Release and Renew: Prayers for Those with Heartbreaking Jobs

”I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13 NAS1977)

Be deliberate today in your pursuit of the goodness of God. I speak especially to those in careers where you daily see the ugliest side of humanity, or perhaps the most hopeless-appearing situations. Soldiers, law enforcement, social workers, oncology nurses/doctors, ministers, teachers, counselors, and others–at the end of your day you must find a way to disconnect from the despair, lest you become a casualty instead of a catalyst for healing and hope. You can find that in prayer. At the beginning of your day you have to coat yourself in the hope of the Word to shield yourself from what you’re going to encounter. You might say, “why aren’t you suggesting I pray for the people I encounter instead of myself? This feels so selfish. What about their problems?” I’m writing this today to help keep you strong enough to do the hard work you do. You can’t help others if you wind up taken out by despair. It’s time to gear up because we NEED you doing what you do. Please, stay strong! Take care of your spirit!

Our world is sad. It’s bad out there. There’s so much despair and so many wicked activities taking place. There’s so much sickness and tragedy and cruelty. So many children, elderly, weak, innocent who are preyed upon. So many people operating under demonic influence inflicting pain and suffering on themselves and others. So much ADDICTION.

I’ll be honest. I went through my Twitter feed earlier this morning and the bad news was exhausting. I wanted to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. I honestly thought, “Death’s not such a bad thing…it’ll be a relief to leave this world and go on to heaven!” But then I remembered what Paul said about it being more expedient (needful) that he remain behind to help others instead of going on to be with the Lord. I want heaven. I want to go and be with the Lord and be away from all the madness for all eternity…eventually. But what I really want to do first is effectively hold back the worst of evil by collectively offering up effectual fervent prayer. I want to point others to Jesus and be someone who hammers signposts in the ground of life that show a lost world the direction in which to run to find hope. THE ONLY way I can remain objective is to have God’s Word tattooed on my heart and mind, and to stay close enough to Him to hear His voice. Otherwise I just disappear into the sludge of despair with everyone else who’s given up and is waiting to die.

So for all of you who are so bravely doing the jobs I could not do (or rather, don’t necessarily WANT to do), I just encourage you this morning to cover yourself. Even if you’re already well into your shift, there’s no time like the present to start. Pray with me:

“God, thank You for helping me survive all the situations I encountered yesterday. Your Word says Your mercies are new every morning. Today I receive Your new mercy. Clothe me with salvation, with humility, with strength. Just like the “whole armor of God,” I put on my tactical gear. My head’s covered with salvation. My heart’s covered with righteousness. My tactical belt is truth…I can attach every tool I need to do my job to this truth. My feet are covered with peace. My shield is faith. My defense weaponry is Your Word and Your Spirit! That said, Lord, I’m getting ready to walk into the unknown today. I will encounter messed-up lives. I will meet hurting people. My heart will break over what’s not fair. Use me to make a difference, to be Your light bearer in a dark place. Help me to respond not out of anger, but with great wisdom.

Help me to do my best while I’m on the job and then help me to LET IT GO at the end of the day. Lord, help me not to carry these problems home to my family. I need my family and they need me. Help me to appreciate and be ministered to by the innocence of the home I’ve worked so hard to build and protect.

Keep me safe today, guard me against burnout; help me to strategize with the mind of Christ about how I can use my gifts to bless others and my strengths to help those who are in the place of need. Help me not to lose my sense of compassion nor my sense of duty to minister to the disparaged. I don’t want to be callous or insensitive when someone is needing treated gently. Help me to be just and fair with all people, even those who aren’t just and fair with me. Remind me that I represent YOU and can’t afford to let my words and actions go contrary to Yours. Help me not to think as the world thinks, but as YOU think about situations. Keep me from being jaded. Keep my heart tender even as you keep it from breaking in two at the things which also grieve YOU. In Jesus’ name.”

And at night (or the end of your workday, whenever that is 😉 ):

“Father, thank You for helping me to make it to the conclusion of another day. These burdens I bore all day long, these suffering people I worked with, the situations I can’t necessarily fix with an easy button…these worries and cares all want to come home with me. The memories want to invade my ability to wind down, to hear my spouse and children’s conversations, to keep me from the place of prayer and the much needed place of recharging and sleep.

