Praying for Campus Outreach

Campus Outreach began in 1978 at Briarwood Presbyterian Church primarily as a means to have an influence on the college-age students in their church. Today, their vision is “Multiplying Christ-like leaders”, and their mission is “Glorifying God by building laborers on the college campus for the lost world”. There are CO ministries all over America and around the world now.

Each Campus Outreach sits under the authority and supervision of a regional church. Briarwood continues to provide that supervision for the Birmingham-based CO, which serves 7 different college campuses: Berry College, Jacksonville State University, Samford University, Troy University, University of North Alabama, University of South Alabama, and the University of West Georgia. Through regular discipleship, working with colleges, churches, and families, and through their three big annual events – Beach Project, New Year’s Conference, and Cross Cultural Project – Campus Outreach is raising up leaders for the Kingdom of God for every possible sphere of influence.

Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

I Timothy 4:11-16 – 11 Prescribe and teach these things. 12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. 15 Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

“Our God is so big and so mighty, there’s nothing our God cannot do!” You reign forever and Your glory fills the earth. We were children of wrath, and You purchased us with the blood of Christ, adopting us as sons and daughters, seating us in the heavenly places with Christ. As such, You allow us to join You in the work You are doing in the world. We are but dust, yet You give us the privilege of walking with You, of bearing Your name and carrying Your light into a dark world.

Our world seems to grow darker all around us these days, Lord, and we see that very clearly on college campuses. Thank You for raising up a ministry like Campus Outreach to be a light and a refuge in the midst of the encroaching darkness. We pray for protection around this ministry, their staff, and every volunteer. Keep Your Word in the center of all that they do, and keep their eyes focused on Christ. There are a lot of “every wind of doctrine, trickery of men, and craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14) in the college world today, so we pray that the power and purity of the Sword of the Spirit would cut through all of that for both the leaders of Campus Outreach and the students to whom they are ministering. We pray that You would continue to protect them from those who would seek to silence them and take away their right to declare the Gospel. Protect them from wolves in sheep’s clothing who are there to malign the Gospel through their behavior. Let Campus Outreach continue to be used by You as a strong tower on the battlefield for hearts and minds.

We pray for the students to whom they are ministering as well, Lord. In our world of political correctness, we pray that You would equip them and empower them to practice Your justice with kindness and humility, speaking truth in love no matter how reviled it is, or how reviled they are because they speak it. God, we pray that You would supernaturally equip these students by Your Spirit to walk in Your ways, so that in their speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity they would be a demonstration of Your love, grace, and truth. Cause Your Word to be planted in their hearts so that it is the foundation of everything they do and say. We pray that You would protect them spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally from every attack of the enemy. Give them the grace to persevere in these things so that as they do, it would bring the light of salvation to them and to all those who around them.

Lord, I’m so grateful that no matter how dark and evil things can appear to be, Your light is always shining through Your people, and that it cannot be extinguished. We pray that more and more students would be set free from the chains of darkness to walk into Your marvelous light, and that as they enter the workplace in all capacities, they would carry Your light with them. We pray these things for Your honor and glory. Amen.

Thank you for taking the time to pray with me for these cities and non-profits. If you want to share your own passage of Scripture, prayer, or anything to do with what we’ve prayed for, I would love to hear from you in the comments section!

 

Praying for the Birmingham Prayer Furnace

I’ve been looking forward to the opportunity to pray for the Birmingham Prayer Furnace ever since we started praying through the nonprofits of the metro-B’ham area. I met Paul, the director, several years ago while participating in a 24/7 prayer room at a Mission America conference that was here in Birmingham. That event, with people from all over the city, the state, and even the nation, gathering together in a room to pray together with such unity, was tremendously impactful to me. For a while after that, I was able to attend their weekly Awaken services that meet on Tuesday nights. Getting to soak in worship and prayer every week like that was a huge blessing. I love this ministry and how it’s raising up young people to be on fire for Jesus, with an understanding of biblical justice and reconciliation and the priority that prayer is to all of it.

