Praying for our Leaders: 2016 Municipal Elections

Last Friday was our final stop in our 2016 Summer Prayer Journey. But wait! There’s more! On Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7pm, New Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting a city-wide prayer rally in which East Lake and the ministries we’ve been praying for will be the focus. Mission Birmingham will be facilitating the evening.

This past Tuesday, many of the municipalities we’ve prayed for had elections for those who will be leading their cities. I don’t have info on all of the 90-something cities we’ve prayed for, but of those I do have, I see a mix of incumbents, new mayors, and run-offs, and lots of new and returning council members in various cities. I will eventually be updating each blog post with the new mayors information. At the end of this post, you’ll see a list of municipalities that I don’t have info for as of yet. If you do, please share it with me so that I can update those posts. Thanks!

I Timothy 1: 1-8 – 1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8 Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.

In Your Sovereignty, Lord, You have appointed men and women to lead our local governments in the metro-B’ham area over the course of the next couple of years. We thank You for the leaders You have chosen for this time, even if some of them aren’t the ones we voted for. You are in control and You are the one who raises up kings and brings them down again to accomplish Your plans and purposes.

We pray for these men and women who will be leading our cities and hometowns to be wise and humble servant-leaders who are even-tempered, not willful or greedy, temperate. We pray that they would be men and women who love what is good, sensible, just, and self-controlled. (from Titus 1:7,8) Let them lead with integrity and honor. We pray that their homes would be places of love and peace. Protect these leaders and their families from every spiritual attack and from every demonic spirit that stands against them and against the cities they serve. We pray for the salvation of every mayor and every council person in the metro-Birmingham area.

As the citizens of these cities, I pray that we would be faithful to support our leaders through our prayers, as You have commanded us. Before we complain, prompt us to pray. Our politics have become a source of such hate, anger, and ungodly behavior. Forgive us, and cause us to turn from those habits and toward the habit of praying for our leaders. You promise in the passage in I Timothy that when we pray for them, it will lead to tranquil, quiet lives in godliness and dignity. That’s what we long for. Lord, we pray for cities that would experience Your kingdom and Your will in our midst as it is in Heaven. I pray that we would pray without “wrath and dissension”.

I also want to specifically lift up those who are facing run-off elections. Running in an election and going through the campaigning process has got to be an exhausting process. I would imagine it can be rather discouraging to realize that you have two more months of it ahead of you. We lift up those men and women who are facing that prospect this week. We pray that they would find their rest in You. Cause them to wait on You as they prepare for their run-offs, so that can then mount up with wings like eagles, they can run and not grow weary, they can walk and not faint. Cause them to see Your hand of grace and mercy on them and their families in the process.

We pray all this to You, praising You because You are worthy of all praise, and because You are in control. Amen.

I would love to read your prayers, and come into agreement with you, in the comments as you pray for the mayor of your specific city.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Praying for Fultondale, Alabama

Located in North Jefferson County

Website: http://www.cityoffultondale.com/

Mayor Jim Lowery

Incorporated in 1947

Name is a combination of the names of two nearby communities, Fulton Springs and Glendale, that united to became Fultondale

2010 population 8,387

  • Was a mining town in  the 1900s

  • Originally called Fulton Springs

  • 6.3 miles from Birmingham

  • Parts of Fultondale suffered major damage from the April 27, 2011 tornados

  • Has been experiencing growth in both commercial and residential properties

There wasn’t a lot of info that Ginny could find for Fultondale. So if anyone has something that they think would be interesting to share, please let us know or leave it in the comments.

Heavenly Father, we worship You because You alone are worthy of our worship. You are holy and exalted high above the earth. There is no one like You.

We lift up the city of Fultondale to You today. We pray that Your ingdom would come in Fultondale. Awaken and raise up the Church in that city to be kingdom agents, full of the Holy Spirit, so that they can be Jesus’ hands and feet in their communities. Anoint them to bring “good news to the afflicted; to bind up the broken-hearted; and to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners.” (Is. 61:1)

May the people of Fultondale acknowledge You in all of their ways, so that You can direct their path. We pray that they would acknowledge You as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Bring unity to their families, their neighborhoods, and their city as a whole. As this city is growing commercially and residentially, we pray that it would also grow in wisdom that only comes from the fear of the Lord.

We pray for Mayor Lowery and the city council. You have appointed these leaders for this city for this time. We pray You would bless them and protect them. Cause the believers in Fultondale to pray earnestly and at all times with all prayers and petitions for their city leaders, so that You would cause them to live in peace.

In the name of Jesus, we come against the spirit of division and strife, that stirs up our flesh to speak against our cities and our leaders. Cause us to be humble, walking in humility and gentleness. Cause us to give honor to whom honor is due. Help us to be faithful to diligently intercede for those who are in authority over us. May all that we do, say and pray be done as unto You.  Amen.

Leave us a comment and tell us what you are believing God for in your community.

Addendum for Alabaster – from the Mayor

Citizens of Alabaster, you are indeed blessed to have a mayor who follows the Lord and is committed to praying for the city, as well as having some councilmen and -women who also value the power of prayer. It reminds me of Psalm 127:1, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who builds it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps in wake in vain.” Well, the city leaders of Alabaster seem to recognize that and are putting the Lord first in building and protecting their city. What a blessing!

