I am so THRILLED that Mission Birmingham and the East Lake community are facilitating this year’s summer prayer journey. We did this last year for the first time, visiting non-profits all over the metro-Birmingham area. It was such a powerful and humbling experience for me as it opened my eyes to the vast needs all over our city, and I met the people who are pouring out their lives for the sake of the Gospel to meet those needs. I am confident this summer will be no different.
For several months now, community leaders in the Eastlake area have been meeting together to pray and learn how to work together for the good of the community and (most) for the sake of the Gospel. God has already been doing some cool things in and through those meetings. Because of that, it seems fitting that we concentrate our prayer journey around that area as well. This week, we start with Community Care Development Network.
CCDN is comprised of leaders in the community to help develop and maintain local programs. It is a faith-based non-profit that specializes in healing and helping the whole family through their community programs and therefore promote community development, growth, and enhancement throughout the Woodlawn, Eastlake, Roebuck, and Huffman communities. It was founded in November 2015 by Duane L. and Tamika Holmes, T. Marie King, Rev. Emily Penefield Freeman, and Belinda Hopson Dupree. They are currently trusting God as they work toward raising the needed funds to help obtain 501c3 status and to obtain much needed resources and supplies, including vans, a building, food, and an emergency fund to help serve their clients in desperate need. Tamika Holmes is the director for CCDN.
The passage they are praying out of this morning is Isaiah 65:17-25:
17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.
18 “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing
And her people for gladness.
19 “I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people;
And there will no longer be heard in her
The voice of weeping and the sound of crying.
20 “No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days,
Or an old man who does not live out his days;
For the youth will die at the age of one hundred
And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred
Will be thought accursed.
21 “They will build houses and inhabit them;
They will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 “They will not build and another inhabit,
They will not plant and another eat;
For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people,
And My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands.
23 “They will not labor in vain,
Or bear children for calamity;
For they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD,
And their descendants with them.
24 It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the LORD.
Lord God, You are righteous and just. You are Sovereign and every word You speak shall come to pass at Your appointed time. You are good and all that You have made brings You glory. You are gracious and loving toward Your Creation, willing to redeem it at the cost of Your Son, and then giving us Your Spirit to dwell in us and to to allow us to be Your ambassadors on the earth. What an inheritance! What glory! Hallelujah! Thank You, Father!
One day, we will live on the new earth and new heavens where everything will be perfect and we will enjoy unbroken fellowship with You and with one another. But for today, we live in a broken world, and some of our communities seem to feel that brokenness more evidently than others. Lord God, we pray for the Eastlake and Woodlawn communities to experience more of the things You have promised will come with Your future earthly kingdom. You tell us to pray, “Let Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”, so that’s what we’re praying right now. Father, I pray for peace to come and replace the violence this community experiences. Lord peace doesn’t come from the absence or the presence of guns. It comes with the presence of Your Spirit in the hearts of the people. We pray that those who believe they have to live by killing or harming would experience the power of the Gospel in their lives, laying down their weapons so that they can pick up the sword of the Spirit.
We pray for families to be restored and experience healing. Let homes become the safe haven in which to raise children and for marriage to be a picture of Christ and His Church. Even Christian homes and marriages struggle a lot. We pray that grace and forgiveness would flow through these homes, family members would treat each other with dignity, and that children would be seen as great and precious gifts, not as problems, inconveniences, or anything less than the gifts and image-bearers of God that they are. We pray for jobs and income that would provide adequately for these families. Father we pray that abuse would be exposed and children would be safe.
We pray that no one would be sick or hungry because they lack resources or access to healthcare and good nutrition. We pray that You would set addicts free from the prisons of their addictions and shame, and that You would restore them to a life of productivity. We pray that employment and work would be regarded as the blessings that they are. In Jesus’ name, we break off fear, deception, slothfulness, and every lie that the people of these communities have been fed for generations to keep them broken. We pray that Your truth would be welcomed and received in their hearts. Let the power of the Gospel be poured out and let Your revival come.
Thank You for raising up Community Care Development Network to help alleviate the pain and the suffering that brokenness has brought to the Woodlawn/Eastlake communities. We pray that You would use them and their partners to bring healing to hurting families, mentoring and education to children, health care to the indigent and sick, recovery to addicts, and restoration to the community. We pray specifically that You would raise up the resources and provision they need to see the felt needs of vans, a building, and finances met as quickly as You ordain. We lift up Tamika Holmes and the people who serve with her. Grant them a clear vision of Your kingdom, and what it could look like to have their community look more and more like Your kingdom. Leading a non-profit is hard and sometimes discouraging. Please give them great wisdom, strength, humility, unity, and encouragement. Do not let them labor in vain, and do not let the enemy deceive them into thinking that way. We pray that You would answer their prayers so quickly, that they don’t even have time to finish asking them. We ask that for all the prayers that have been prayed for this ministry today. And we ask all of these things for their good, for the good of the Eastlake community, and for Your glory. Amen.
If you were able to attend this morning, please let us know how it went in the comments below. If, like me, you were unable to attend in person, did the Lord prompt you with a verse or a specific prayer as you read? I would love to hear from you!