But just like a set of coveralls, I choose to unzip the activities of the day and I step out of them. What I couldn’t fix today, I will deal with tomorrow, but for now I let it go. I’m not God–You are. I trust You to put things on hold, to keep the people I can’t help 24/7, to send others alongside to help, and to keep this world spinning on its axis for another day. In Jesus’ name I reject the effects of constant exposure to negative forces. I will not cope with frustration and sorrow by engaging in substance abuse or destructive relationships. I will seek out things that keep my heart pure and guileless, I will freely laugh at every possible opportunity, and I will give mindful thanks for the simple blessings You afford me, like a beautiful sunrise or the giggles of a small child.

I boldly declare that the helmet of salvation will keep my mind and protect me from becoming a walking case of PTSD. You are strengthening me, You are renewing my mind, You are restoring my innocence, and You ARE my joy, my strength. I will run to You and not be so “tough.” You’re the One I run to when I’m out of my league. It’s ok for me to be vulnerable in Your presence because You heal me and help me. I plead the blood of Jesus now to wash me clean, to cleanse the portals of my mind from what I need to let go of. Thanks now for blessing my family time, my worship time, my downtime and strengthening me to fight another day. I love You and trust You. Amen”

Repentance: Don’t Hide–HEAL

Don’t let the enemy guilt you out of your #destiny. If you have sinned or otherwise failed or fallen short, repent. Yes, I know there’s seemingly nothing profound in that advice, but it’s still true. I didn’t say resign; I said #repent.

#Repentance isn’t just being sorry for something you’ve done (or in some cases, haven’t done), it’s evaluating where you went wrong and making the necessary corrections to keep it from happening again: a change of heart and action. Maybe you’ve done something or allowed something and it’s wrinkled the fender of your reputation and distanced you from God. Maybe you’re just disappointed in yourself and it’s easier to bail than to humbly start all over. The first thing Adam and Eve did after they sinned was to HIDE. And may I even say, the more we are respected and admired, the harder it feels to get back up when we stumble because the accuser wants our shame to be very public.

Yeah, Satan’s goal is to take us out and damage as many people as he can in the process…but friends, when we’ve taken a faceplant, the world needs to SEE us recover, even if a few folks (and particularly some who are supposed to be on our “side”) hurl a few insult-and-accusation stones as we are picking ourselves up. Sometimes we privately recover, but truthfully, sometimes what we resolve to just do in private enables us to wallow a little longer in the mess–and kept hidden, sometimes we fix it, but sometimes we just choose to stay broken. Don’t stay in that place. It’s a rat’s nest.

There may be shame in failure but there’s no shame in turning to God to fix us when we have failed. Last night before I went to sleep, this verse went through my mind and I just meditated on it as I drifted off: “So now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty. Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit that brings life made me free from the law that brings sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2 NCV) The KJV says there’s “therefore now no condemnation.”

Because of our trust in the redemptive power of the cross, we can machete our way through the choking, dense growth of sin’s effect on our lives and emerge back onto the right path intact. Paul realized the possibility of preaching to others but himself becoming a castaway–so he held himself accountable. So should we.

It’s just where we are. Sharing the good news is relatively easy. Being the “living epistle read of every man” part, not so much. The best thing to do is to keep ourselves holy, on guard, prayed-up, free from bondages. It’s a lot easier to maintain than to break down and repair. But if you are reading this from the cave where you went to hide after your embarrassing fall, please know there is HOPE for you. Sure, there’ll be a few who would remind you of your inadequacy, but there is a whole host of witnesses crying out just beyond your earshot, “Get up! Try! Finish! Keep going! You’re almost home!” There’s a Father checking out the window, pacing in the roadway, wanting to put a ring on your stinky, stained hand and restore you with full privilege instead of demoting you from sonship to servitude.

I remember once when I was still in school, one of my schoolmates wound up getting badly burned when he threw gasoline on a bonfire. The kid was ashamed/afraid to tell his parents because it was a foolish act of disobedience, messing with fire and flammables; and because he hid the terrible burn under his clothing without getting help, the burn got badly infected and became a serious, dangerous problem much worse than a parent’s chastisement for disobeying. No doubt the scars are still on that leg, decades later. We hide our burns too, sometimes, don’t we?

Peter had to repent when he fell. Yep, one of “the three amigos” whom Jesus kept privy to His most important missions actually betrayed Him in a most contemptible way when things got too dangerous. But Jesus WANTED him back. He even said to him, “when you’re restored, strengthen the others.” See, your recovery is never just about you. Jesus didn’t choose to just gloss it over and strengthen them Himself in Peter’s absence; He in essence told Peter, “YOU do it.” There’s going to be a visible restoration of the part of you that needs healed, friend, and the people who’ve been let down by your absence are also going to be strengthened…by YOU. It is this action that will bring you full circle and it will keep you accountable in the future because of its humbling quality.

