Thorsby

www.townofthorsby.com

Located in Chilton County

Established in 1895; Incorporated in 1901

  • Settled by 3 Swedes: Theodore T. Thorson, John F. Peterson and John E. Hedberg, and one Norwegian: K.G. Faegre
  • They originally settled in the North, but came south looking for a mild climate and fertile soil for fruits and vegetables
  • Town was named for Theodore T. Thorson (the suffix “by” means “town” in Swedish).  There is also a possible family connection to Torsby, Sweden.

Mayor Jean Nelson

2010 population: 1,980

  • Center of town is approximately 45 miles from both Birmingham and Montgomery
  • Known for its peaches and other fruit
  • Proud of its Scandinavian heritage
  • Since 1988, the town has hosted the Annual Swedish Festival every Fall. It includes arts and crafts, a pageant, music, a fun run, car and motorcycle shows, and lots of food.

Isaiah 33:5,6 – “The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. And He will be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is his treasure.”

Lord God, we exalt You. You sit enthroned above the circle of the earth in the splendor of Your majesty. In what seems like a juxtaposition, You are also intimately acquainted with all of our ways. Just as You have established the heavens and the earth according to Your Sovereign plan, You have also established nations and cities. You establish each of us on the path You have ordained for us. You are our stability, especially when we acknowledge You as our Lord and Savior.

Thank You for establishing the town of Thorsby to be a part of Your Sovereign plan. We pray that Thorsby would be like Zion, may it and its citizens be filled with justice and righteousness. Like the fertile soil in this area, we pray that the hearts of the people of Thorsby would be fertile to the seed of God’s Word, so that they would be able to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Use this town to impact its children and descendants with the power and influence of the Gospel. Let them put even more joy and hope in their spiritual heritage in the Lord as they do in their physical heritage (which is quite cool).

We pray especially for Mayor Nelson and the town council to be established in righteousness and justice in their public and private lives. We pray that You would bless them with a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge. Cause them to revere Your holy name, and to honor Your name in the decisions they make on behalf of Thorsby.

Father, I’m also feeling inclined to pray for the children and the school system in this town. We pray that justice and righteousness would fill the halls and rooms of the schools in and around Thorsby, and even more so the hearts of the children, teachers and other school employees. As our culture becomes increasingly unstable, I pray that You would be the anchor these children can cling to when the world seems scary and uncertain, or even threatening. I pray that every single child in Thorsby would come to know You as their Savior, and who they are in You. Protect them. Let them see Your justice and righteousness on their behalf.

 

Praying the Benefits of Glory for Sylvan Springs

We weren’t able to find a lot of information about this town. If you live there or have lived there, and have more background info, I would love to hear from you! Just share what you know in the comments.

www.sylvansprings.net

Located in Jefferson County near Pleasant Grove

Mayor – Dr. Stevan Parsons

Incorporated on May 22, 1957

Named for a nearby source of fresh water

2012 population: 1, 542

  • First named Hoagtown after William T. Hogan who was the stepson of Dudley Goolsby, an early settler
  • Suffered damage from an F5 tornado on April 8, 1998

There is also a little restaurant there on Birmingport Road called AllStar Diner. I went there once with my dad several years ago, and remember it being good food with a very friendly staff. It’s still there, and the reviews on UrbanSpoon for it are 92% positive. There aren’t a lot of restaurants out there, so if you’re in the area, I suggest trying it out.

Psalm 85:9-12 – “Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. Indeed, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce.”

One of my favorite things to do is to contemplate Your glory, Lord, even though we cannot possibly comprehend even the smallest fraction of it. In those moments in life when we do get a glimpse or a taste of it, though, it can change us in an instant. Your glory is enough to rout (or is it route?) the enemy and make him flee. And it’s enough to conform those who love You more into the image of Your Son. In Your glory is all of Your character. It can transform a person, or a city.

