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________?

 

 

Speak a Blessing Over Snead, Alabama

Located in northeastern Blount County

Mayor Curtis Painter

Founded in 1853

Incorporated in 1966

Named for John Snead, the first postmaster

2010 population: 835

  • Settled as early as 1839
  • First industry was a water-powered flour and grist mill, build next to the Warrior River by Dr. G. W. White in 1874. Dr. White also built a store in the community.
  • First post office opened in 1882

Proverbs 11:11 – “By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.”

Lord God, You are righteous. Your words are true and righteous altogether. By the shed blood of Your Son, You have also covered us in robes of righteousness, while removing from us the filthy rags of our iniquity and sin.

Therefore, as Your righteous people, we speak a blessing over the town of Snead, Alabama today and its surrounding communities. We pray that You would exalt this town and those in it who are covered in robes of righteousness. We pray that uprightness and truth would be welcomed in every arena of commerce, politics, religion, arts, health care, and into every home in Snead.

In the name of Jesus, we cancel every curse that has been spoken over Snead and its surrounding communities, and we plead the blood of Jesus over every curse that has been brought on this town through the deeds of wickedness. Deliver this town from everything that has been put on it by the Evil One. Raise up the standard of the power of the blood of Christ over these people, and by Your grace and mercy, establish them in righteousness and justice.

We pray for Mayor Painter and speak a blessing over him and his leadership team in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Give him a heart that beats after You, and establish him and the office of mayor in righteousness, uprightness and truth. We plead the blood of Jesus over him and the office of mayor, and ask that You would break off every word curse that has been spoken over him.

Lord God, cause all of us to be more aware of the power of our words, and to be diligent to speak life and not death; blessing and not cursing; truth and not lies. Amen.

 

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.

 

God’s Sovereignty Over Oneonta, AL

May I start this post with a personal note and a word of encouragement? This past Saturday marked 3 years since my youngest brother took his own life. When you think about how you might handle a circumstance like that in your life, you think about how horrible and painful it would be. For me, the reality was 100 times worse and more devastating than anything I ever imagined.

At this 3 year mark, though, even though it is still very hard and sad, I can also see God’s amazing grace. As big as that loss is to me, God’s grace is greater. When I am feeling overwhelmed by the flood of grief, His grace carries me. He reminds me that He is ever present in my trouble. He is full of compassion. He understands my griefs and sorrows, and if Iwill be still and rest in Him, He will minister personal healing and peace to my heart.

So whatever you are facing today, I hope you will be encouraged to know that God passionately cares for where you are right now, and His grace IS amazing and sufficient for you. Cease striving against your pain and anguish and know that He is God over and through all of it.

Now on to praying for Oneonta! This is the last of our “O” cities.

www.cityofoneonta.us

Mayor Ross Norris

Located in Blount County

  • 35 miles NE of Birmingham
  • Nestled in the heart of Murphree’s Valley

Incorporated in 1891 (before Alabama was a state)

  • Originally known as a mining community because of a rich seam of iron ore discovered by John Hanley in 1817
  • Became the county seat of Blount County in 1897
  • Population went from its original 12 residents to 6,567 as of 2010

Hosts an annual “Covered Bridge Festival”

Has an abundance of places to worship, according to its website.

Ephesians 1:18-20 – “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the strength of His might, which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His 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.”

Dear Father God,
We are in awe of Your blessings with which You have blessed us. The vastness of Your mercy and the richness of Your grace compel us to worship You alone. We celebrate Christ, Him crucified and raised again, and we rejoice that He is seated at Your right hand, Sovereign over everything, even death itself. Glory to You, God! Glory!

We pray that You would pour out those heavenly blessings on the city of Oneonta, Alabama. We pray that as a city, they would eschew our culture’s idea of enlightenment, which requires rejecting You. Instead, we pray they would allow Your Spirit to enlighten their hearts to know You and the high calling with which You have called this city and every individual in it. We pray that they would know Christ. Let them know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Eph. 3:19). Show them the truth that You are Sovereign over everything that concerns them. May the surpassing greatness of Your power overcome every effort of the enemy in their lives.

As the citizens of Oneonta know You and see Your power, we pray that it would cause this city to experience favor and blessing like never before. Enable this city to provide for its citizens what You have called government to provide. Let justice reign in the courts and in every public office and department. IF there is any injustice or fraud of any kind, we pray that You would shine Your light on it, and that restitution and restoration would come swiftly and completely. Give wisdom and righteous discernment to Mayor Norris and the city leaders. Let them know the hope of Your calling on their lives, the riches of the fellowship of the saints, and the surpassing greatness of Your power toward them who believe.

We pray for all this in the matchless name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

How are you feeling led to pray for Oneonta today?

 

Praying for Nectar, AL

You know what’s cool to me? Now, when we have winter weather or severe weather, and the weatherman on TV starts mentioning certain towns and cities, I often hear at least one that we’ve either prayed for already or will be praying for soon. It makes me feel more connected to those places. I’ve often said that one can’t pray for a person, a ministry, or a place, without a part of your heart becoming knit to them. I think that is what is happening. My heart is becoming knit to each place we pray for.