The Birmingham Prayer Furnace history is quite fascinating, and too long to include in detail here. You’ll have to check it out on their website. I can tell you that they launched on Sept. 22, 2006. (Again, God’s Sovereign timing at work over when we pray for each of these ministries, as we “just so happen” to be praying for them right here close to their anniversary! Praise the Lord!!) It was also Rosh Hashanah when they began. In June 2007, Paul established Kingdom Forerunners as an official nonprofit organization. Today, Kingdom Forerunners provides leadership to the Birmingham Prayer Furnace, the Alabama Campus Prayer Network, and Redigging the Wells, which is  a prayer and justice initiative. Their purpose is to prepare this generation for the leadership of Jesus by calling us to watch and pray, work for biblical justice, and to preach God’s Kingdom. The desire to accomplish this through facilitating a 24/7 regional network of prayer and a 24/7 city-wide worship and prayer hub in the city of Birmingham. I don’t know about you, but I get excited thinking such a thing could exist like that for this city. Currently, they offer many ways to get plugged in, which you can find out about on their website.

We’re going to pray out of a passage that is one of my favorites, II Chronicles 20:15-17:
15 and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.”

Lord God, we praise You for being the Victorious Warrior who is mighty in battle. You promised this to Your chosen nation of Israel, and You are faithful to Your promises. As our heavenly Father, who has chosen to adopt us as sons and daughters, we can still count on You to fight for us and to be with us. Thank You, Lord!

We lift up the Birmingham Prayer Furnace to You, Lord. Thank You for their heart for You and for the desire You have given them to see our city bathed in continuous praise and worship to the One True God. Paul and Lucy Hughes have been tireless in pursuing the vision and passion You have placed in their hearts. They have stood against overwhelming forces of darkness and have seen You fight for them and for our city. We pray that You would continue to encourage their hearts and cause them and all those who join them in their ministry that the battle belongs to You. Give them strength to stand and face the enemy, and give them wisdom and discernment to look and wait on You to fight Your battles. We pray that as they wait on You, You would cause them to rise up with wings like eagles, to run and not grow weary, and to walk and not faint. (Is. 40:31)

We also pray for the young people, the college kids, who are the core group that the BPF serves, teaches, and equips. They are coming of age in a very challenging culture. Father, we pray that You would keep them from the snares of the evil one. Guard their hearts to know the truth by staying engaged with Your Word. Teach them to stand firm against the devil, equipped with the armor of God, to resist and stand firm in the evil day. (Eph. 6:11,13) Raise up this generation to carry Your truth, Your justice, Your grace, mercy and love, in short, Your Gospel, into the very heart of every stronghold in this city and nation. Let them stand and see the salvation of the Lord on their behalf.

Father, we thank You for the many, many prayer warriors that You have raised up all over the metro-B’ham area. You are doing a new thing, and we praise You for it. We pray that the spirit of unity would continue to unite these various intercessors and prayer ministries in the spirit of humility with the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3) Together, may we see Your kingdom come and Your will be done in Birmingham as it already is in Heaven. Amen!

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.

 

Declaring Salvation in Mulga

This finishes up the municipalities that start with “M”.

Located in Jefferson County ten miles west of Birmingham

Mayor Dennis McCrary

Recognized as a community in 1907

Incorporated 1947. At that time, the mining communities in the surrounding areas had running water, but Mulga did not. Many residents had to haul water from surrounded water stations to their homes. The residents incorporated in order to get running water services.

Reportedly named after an Indian leader.

2010 population 836

  • The name Mulga comes from an Indian name
  • Grew as a private housing alternative to a nearby mining community (also known as Mulga)
  • Originally called East Mulga

Isaiah 12:2-4 – “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation. And in that day you will say, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember His name is exalted.'”

O LORD our God, Your name is exalted above the highest heavens. There is nothing we can do or say that can come close to describing Your great name. Yet, You allow us to carry it with us and to make it known among us. What glory!