As much as it feels to the contrary, you aren’t expendable. God needs you on that front line. Replacing you is not His ultimate will — redeeming you, however, IS! He saw in ages past where a you-shaped piece of the puzzle needed to go, and He created you to fit exactly right there in the big picture. He doesn’t have a bunch of spare you’s just lying around in case you malfunction! Repentance says you are willing to let Him rebuild you to keep doing what He created you to do. And sometimes, we need rebuilt not only because of our sins, but also even from just being battle-weary, worn-out, and hyperextended. Let Him.

Lay aside what’s holding you back. Phooey on what anyone might say or think, don’t you wallow in condemnation one more day. Your destiny is right where you left it, and Jesus can recalibrate the driving directions from WHEREVER this moment finds you…to make sure you arrive safely. Come home.

Prayer Over the Emotional Health of Those in Christian Leadership

Kneeling man“Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us.” — The Apostle Paul, in his first letter to the church at Thessalonica  (1 Thes. 5:25)

It’s one of the least talked-about issues in the church, because leaders oftentimes feel an obligation to appear stronger than their congregations; yet some of the greatest pastors and Bible figures have had struggles with anxiety and depression! We’re more than a little naive if we think that our leaders are immune to the struggles we ourselves face. I can tell you firsthand, a mature Christian can absolutely suffer emotional issues. Although we don’t sorrow as those who have no hope, we still suffer sorrow and loss, grief, oppression, and we still have to guard our hearts from the attack of an enemy who definitely doesn’t want leaders to be effective.

Look at King David, man after God’s own heart, who often wrote psalms that revealed despair and uncertainty—on the mountain in some of his songs, and hitting rock bottom in human desperation in others. Paul had a recurring or chronic obscure problem of which that he sought earnestly to be relieved. Jonah fell into depression after he’d completed the task to which God had assigned him. Elijah called fire down from heaven in between declaring a 3-year drought and declaring its end; and in the very next chapter, was hit by anxiety and asked God to just let him die. At age 23, Charles Spurgeon was hit with depression so great he nearly didn’t recover. On and on, the list would just continue to grow. My point? We have a completely saved spirit, but we have a soul and body that are still navigating a fallen world. Whether it’s environmental, trauma-induced, hormonal, generational, too-little sleep and exercise and quiet time, or just an attack of the enemy to derail a person—emotional issues can be just as huge a matter for a leader as they are for his/her followers!

So while we certainly need to pray for one another, we also need to know how to pray for ourselves. Our leaders are indeed there for us; but they are human too, and we all can lean too heavily on them at times. They wear many hats and get very little downtime. The person you’re counting on to listen to your problems and get that prayer through may be encountering an inner battle you know nothing of. That person’s spouse may not even have a clue that there’s a private agony of anxiety, depression, emotional exhaustion, burnout from packing a burden the size of a church on his or her shoulders. Ask yourself, in whom can your own spiritual leader(s) confide, go to for honest accountability and prayer, and feel comfortable being real? Leaders want to be bulletproof. Many don’t want to reveal their own struggles because the devil wants them to believe they are incompetent leaders if they’re not always on the mountain; that their followers will lose confidence in them or begin to view them as hypocrites! They don’t want to be judged as weak, out of God’s will, or flawed and unfit for service. So today, while I realize many of you are wrestling with depression and emotional issues of your own, could we just turn our attention away from ourselves and pray collectively for the front line leaders, apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists, teachers, ministry workers, and intercessors who are oppressed?

Father, You already know our personal struggles and we trust You to finish the work You’ve begun in us. So in this prayer, we turn to the emotional health of our leaders and ask You to bless them and meet them where they are. Oh how they need Your angelic assistance, Lord! You alone know the agony they feel when they’re under pressure and feel they must put on brave masks in front of their constituents. You know the pressure of feeling as if they can never relax or come out from under the burden of other people’s miseries and suffering. You know the guilt they feel when they get weary of late nights and other people’s drama. You know every time they stand behind a lectern or pulpit or a writer’s pen feeling bankrupt—disqualified to help others because they too are wounded and bleeding. You know the very ones who’ve thought of suicide, who might be self-medicating, and who’ve thought of quitting the very ministries You’ve called them to. Lord, intervene! Teach us how to pray for those in authority over us, instead of expecting the prayer relationship to be one-sided!