As you have been praying through these posts and for these places around you, how has your perspective changed? Has it given you a new appreciation for the metro-B’ham area? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Located in Blount County

Mayor Rickey Box

Incorporated 1979

Originally called Tidmore

2010 population 345

  • Ginny, our researcher, could not find information on why the name was changed.  However, one source told her that older residents claimed the name was changed to Nectar because it was the “sweetest place on earth”. (By the way, have I mentioned lately how awesome Ginny is? We could not do this blog without her and her amazing research skills. She was a God-send for City on its Knees.)

Last Saturday, Mission Birmingham had a Prayer Facilitation Coaching “class” to train prayer leaders how to facilitate Scripture-based, dynamic corporate prayer. For more info, check out www.missionbirmingham.org. Kevin led us in praying out of Psalm 113. It was amazing how God showed up and brought such unity to a group of folks who for the most part did not know each other. If you’re a prayer leader or ministry leader, or even a parent, you should come to our next one in April! Anyway, all that to say….we’re also going to use Psalm 113 to pray for Nectar today.

Psalm 113 – “Praise the LORD! Praise, o servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised. The LORD is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens. Who is like the LORD our God, who is enthroned on high, who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people. He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD!”

Lord God, we praise Your name because there is none like You. There is power in Your glorious name, the power to rescue us, redeem and restore us. We praise You because Your glory is above the heavens. We are amazed that even though You are altogether glorious, You also look to us whom You have made, to lift us up and sit us with Your Son in the heavenly places.

We pray for the town of Nectar, AL today, Lord God. We pray that the glorious name of the LORD would be praised in that town. May the people of this town experience You and all the names that describe who You are for us and to us. We pray for every person in Nectar today to be lifted from whatever circumstance has them pressed down and distressed, and to be seated with You today. We pray that the town itself would realize the full purpose to which You called it into existence, so that You would receive all the glory, and so that they would enjoy Your favor and blessing.

Father, we pray for Mayor Rickey Box. Cause him to be firmly established on the Rock, Christ Jesus. Be a shield around him and the lifter of his head. Give him and all the town’s leadership wisdom from above, and humility to submit their plans to You, so that You can order their steps both for their city and for their personal lives.

Bless the Church in Nectar to carry Your name in and around their community. Raise her up to be the Bride You have called her to be, Lord. Establish her in Your righteousness and grace. Let the church be Your hands and feet and heart to the people of Nectar.

Lord, would You please bless this town with fruitfulness? May everything they put their hand to that is Your will for them be productive. We pray that the town of Nectar would enjoy blessing and provision with great joy, recognizing it is a gift from You. Bless them, Lord God, because of Your great name, and so that Your great name can be known in and through them. Amen.

Leave a comment below to let us know how God is leading you to pray for Nectar today. Thank you for praying with us. Just think, the few minutes you spend praying with us has eternal value!

 

 

Seeking God and His Righteousness – Locust Fork, Alabama

Web site http://locustfork.com

Mayor Joseph Hughes

Located in Blount county 28 miles NE of Birmingham

Founded 1817 by the Hamby family

Incorporated January 18, 1977

2010 population 1186

According to the Locust Fork web site, General Andrew Jackson and his troops camped at the fork of the river in 1813. General Jackson carved his name in a Locust tree naming this area Locust Fork.

First settlers came to the area around 1819

I have tried for over a week now to hear what verse to pray out of for the town of Locust Fork, but have not been led anywhere in particular. So let’s just start praying and see where God leads.

Gracious Heavenly Father, we pray for Your mercy and grace to be poured out on Locust Fork. God we pray that Your righteousness would be added to the people of this town, and that You would add to them  every provision they need as they seek first Your kingdom and His righteousness. (Matt. 6:33) May peace reign over the streets and the homes of Locust Fork. May the widow and the orphan have a place to belong there. May justice prevail and those who don’t have a voice be defended at all costs.

We pray for Mayor Hughes to be filled with wisdom and the seven-fold spirits of God as mentioned in Isaiah 11: 2: the Spirit of the LORD, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge of the fear of the LORD.  We pray that Mayor Hughes and all the town’s leadership would delight in the fear of the LORD and pursue righteousness in everything they do. As they do, we pray that You would provide everything they need in their personal lives and in their roles in the city.

We ask that You would bring increase in Locust Fork. Increase Your favor on them; increase righteousness; increase grace and mercy; increase the population; increase civic pride and responsibility; increase revenue so that they can address the needs of the community.

Jesus Christ, we ask that You would lead Your Body in Locust Fork to be the Kingdom agents You have called us to be. Be lifted up through Your Church so that all men would be drawn to You. Let Your Gospel go forth from Locust Fork into all the world. Purify and refine Your Bride; strengthen her and comfort her. Cause her to fix her eyes on You so that the distractions and hindrances of this world would grow strangely dim. Cover her with Your songs of deliverance and clothe her in robes of righteousness. Arm her with divine weapons so that she can shatter the strongholds of the enemy in Locust Fork. May the Church bring You the glory that You alone deserve.

Bless this town, God, and let Your kingdom be made manifest in Locust Fork as it already is in Heaven.  Amen.

Will you join us in prayer today by leaving a comment?