Below is a response from Mayor Handlon, which includes how she regularly prays for her city. I also know it would be an encouragement to her and the city council to see in the comments how others are praying for them.

I just wanted to take a moment to send a Thank You to all the prayer warriors.  I’m sure our city is not much different from the others in this area as far as specific prayer request, but I did want to take a minute to list the things I continue to pray for in regard to our city:
1. Those still negatively affected by the economy with loss of jobs.
2. Our youth who are constantly exposed to and sometime tempted by the evils of this world like drugs and violence.
3. Our Senior Citizens who are alone, shut-in, and at risk of being taken advantage of by scams.
4. Our City Employees who work hard and give dedicated effort to the community.
 
Thank you again for sharing, and for keeping our city in your prayers,
Marty
A huge thank you to Mayor Handlon, Councilman Hicks, and Councilwoman Rakestraw for taking the time to respond to let us know how they appreciate the prayers for their city.
If you want to find out what is currently going on in Alabaster, visit their website, which they do a great job on keeping up-to-date and interactive.
How do Mayor Handlon’s prayer points prompt you to pray? What Scripture does it bring to mind?

Alabaster – Shine Your light

Alabaster is a city in Shelby County, AL. As of July 2009, it had 29, 681 residents. Their mayor is Marty Handlon. Alabaster was founded in 1925 and was named after the natural mineral that was mined there. It was incorporated on Feb. 23, 1953. Like Adamsville, for whom we prayed on Friday, its tornado and earthquake activity is also higher than the state average.

The passage I believe the Lord led me to for Alabaster is Ephesians 5:13-17 – “But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, ‘Awake, sleeper, arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Lord God, You are exalted high above the heavens. Not even the highest heavens can contain You. You are the light of the world. The darkness tries to flee from Your presence, but there is no hiding place from You. Your presence, Your glory, and Your power are ever present, and Your truth abides forever.

Father, we ask that the Church in Alabaster would hear Your call and would awaken to the new thing You are doing in their midst. I know a couple of pastors from some of the churches in Alabaster, and I know their heart for You and their desire to be the Bride of Christ, prepared for her Bridegroom. Remove those things which are hindering them from being the Bride You’ve called them to be. Get them out of the place of complacency and into a place of utter dependence on You. Cause them to diligently seek You with their whole hearts. May the prayers of the saints rise up from Alabaster as a sweet-smelling offering of incense to you. Be their vision and provision, and keep them in the center of Your Word and Your will.

Shine Your light on Your people and on this city. May the people of Alabaster behold Your glory and majesty. Let them behold Your marvelous works, and let it be a sign to them that points to salvation. Give the people discernment to recognize evil and good – to avoid the traps and pitfalls the enemy has laid for them, and to seek after peace and pursue it.

Thank You that Your will is not hidden from those who diligently seek You. We pray that Mayor Handlon and the city council would seek Your will. Give them a spirit of understanding and wisdom so that they would understand Your will as You reveal it to them. We ask all these things in the name of Jesus, the Light of the World. Amen.

Please respond with anything the Lord lays on your heart in the comments.

Praying for Adamsville

First, let me say thank you for making our launch day on Monday such a success with all your visits! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to stay connected between posts.

We are starting our virtual prayer journey through the metro-B’ham area in Adamsville, which is in the north-westernmost corner of the metro-B’ham area. It is 10 miles NW of the city of Birmingham, center to center. It was named for a man whose house was used as a temporary railroad depot, according to www.epodunk.com. The city has a little less than 5,000 residents. The mayor of Adamsville is Pam Palmer.

The verse the Lord led me to for this city is Psalm 127:1-2 – “Unless the LORD (Yahweh) builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.”

Father, we praise You because You are Yahweh – the One True God, the Great I AM. You are Sovereign and You have a plan and a purpose for Adamsville. We submit this city to Your will and we ask that You would fulfill Your will in Adamsville as it already is in Heaven. Thank You for establishing this city. I know the mayor and the city council have worked hard to make Adamsville a pleasant place to live, and we pray that they would acknowledge You as the One who has built their city, so that their labor would not be in vain, but would be in cooperation with Your plan. Give them Your wisdom and let them find You when they seek Your face for guidance.

We pray that You would guard Adamsville; that You would set Your angels around the city to watch over it. Put Your name, Yahweh, on Adamsville, so that the police and first responders do not keep watch in vain. Grant them success on every side as they stand between the citizens and the evil that seeks to bring harm and destruction. Please protect those who guard the city.

For the citizens of Adamsville, we pray that they would acknowledge You in all their ways, so that You would direct their paths. (Prov. 3:6) Let their labors not be in vain, but bless their efforts to provide for themselves and their families. Bring jobs to those who are unemployed. And we pray that they would find rest in You, and that they would know they are Your beloved. We pray all these things in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

There is so much more that could and should be prayed for over Adamsville. How is the Lord leading you to pray for this city?