O God, we pray, send Your ministering spirits to them! Father, we plead the blood of Jesus around our pastors, teachers, elders, public speakers, and believers who serve You as they work in civil government. Bring laughter and lightheartedness to their weary souls. Let a joy bubble up within, a calm and assurance and a FREEDOM, that actually matches the face they put on in front of others. Give them wise answers to the questions they often take to their pillows with them at night, so that they can sleep in peace. Give them opportunities for recreation and fun and keep insisting in that still small voice that they need to take what You’re making available to them! Father, we ask for special confidantes and mentors and accountability partners, for counselors, and for genuine friends for these in leadership. They need people they can “get real” with to talk about and pray about their private struggles, fears, and failures. Finally, Father, help them keep open doors of communication between themselves and YOU; and as You bring healing for their anxieties, and for the depression the enemy tells them they wouldn’t have if they were walking worthy of their vocation.

Father, ease their financial burdens and their family tensions we pray. Whatever issues are bombarding leaders tonight, we pray angels are released to do war in the heavenlies on their behalf. Give them days and nights where not one phone call fetches them away from needed rest or time with family. Intercept delays perpetuated by the enemy to keep them too busy to pray and invest time in study. Send laborers into the harvest so that they’re not doing all the work themselves; place armorbearers around them who will not bail and betray, and assign intercessors who not only pray daily for them, but who are awakened and sensitive to pray “emergency” prayers when that leader is silently suffering. May You keep those (including leaders on every level) in perfect peace whose hearts and minds are steadfast because they trust in You!

And Lord, for every fallen leader who’s given up, succumbed to temptation, walked away, or departed from the faith, we ask that angels and people You assign will go to their aid and help them regain their bearings. Remind them that it’s time to repent, get healed up, and strengthen others after they themselves are restored. Their latter days CAN be greater than their former ones!

Open up ministry centers geared toward the healing of wounded and weary leaders, where they can get help in a nonthreatening environment. Let this be the year when leaders have healed marriages, restored families, and renewed sense of purpose; not just painted-on facades of how they think they’re expected to look. And Lord, help us to cut the faltering a little more slack! Forgive us for not forgiving them their shortcomings, for judging them inappropriately, for speaking evil of them when we should’ve instead been on our knees in intercession.

We rebuke spirits of suicide, doubt and unbelief, pride, lust, delusion, anxiety, depression, fear, lack, mental illness, confusion, and afflicting spirits of every kind who are trying to take out godly people in authority. The Lord rebuke you and break your assignment off God’s chosen! We speak it in Jesus’ name and we release healing and a time of refreshing over the lives of apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, leaders on every level, intercessors, and godly civil servants. May these last days find Your called ones more determined than ever to make it and to bring in the harvest! Seal it, we pray, with good sleep, much laughter, and contagious joy, in Jesus’ name. Thank You, good good Father!

Where Do We Go from Here? A Spiritual Perspective on Recovering from Loss of a Leader

CrossroadsTruly, it is a demoralizing thing when a good person is taken from us in the act of doing good.  There’s been an exhausting, heavy blanket of grief over our region ever since our Sheriff was taken by this act of senseless violence.  Have I asked, “Why?”  Of course I have.  You probably have, too.  In this quiet hamlet of Southern Appalachia, things like this just don’t happen.  We may or may not ever receive answers that fully satisfy our questions about why this happened, in the natural realm.  But to the born-again believer, we know that the enemy of mankind was the mastermind of this attack on our county.  I say ‘on our county’ because that’s what it is.  Eugene was the one ultimately who died, but this tragic sin of murder has marred us all.  The devil’s intent was to take out someone doing good, and to discourage and leave in despair all others who might follow in good’s footsteps.

I don’t know how each of you felt about our elected leader personally, but please, even if you did not support him or even like him, keep an open mind to what I’m saying.  If you know anything about me, you know I would be heartbroken if this had been any of our other leaders past and present too.  I’m so not the political type…but that said, I AM very much aware of God’s stance on figures of authority and how we are to respect and come under authority.  This man was an authority whom I respected, but also a good and trusted friend.  He was a friend to our community, a schoolmate to some of you, a coach for your kids, maybe a member of your same church.  Some feel as if we’ve lost a member of our family.  It will take some time to mourn his loss and to heal from the gaping wound it’s left.

