies, an engineer brought to Sipsey by DeBardeleben, laid out the town. He reportedly said that the most difficult task was deciding if the church the company built would serve as a Methodist or Baptist church. He finally determined that Sundays would be rotated between the two, serving as Methodist on one Sunday, and as Baptist the following Sunday.
  • Sipsey suffered direct hits from two tornadoes on April 27, 2011

I’m having a case of writer’s block or Bible block, meaning I’m having a really hard time finding a verse I believe the Lord is leading me to use to pray for this town. So I’m just going to go with one of my favorite passages that I’ve used before, Ephesians 1:18-21. It’s hard to go wrong praying out of the Bible, but even more so when praying actual prayers straight from the Bible. I’m not even going to type out the verses before-hand, because I’m going to pray them almost directly from the Bible, personalizing it as I go.

Ephesians 1:18-21 – Father, we pray for the Town of Sipsey, “that the eyes of (their) heart would be enlightened”, so that its residents, from Mayor McCain all the way to those living in poverty or who feel they have no voice or influence, “would know the hope of Your calling” on their lives and on the town itself. Please let them experience “the riches of Your inheritance in the saints”, and to know “the surpassing greatness of Your power toward us who believe”. We praise You, God, because all these things are according “to the strength of Your might which You brought about in Christ, when You raised Him from the dead and seated Him at Your right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.”

We pray that the people of Sipsey would know and trust in that strength to accomplish all that concerns them and their town. The idea of submission is not a popular one in our culture, but it’s the best possible situation for us when we are submitted to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. So we pray that You would turn the hearts of Mayor McCain and all those who help lead this town, and the heart of every citizen, and cause them to submit to Your righteous authority. Let them see abundant blessing and help from Your throne as they do so. Cause them to marvel over You and Your faithfulness to Your promises, and over Your strength and might.

We pray all these things in Your all-powerful name, Jesus, amen.

Will you tell us how you are praying for either Sipsey or your own city or town today?



Praying for Pray-ers in Rosa

Our researcher was not able to find any information for the town of Rosa beyond what you see below, even after talking to a former mayor of the town. If anyone out there has any info, we would love to hear from you! Just leave us a comment below. Meanwhile, here are the basics:

Located in Blount County about 35 miles from Birmingham

  • In central Blount County
  • Borders the city of Oneonta
  • US Route 231 passes through Rosa

Mayor Andy Ellis

2010 population: 316

John 15:16 – “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”

Lord Jesus, You are the source of our life and strength. Every good thing comes from You. Only by abiding in You are we capable of bearing fruit that enriches the Kingdom and the lives of those around us. We’re grateful that bearing fruit isn’t about striving to get it right, but about learning how to remain in You.

We thank You for the town of Rosa. Like every town and city, You have appointed Rosa to exist in this time and place for a specific purpose. We pray that Your purposes and plans for this town would be fully accomplished, and that no plan of the devil would be able to stand against them.

We pray that You would encourage the people of this town to let them see Your mighty hand at work in their midst. Lord Jesus, cause them to seek the Father for their every need. Holy Spirit, teach them how to pray according to the will of the Father, so that they can see how You move and answer prayers when we pray rightly. Teach them, and us, that praying in the name of Jesus isn’t about tacking on “magic words” at the end of a prayer, but it’s about submitting our will, needs and desires to Your will and desire. Show them the real power that is in the magnificent name of Jesus. Let the power of Your name transform their lives, their homes and their town.

We lift up Mayor Ellis to you, Lord Jesus. Make him a man of prayer if he isn’t already. Use him to accomplish Your will for Rosa, Alabama. Draw him to Yourself, and show him how to remain in You. We pray that Mayor Ellis would also experience the amazing power that is in Your name. And that he would be faithful to use the power of praying in Your name to lead wisely and humbly.

You have appointed Rosa, Alabama to bear much fruit for Your kingdom. We pray to that end – for much fruit to come from this town, and for it to be fruit that endures. For Your glory. Amen.

I would love to get to know those of you who are following our blog. Please leave a comment introducing yourself – especially where you’re from. If you have a favorite verse you would like to share, I would love to hear that as well.


Praying for Riverside

Located in St. Clair County

Mayor Rusty Jessup

Founded in 1882 as the town of Readman. Renamed Riverside in 1883

Incorporated in 1886

Named for its location on the Coosa River

2010 population: 2, 208

  • In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a center of logging and sawmills
  • Was St. Clair County’s largest industrial center for many years
  • The Coleman Ferry, which crossed the Coosa River, operated until 1937. The W. A. Coleman house remains a period landmark in Riverside
  • In 1964, following the completion of the Logan Martin Dam, Logan Martin Lake was filled. This resulted in a 14-foot rise in the level of the Coosa River, leaving a portion of the original town at the bottom of the lake.
  • Has an abundant supply of pure water and is considered by some to have the finest water supply in Alabama. In 2001, the National Rural Water Association named the town’s water system the best-tasting water in America.
  • Tourism is a primary source of revenue
  • Since 2000, the population of Riverside has grown faster than 98% of similarly-sized cities.

