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Thursday, May 05, 2011

National Day of Prayer--Prayer for Jackson

David and I were asked to pray for the city and county of Jackson today in Bucky Harris Park, downtown Jackson. I don't usually write my prayers out but I did for this. You can read David's prayer here. Below is my prayer:

Lord, this is not an incantation. No magic words. We hold no sway over you. We do not control you. We do not somehow release your hidden power.

YOU are our God. We are your children. This is our plea.

Mark us as a people that stand for, not against. Make our rally cries and our shouts be "Jesus." We don’t want to be known as haters and demonstrators. We want to be known by our love for You and one another.

Remind us that no city has ever changed from the outside in. Laws, standards, the right to pray, the claim of a Godly heritage, or association with a person or organization has NEVER made someone righteous. YOU change hearts.

Change our city’s view of herself. We want to hold our head high with “Your kingdom come” as the goal. Your kingdom come, not someday in the future, not as a rescue, not as an escape from something, but right here and now—changing the landscape.

Strip us of a spirit of entitlement—every one of us. Make us givers.

Help our city regain her title as an epicenter for the arts and industry. When we see the photos in businesses around Jackson of how it used to be, remind us of what it can be again.

Squash the stories of how we had a choice to host a college or a prison and chose the prison. That story is tired and damaging. And help us love those prisoners and their families—they aren’t a stain on Jackson. You’ve entrusted us with them.

We’ve seen the maps with famous movie stars and football coaches who came from Jackson. We pray those maps would include average people with extraordinary dreams who changed this place in Your name.

Remind us not to play the comparison game with surrounding cities and help us learn from one another. We don’t want a little brother or sister complex.

When we hold up our right hand resembling our state and point to that spot on our hand to show where we live, we want to do it with pride.

Our prayer is that our kids wouldn’t grow up and say, “I can’t wait to leave this town.” But, rather, "I can’t wait to invest here."

That Jackson would not be our Nineveh—no half-hearted prayers, no hatred, just complete obedience.

No longer do we want to hear “last one out of Jackson turn out the lights.” Make us an idea machine, a beacon of hope, a change agent, a city on a hill. Please.

Help make our parks and public areas safe and inviting.

We pray for jobs to become available. Instill in all of us a work ethic—working for You. Working for the kingdom.

Give us dreams and ideas dangerous to the kingdom of hell

We pray we won’t be sponges that take from the city but streams of water providing life and vitality.

We don’t want to just exist here. We want to live.

We pray we would not waste resources but protect, conserve, be good stewards, take care, and build up our city.

We ask for businesses to flourish and to be marked by generosity.

No barriers between races.

No delineation between neighborhoods

Make us proactive in issues of poverty, health, economy, and environment.

We pray for our youth center being built in this town. We pray we can create a place to invest in our kids. They are not our future. They are our here and now. We need them. Help us love them.

We pray our media outlets would be flooded with stories of redemption in Jackson.

Psalm 127:1 “Guard the city”

Unless the LORD builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.

We don’t want to be laborers that labor in vain. We don’t want to pretend to guard without You.

Proverbs 11:9-11 “Bless the city”

9 With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors,
but through knowledge the righteous escape.

10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.

12 Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,
but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.

Make us a people who bless.

In the name of our Savior. Your Son. Jesus Christ. Amen.

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