I beg of you, believers, please choose your words carefully no matter how full of grief or even anger that you are.  The Word says that the power of life and death is in the tongue!  We have an opportunity in this tragic time to declare healing and restoration over Mingo County, or we have an opportunity to pronounce curses and doom, all by what we allow ourselves to say.  Just think of what you’ve heard on the streets or in groups of friends over the past few days.  Perhaps you too have said things like, “This place is going to pot.”  “There’s nothing here anymore but a bunch of crazies and dopeheads.”  “The law will never be able to get rid of these dope dealers.”  “Before you know it, we’ll be another Detroit.”  If you’ve said something like this, I beg of you, repent!  Ask God to annul the harmful, idle words you’ve spoken and to usher in blessing in their place.  Begin speaking LIFE to our region and LIFE to Mingo County.  If you’re a Christian, it’s actually even your DUTY to speak the Word instead of agreeing with the status quo.  You have a good opportunity to sow seeds of peace and hope here.  Set a watch upon your heart and upon your mouth!

I’m not trying to be spooky or mystical, but there is something very spiritually significant about the fact that someone in authority has been slain, not for being a tyrant or for doing something wicked, but someone who was trying to do good.  As a body of believers, it is our duty to recognize the spiritual connotations and act accordingly to usher in healing and a cleansing over this bloodshed.  We, as Christians, must adorn ourselves with the prayer shawl and cry out in intercession for our land.  We must repent on behalf of our people for the events that have escalated into the killing of someone assigned as our leader and protector.  You might say, “Why should I have to repent?  I didn’t do it.”  The people who are dealing drugs, taking drugs, and even those who would kill to maintain this lifestyle are not likely, in a lost state, to feel the need to cry out for forgiveness, unless the Holy Spirit conviction sways them to confess and forsake their sin—and they heed His voice.  In the meantime, our land bears the curse of innocent blood spilled.  As when Cain slew Abel, that blood cries out from the ground for justice.  The life is in the blood; it is considered such a sacred thing that God commanded the Israelites not to consume the blood of the animals they sacrificed.  Un-repented sins, such as this slaying of our Sheriff, leave innocent blood crying out for redemption.  Believers have a priestly duty to initiate a cleansing of this act that stains our land and leaves us all under a scourge.

We do not want to become a place destitute, impoverished, and conquered by sin!  This has always been a place where the majority of our citizens, even those who don’t go to church, are peace-loving and law-abiding.  Though far from perfect, we’ve managed to stay at least one generation behind the mainstream metropolitan areas in the growth rate of criminal activity.  Though we’re often joked about for being like “Mayberry USA,” it’s actually a badge of honor that we wear—this being different and to some, this being “outdated.”

I heard lines of a poem read by one of the officers in the memorial service, where the writer referred to law enforcement as a “thin blue line” dividing good and evil, wrong and right.   God bless them for the role they play in securing our safety.  However, we must not ever assume that a war that’s meant to be engaged in the heavenlies can be won merely in the realm of the physical.  We need an angelic guard standing even in between the thin blue line and that evil!  Our protectors need protected as well.

Only God can heal and restore our land and our people, but He delegates the responsibility of the spoken word to us, His children.  Will you pledge to begin speaking life words over our region, our State, and our Nation?  Will you counter the negative declarations with positive words of affirmation that God has His hand on this place for a special purpose?  He can yet bring about good in spite of this nightmare of injustice that’s left us all reeling.

Pray with me:

Heavenly Father, we stand depleted and without words to describe the agonizing loss we feel.  We ask You to do the miraculous and bring about good where the enemy meant evil.  We ask healing and restoration for Eugene’s family and closest friends and coworkers, as those closest to him are no doubt feeling the pain on an unimaginably greater level.  Do what we cannot, in ushering in a sense of peace in spite of the uncertainty that lies before us. We repent before You on behalf of the vile thing which has happened here among us.  We repent for all acts of lawlessness that have even required men and women to stand in harm’s way to serve and protect us.  We repent for grieving Your Holy Spirit by our sense of complacency.  We repent for the shedding of innocent blood, and we ask You not to leave its stain upon our people and upon our place.  Forgive us this unthinkable sin against You and against a fellow human being, and cause us as a people to stand before You no longer under the deluge of darkness.  May our county not bear this mark as a definition of who we are; may we instead, be branded a people who fear and serve You, and who have “Zero Tolerance” for anything that offends You or that breaks the laws which keep our land peaceful and prosperous.  Bring salvation and change to all those who may have in some way been responsible for what has happened; may they feel the full brunt of this grave error and come to repentance.  May they make an abrupt turn toward You, that even in the process of justice, their souls’ redemption would be a testimony that gives You glory…and that our fallen brother’s life might have caused salvation to come in the face of evil.  Bring justice for those who are now without a husband and father.  Godly sorrow worketh repentance…not just sorrow for being caught in our sins, but Lord, bring sorrow that ushers in a change for good.  You can yet redeem us as individuals and as a community.  As a testimony to Your grace, may the conviction of the Holy Spirit work during this time of our grief to corral those in who have strayed from You or do not know You as their Lord.  You can use even our grief to awaken the need for right change.