So today, Lord God, we pray that Your glory would dwell in the town of Sylvan Springs, Alabama. We pray that Your covenant love, mercy and grace would meet together in the streets, homes, schools, businesses and everywhere else in this town. May the Church in Sylvan Springs be a beacon of Your righteousness and steadfast love.

We pray for “Mayor Stev”, as he calls himself on the town’s website, and the people on the town council to be leaders of integrity. Let truth and justice be the prevailing principles in all that they do and say. Let them see Your glory, Lord, and be transformed more and more into who You have called each of them to be.

Heavenly Father, we pray that Your salvation would be near to the people of Sylvan Springs. Let it be a daily reality and the guiding foundation of their lives, and not just a prayer prayed in Sunday School. Cause this town to know who they are in Christ. May the power of Your truth and love tear down every stronghold in Sylvan Springs. Establish this town in truth, justice, righteousness and salvation. For Your glory.

How would you finish this sentence: Lord God, because You give what is good, I pray You would give _____________ to Sylvan Springs. Leave your answer in the comments.

Pray Where You Are

For the past two weeks, I’ve had to take my dad to the doctor. The trip requires going from Pelham to Oneonta (where he lives) to the doctor in Pell City, and then back again. It’s a 4 hour trip for me, most of which is off the interstate and on roads like Hwy 75 and Hwy 231, which wind through and around little pieces of some of the towns and cities we’ve prayed for through the blog.

I noticed signs for AltoonaOdenville, and Horse Pens 40, which is in Steele. We drove through part of Ashville. I know I shouldn’t be surprised to recognize these places as ones we’ve prayed for, since we’re praying for the whole metro-Birmingham area, but for some reason it made me happy. I felt connected to each of them. Before I started blogging here and praying for these towns and cities, I wouldn’t have thought twice about those signs or the town/cities represented by them. But now, I smiled at each one, thinking of some of the historical facts that have made them what they are today, and asking the Lord to hear and answer the prayers we’ve prayed for them. I’ve often said that you cannot pray for someone consistently without your heart getting connected to that person. I guess the same is true for a city or town.

Then, on the way home, I missed the turn from Hwy 75/Center Point Road and onto Sweeney Hollow Road. I didn’t notice it until I found myself in Center Point. At first, I was frustrated that I had missed the turn. It had been a long day with lots of driving, and I had just made it longer. But then I heard the Lord whisper to me the verse from Joshua 1:3 that says, “Every place on which your foot treads, I have given it to you.” I suddenly realized that Center Point was yet another city we’ve prayed for on the blog, and that perhaps the Lord was giving me the opportunity to pray AND “set my foot” (or the wheels of my vehicle) on this city and all the others we had seen and passed through in our trek to the doctor and back! For a prayer and map nerd like me, this was the COOLEST thought!!! I immediately started praying out loud for Center Point, and then touched on some of the others I had seen that day, and just like that, my frustration over a missed turn and a long day turned into joy as I got to seek God for the city – all of the cities.

So as you go about your day each day, ask the Lord to help you to be mindful to pray for the places He takes you. Your prayers DO make a difference! Claim those places for the kingdom!

Praying for the Town of Susan Moore

Located in Blount County

Mayor Jamie Brothers

Named after Susan Moore, daughter-in-law of Robert M. Moore, one of the community’s first settlers

Incorporated November 1982

2010 population: 763

  • Settled in 1865 by the Robert M. Moore family
  • Originally named Clarence after the oldest son of David and Susan Moore. Renamed Susan Moore in 1982
  • Dr. David Moore, Jr. and Dr. Joe Moore donated monies for  a school which was named after their mother, Susan Moore
  • Dr. David Moore, Jr. and Dr. Joe Moore, grandsons of Robert M. Moore, joined with another doctor and founded South Highland Hospital

I was wondering what made them decide to change the name from Clarence to Susan Moore. Based on the little bit of reading I did, it was simply because so many people already assumed that was the town’s name because it was the school’s name. So they changed it to simplify things.

Based on the charitable acts of Drs. David and Joe Moore, I was led to I Corinthians 13 for the passage to pray out of today.