Yesterday, a friend of mine just so happened to post a news report from Riverside, about an alligator that was hanging out in the water there. You can read about it here.

Psalm 46:4-7 – “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. The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.”

What an enormous privilege we have to come before You, the Most High God! So many of us get all excited when some celebrity we like nods in our direction. Yet we fail to grasp the reality that You, who are the One who is most famous, and the greatest hero, and the Most High God, doesn’t merely nod in our direction, but has gone to the uttermost lengths in order to pursue us and invite us to have a relationship with Yourself. And once we have that relationship, it lasts for eternity and allows us intimate access to You through prayer and through Your Word. It grants us protection, security and provision like nothing else can. Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord God!

Lord God, we ask that You would make Riverside, Alabama like the city of God. Make it a place where You dwell in its midst, and are welcome there. Please cause it to be firmly established in righteousness and justice. Holy Spirit, we ask that You would flow like a river of living water through every home, every place of business, through every church, every charity, every courthouse and every political office in Riverside. Wash away sin and deception. Bring life and restoration into every dead place. Do Your work in the midst of this town so that it makes the people rejoice in You.

For Mayor Jessup, we pray that You would refresh him and strengthen him to lead this town the way You have called him to. Grant him and the other town leaders wisdom and humility. Wash their hearts with the water of Your Word, Lord God. Renew a right spirit within them. Grant to them the joy of Your salvation, and lead them in the everlasting way.

Also, I want to take a minute and pray for the practical and immediate situation regarding the alligator that is hanging out around town, near the water. (See the link to the article above) We pray that You would allow that situation to be resolved quickly and safely for everyone involved. We ask that no loss of life or bodily harm to people or pets would occur as they seek to relocate this alligator back to his more natural habitat.

We pray all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

How is the Lord prompting you to pray?

Praying Psalm 1 over Ragland, AL

We are starting on the Rs for our cities, which means we are 5 letters away from being done with our list of cities. (There are no municipalities in the metro-Birmingham area that begin with the letters U, X, Y or Z.)

Thursday, May 1 was the National Day of Prayer, and for fifty years now, Birmingham has begun that day with what is now known as the Greater Birmingham Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast. There were about 40 mayors in attendance this year, and almost 700 people total. Dr. Harry Reeder, the pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church, was the keynote speaker. I wanted to share with you a couple of quotes from his address.

“Prayer is not an intercom on a cruise ship. It is a walkie-talkie on a battlefield.”
“We must not deify prayer itself. Prayer does not change things. God changes things through praying people who pray rightly, according to the Bible led by the Holy Spirit.”

Let’s pray for Ragland. Ginny, our amazing researcher, said there was not much info to be found for this town. If you’re reading this and know anything about it, please let us know!

Located in St. Clair County

Mayor Lamar White

Incorporated in 1899

2010 population 1,639

  • Originally a farming town known as Trout Creek
  • Developed into a coal and mining town before the Civil War
  • In 1882 a railroad came through the town and the town expanded around the railroad stop. The train station is now the Ragland Depot Museum where many of the artifacts of Ragland’s railroad history can be seen.
  • With the addition of brick and cement manufacturing, Ragland developed into an industrial town in the late 1800s
  • Fort Strother, a supply camp built near Ragland by Andrew Jackson in 1813, was used during the Indian Wars. A monument stands near the site.

Psalm 1 – “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

Lord God, we thank You for Your Word, which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Thank You for establishing a path for us to walk in the righteousness of Christ, so that even when it takes us through the dark places, Your path and Your Word can keep us from harm. Cause Your people to be ever more diligent to hide Your Word in our hearts, so that we might not sin against You (Psalm 119:11), nor be led astray by the false doctrines that are so prevalent in the world today.

We pray for the town of Ragland, Alabama today. We pray that Mayor White and the other leaders of this town would not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand with sinners, nor sit with scoffers. We pray that they would delight in Your Word and Your ways. Bless Mayor White in the light of Your Word. If he does not know you, we pray that the light of Your Word would bring him to the path of salvation for Your name’s sake.

We pray that the town of Ragland itself would be like a tree planted by streams of water, streams of Living Water that flow from Your throne. Wash this town with the washing of water with the Word, and then cause it to blossom and bear much fruit for Your Kingdom. We pray that You would provide for this town and all those who live and work there to have everything they need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) We pray for good jobs, financial health for businesses and families and places of safety for every man, woman and child. We pray for the love of Christ to be shed abroad in their hearts, and that this town would see the salvation of the Lord on their behalf.

We ask these things in the name of Jesus, who is the Word made flesh who came to live among us, and who is now seated at the right-hand of the Father, making intercession for us. Amen.