Help us to please you with our own attitudes about this incident; and while we pray that You will bring justice and closure, we relinquish the right to bear unforgiveness.  Help us to release this into Your hands and to give You permission to right the wrongs done to this family and this county.  May the aftermath of this incident come in the form of justice, due process of law, and not merely a need for us to have revenge.  Only when we surrender the right to recompense to You, can we be assured that You will step in and swiftly act on our behalf.  Though it’s hard, and we want to hate and feel anger when something like this happens, we still choose to please you above satisfying our own carnal desires.  You know our hearts and You know our limitations, so meet us where we are; and be strong in the face of our weaknesses.  We believe that even the strength to forgive, to resume living after such a devastating blow, it all comes from You.  We trust You to help us in these areas, whether You bring deliverance instantaneously, or whether we must walk through it as a gradual process of releasing it into Your hands.  Help our hearts to remain tender, innocent, and our vision unjaded.  Help us to see the good which remains in our people and not only the evil that needs to be weeded out.  We are far from a lost cause!  We pull down every such notion that would suggest that we are without hope.

We ask You to help our public servants fight the war of good versus evil; and as they act in the earthly realm, we ask You to engage Your angels in a war against the spiritual wickedness in high places, the powers, the principalities, and the demonic influences that manifest the evil we see on earth.  Protect our protectors, O God, and grant them Godspeed to do their jobs with integrity, for Your Word says that they do not bear the sword in vain.  In times when we, the ordinary citizens, have opportunity to help our uniformed brothers and sisters in this fight to reclaim law and order in Mingo County, give us courage to do the right thing always!  We ask You to save those on the force who don’t yet know You or who haven’t yet put their trust in You.  And as they strive to do good and act nobly, place a special mantle of anointing on them to enforce the law with godly excellence.  Give them a spirit of discernment to sense when danger is imminent; in times when they can be spared a bad incident through merely hearing and obeying Your voice, we ask that You help them to have ears to hear and eyes to see.  We ask that you uncover the hidden things and to shine bright light into the corners where darkness lies and where plots against our protectors are made.  We ask You to close any doors of evil that may have been opened through this taking of a life.

And Father, we ask that you will keep us all united in the fight to keep our county clean and safe.  Help us to disregard political divisions of the past and present, and to honor all of those in authority over us, regardless of party affiliations and the like.  Our job is to pray for them and to treat them with respect, so if we are obedient to You in this way, You will honor our faithfulness to obey.  Help us all to take personally the responsibility to pray and to act nobly in obeying the laws of the land.  And if we cannot help someone, help us always to purpose not to hurt him or her…beginning with our words!

Finally, Father, we appeal to You to send a revival across our region, that permeates every church and every home.  May it begin with the fathers and spread to the children.  May Your Spirit manifest in a way that shows how much more powerful You are than the vices of addiction, sin, pornography, adultery, and every other evil.  Cause a work of renown to happen to where people will see the change in our region and that they will say, “Surely it was the hand of the Lord.”  And in Jesus’ name, we reject and break the spirit of Mammon off our region!  The love of money that drives drug dealers to enslave their victims, and the spirit of rebellion that causes men to call evil good and good evil, we reject them and say that they have no place in Mingo County!  Set angels around our borders with flaming swords to drive back drug dealers and instigators of sinful enslavements.  And those who will not fear You and live in an honorable, peaceful, law-abiding way, we ask You to move those people out of our county.  May this be a place where evil trembles and cannot rest until it leaves.  One can put a thousand to flight, and two can put ten thousand to flight…so raise up an army of intercessors to cover those who serve and protect us..  Your Word assures us that You will never suffer the righteous to be moved.  Give our new Sheriff, Rosie, the ability to fulfill every last aspect of the good work You began in her husband. 

 Blessed is the people whose God is the Lord!  In Jesus’ name we pray and receive strength in due time.  Amen.