We thank You for raising up the town of Mulga, AL for the purpose of displaying Your great name and Your salvation. We pray that every person in Mulga would put their trust in You, Lord God. Let the weak know Your strength. Let the ones bowed down in despair learn the new song You put in their hearts. May the ones who feel dried up and forgotten drink deeply of Your living water, and that You would refresh and restore them.

We pray that Your justice in Mulga would roll down like waters (Amos 5:24). Father, the history of mining and anything tied to the Native Americans is laced heavily with injustice. We pray that You would restore righteousness and tear down any stronghold of injustice and unrighteousness that may exist in Mulga. Let this town be a place that declares Your righteous deeds and exalts Your name.

Please bless Mayor McCrary, and all those who lead the town of Mulga know Your salvation. Let them give thanks to You with uprightness of heart, and learn Your righteous judgments (from Psalm 119:7). Grant them wisdom and strength, and let them lead from a place of joy, in order to declare Your greatness and salvation through everything that they do.

Lord, we thank You for Your salvation. Make it known among us, so that it can be made known through us. Amen.

We would love it if you would join the prayer conversation. How do you pray for your city or community?

A New Thing in Birmingham

Yesterday, the new Birmingham City Council  and the new Birmingham Board of Education were sworn into office. The city council members are:

Maxine Parker – Council President
Jay Roberson – President Pro-Tem
Shelia Tyson
Lashunda Scales
Kim Rafferty
Valorie Abbot
Marcus Lundy
Steven Hoyt
Johnathan Austin

If you would like to read the news article about the swearing in, and to see pictures of the Councilmen and -women, click here for the al.com article. In their photo gallery of the event, you’ll notice a couple of them were anointed with oil. I found that very cool and very interesting. Praise the Lord for so much freedom to publicly display our Christian faith in Birmingham!

The members of the Birmingham Board of Education are:

April Williams
Brian Giattina
Wardine Alexander
Lyord Watson
Cheri Gardner
Sherman Collins, Jr.
Randall Woodfin
Sandra Brown
Daagye Hendricks

I thought it would be appropriate for us to pray for these new city leaders today by name. The verse that comes to my mind is Isaiah 11:2 – “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.”

Lord God, You command us in I Timothy 2:1, 2 to make “entreaties, and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings” to be made “on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” You also tell us that You are the one who appoints those who rule over us or lead us.  And so we thank You for appointing these men and women to lead our city and to lead the education of our children in Birmingham.

For each of them, we pray that the Spirit of the One True God would rest on them. If there are any who do not know You as their Savior and Lord, we pray for their salvation. We pray for the spirit of wisdom and understanding would guide them in all that they do. Give them the spirit of counsel and strength to bear all the issues that come across their desks and to address them accordingly. Give them the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

We pray that they would lead with righteousness and justice. Accomplish Your will through these men and women for Birmingham as it already is in Heaven. Raise up those who will be faithful to cover these leaders in prayer on a regular basis. May the power of the Gospel, carried on the wings of prayer, continue to transform our city from the top down and from the bottom up! For Your glory, Lord!!

Restoration and Righteousness in Kimberly, AL

http://www.kimberlyal.org/

Located in Jefferson County 17 miles north of Birmingham

Mayor Bob Ellerbrock

Incorporated in 1952

Named for a diamond-mining region of South Africa

2010 census population 2,711

  • Developed around a stagecoach station built in the 1830s

  • Also known as Kennelsville  and Jefferson

  • 1905 the town voted to change its name to Kimberly

  • Coal mines were primary employers through the 1940s

  • Many city records and history were lost in a fire at the city hall in 1989

  • The Kimberly Church of God, the oldest continuing Pentecostal Church in Alabama, was founded in 1902.

  • In the late 1890’s, the Kimberly Community Church met in the Kimberly School House and was served by “circuit riding preacher” each week. A Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian minister would rotate Sundays.

