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 Pelham, Alabama

I have been looking forward to this one for a while now, because my family and I live in Pelham! I love this city and the sense of community that exists here. The city has enjoyed lots of progress over the last few years, thanks to wise leadership and the Lord’s blessing.

www.pelhamonline.com

Mayor Gary W. Waters

Shelby County

Incorporated in 1964

  • First known as Shelbyville in 1818, when the county court was established in what is now Pelham
  • County seat from 1820 until 1826
  • Sometime after the Civil War, it was renamed Pelham in honor of Major John Pelham, who fought in over 60 battles in the Civil War and was killed in the Battle of Kelly’s Ford in 1863.
  • In the early 1960’s, the city of Alabaster tried to annex Pelham, which led to the citizens of Pelham seeking to become incorporated.

Well, this verse is different from the type we normally pray from, and this is another one of those times where I’m thinking, “Huh? How are we supposed to pray from that?” So here goes….

**Also, because this is my city, my use of pronouns is more first person. I tried to stop it, but it kept happening, so I just rolled with it.**

Song of Solomon 3:2 – “I must arise now and go about the city; in the streets and in the squares I must seek him who my soul loves. I sought him but did not find him.”

Beloved One, we love You and adore You. You are altogether beautiful in the splendor of Your holiness. Your glory is unassailable. You invite us to share in Your glory for Your name’s sake. You invited us to sit with You in the heavenly places so that You may show the riches of Your love in kindness toward us. (from Eph. 1) What can we do in response but to fall down and worship You?

Lord Jesus, You have established nations and cities to share and to reflect Your glory. So we pray that You would enable Pelham, Alabama to do just that. We pray that the citizens of this city would recognize You as the One whom their soul was created to love. Give them a passion and desire to seek You. Remove the blinders that are on our eyes that hide You from us, or distort what You really look like and who You really are. Cause us to lay down the things which keep us from You, Lord Jesus. Turn our eyes from looking at vain, empty things, and let us look full in Your wonderful face. May this city be known as a city that seeks after You in all that it does.

Unlike the verse in Song of Solomon who could not find who she was looking for, we thank You that You can be found. Jer. 29:13 says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Let the city of Pelham, and the people of Pelham, find You. Cause us to seek You with all our hearts. Thank You for the promise of Your Word and that we can always trust in it.

Lord, we lift up Mayor Gary Waters to you. Grant him a passion for You that directs every decision he makes for our city and even for his personal life. Protect him from the evil one. Deliver him from temptation and the plans of the enemy. Set Mayor Waters’ feet on the firm foundation of Your Word. Let him know that You are with him and will direct his steps when he seeks after You. We pray for grace and truth to permeate everything he says and does. We pray that Mayor Waters and the city council would enjoy a healthy working relationship, and that together they would seek Your will for our city.

I also pray for the civil servants of Pelham. Protect them. Keep their hearts from becoming embittered by the difficult things they have to see and do. As they go through “in the streets and in the squares” of this city, let them find You. Please let their minds be renewed and refreshed through the power of Your Word and Your Spirit.

We pray all of these things in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

How are you feeling led to pray? I pray each of you would seek Jesus today, and that He would be found by you.