I Cor. 13: 4-8a – “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;”

Lord God, You are Love. You are all the things this passage describes and so much more. Some say that Your love and Your wrath, or Your love and Your justice seem to contradict each other, but perhaps that is only because we do not have a deep enough understanding of perfect love. It is deeper and wider and higher than our finite mind can possibly conceive, and more than we can experience in this lifetime.

We pray for the town of Susan Moore, that it would be known for living in the love of Christ. Thank You that it’s history is rich in the charitable acts which helped the town become what it is today. Let the current of Your love run deep into the foundation of this community. May the love of Christ dwell in the very heart of this town through faith; so that every person there may be rooted and grounded in love, and know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge. (from Eph. 3: 17, 19)

Because of Your love, we pray that justice would reign in Susan Moore, AL.
Because of Your love, we pray that this town would produce and promote joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. (from Gal. 5:22-23)
Because of Your love, we pray that the spirit of fear would have no power in this town nor in the people of this town.
Because of Your love, we pray that Mayor Brothers and the other leaders of this community would be established in truth, justice and righteousness. Grant them the strength to bear their responsibilities in wisdom, humility and righteousness.
Finally, because of Your love, we pray that the Church in Susan Moore, Alabama would experience tremendous growth in You, by Your Spirit. Let them throw off the shackles of every encumbrance and set their eyes on the prize; to become a trophy of Your grace, mercy and love, and to bring many souls into Your kingdom. Cause this group of believers to impact their homes, their community, and even the surrounding areas with Your love.

We pray all this in Your name, because we love You, because You first loved us. Hallelujah. Amen.

How would you finish that prayer: Because of Your love, I pray________?

 

 

Praying for Sumiton – a City on a Hill

http://www.thecityofsumiton.com

Located in Walker County, 21 miles NW of Birmingham. The city straddles Jefferson and Walker counties.

Mayor Petey Ellis

Incorporated in 1952

Named for the high elevation of the city

Population in 2010 – 2,520

  • Known as Bald Eagle until it was renamed Summit around 1899
  • The name was changed from Summit to Sumiton in 1926 when the town wanted a Post Office and had to choose a new name because there was already another town named Summit.
  • Home of Bevill State Community College
  • Sumiton K-8 school is one of the largest schools in Walker County
  • The annual Frog Festival, held the first Saturday in October, is a community event that includes music, food and Arts and Crafts booths

Matthew 5:14-16 – “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Lord Jesus, we praise You for being the Light of the world. Your light is full of truth and grace and everything lovely. So many around us try to make darkness look enticing and desirable. Forgive us for believing those lies. Instead, we declare the truth that Your light is our life, and it is only in Your light that we find true freedom and peace and joy.

We pray for the city of Sumiton, AL to be that city that is set on a hill. Let Your Church in this city shine forth Your light so that it touches every aspect of life in Sumiton. Lord, we pray that things hidden in darkness would be exposed and brought to justice, starting with Your Church. And we pray that those things that have quietly been seeking Your light and truth would be advanced and promoted for the good of this city and for Sumiton. Let Your light set the captives free from addiction and hopelessness. Let it bring life to dead places and healing to the broken. Let Your light bring salvation and redemption to the people of this city, and even to the city itself.

We lift up Mayor Ellis to you, along with the other city leaders and pray for Your light to transform them from the inside out. Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You did not come to whitewash our outside while our inside stayed dark and lost and dead. You came to cleanse our hearts from all unrighteousness, and to empower us to pursue truth, justice and righteousness in all that we say and do. I pray that the men and women who lead Sumiton would be established in Your truth to pursue justice and righteousness in everything they do. Bless them to hear Your voice and to know how You desire them to lead their city. May the way they lead Sumiton, AL glorify the Father.

We ask all of this in the name of Jesus, our Light and our Salvation. Amen.

How would you finish this sentence, “Jesus, we praise You for being our Light and Salvation because _________.”? I would love it if you left your answer in the comments.