Isaiah 1:26-27 – “Then I will restore your judges as at the first, and  your counselors as at the beginning; aftJer that you will be called the city of righteousness, a faithful city. Zion will be redeemed with justice, and her repentant ones with righteousness.”

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word by which we can know You and know Your promises to us. We are so grateful for the grace and mercy You promise us when we turn our hearts toward You. You are altogether holy and righteous. Even at our very best, our own righteousness is as filthy rags. Yet, You are willing to impute Your righteousness to us through Your Son. Hallelujah!

Father, we lift up the town of Kimberly to You today. We pray that You would bless Kimberly with a multitude of wise, God-fearing counselors. Give the people of Kimberly a desire to pursue Your righteousness and seek Your kingdom about all else. We pray for their success in all that they do as they seek You.

We pray for Mayor Ellerbrock to seek after Your righteousness in all that he does. Give him a hunger and thirst that can only be satisfied in You. Enable him and Kimberly’s other leaders to keep their eyes fixed on Christ, and to trust you to meet all their needs according to Your riches in glory.

We pray that You would tear down every stronghold of unrighteousness in Kimberly, Lord God. Thank You for being a God of redemption; we pray You would redeem every wicked scheme and all that the enemy has meant for evil, and turn it for good. Wherever there may have been unrighteousness, bring repentance. Wherever there has been injustice, restore justice and bring restitution. We pray for righteous judges and wise counselors in Kimberly.

We pray that Kimberly would be known as a righteous an faithful city, for Your glory!

Praying for Justice in Harpersville

This one was difficult to find a lot of information about, and the info I did find, had a lot of negative stuff, which is sad to me. 

Website: http://www.townofharpersville.com

Mayor – Theoangelo Perkins (first African-American mayor in Shelby County)

Settled in 1815 by the Harper and Kidd families

  • Originally called Big Springs
  • Incorporated in 1945
  • Has produced 2 NBA stars: George McGinnis and Warren Kidd
  • Has a drive-in movie location called The Drive-in

William Joseph Simmons, founder of the second Ku Klux Klan, was from this town. I do not include this information to celebrate it or him in ANY way. I only include it because I feel it can prompt some prayers that need to be prayed. 

Jeremiah 9:24 – “‘But let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the LORD.”

Lord God, You are the God of Justice. As I read through a lot of verses on justice, I was struck by the truth that Your justice has a strong component of mercy. Your justice is not just about making wrong-doers answer for their wrong-doing, it is also about having mercy on the poor and needy. It’s about honoring our fellow man. God, we confess that we sometimes have a perverted view of justice. We claim we only want justice, when what we really want is revenge. Forgive us, Lord. Break our hearts and give us hearts of compassion, mercy, and your sense of justice. 

We pray for the town of Harpersville today, Lord. We pray that You would establish Your justice in their courts and among their leadership. Give Mayor Perkins great grace and wisdom to seek Your will above his own or anyone else’s. We pray that You would bless him according to Your lovingkindess, justice, and righteousness. 

Father, it saddens me to see a town or city being spoken of negatively. That’s not what You established Harpersville for. Lord, would You tear down the strongholds in this town of injustice and bitterness? Would You give them a new heart – a clean heart that understands and knows You. Transform this town’s reputation as only You can, so that it would be known as a town of justice and righteousness. Raise up the Church in Harpersville to intercede for their town. Raise up Your people to pray, to turn from their wicked ways, to seek Your face, so that You will heal their land as You promise in II Chronicles 7:14. 

We speak a blessing over this city, over Mayor Perkins, over the city council, the judges, the judicial system, and every elected official and every person in a leadership position. We put the name of the God of Justice on each of them. We speak a blessing over the people of Harpersville, so that You would cause Your face to shine on them so that they can know You as the One True God who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness.

Let Your will be done in Harpersville, as it already is in Heaven, Lord. We ask this in Your holy name. 

Leave a comment to let us know who you are, and what you are trusting God for in your city or community!