Community leaders, public officials and members of the community came together to offer prayers for the city Wednesday night. People offered up prayers of wisdom, guidance and direction for the leaders in the areas of education, business, government, chartable organizations and religion at Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s Sheaffer Full Life Center.

During the time of worship several leaders in each of these fields addressed the audience and shared what was on their hearts. Here's what some of them said:

Education

The leaders who work in the education field prayed for students, educators and staff members that work daily in the city. Kermit Bridges, President of SAGU, opened up the community meeting by asking God to provide leaders with guidance and direction.

“Heavenly Father, we just thank you for men and women who serve in positions of leadership in educational institutions across this community. There are a lot of wonderful people who serve alongside me here at SAGU,” Bridges said. “We have so many good people in positions that have great challenge and that have great responsibility in investing in the lives of young people at every age level. I pray that everyone of these leaders would surround themselves with men and women who appreciate you, Lord.”

Jeremy Glenn, the Waxahachie Independent School District Superintendent, prayed about guidance for the teachers and professors in Ellis County who work with students on a daily basis.

“Heavenly Father, we thank you for the men and women who teach our children. We ask, you Father, that you would give them the words so that they might know how to respond to a broken-hearted child, a rebellious teenager, a concerned parent or another discouraged teacher,” Glenn prayed. “May their words be helpful in building others up, according to their needs. We pray that you give them the spirit to fearlessly soar across the paths of many with the message of God’s love.”

Business

People gathered in the auditorium prayed for the business leaders in city and for God’s direction in guiding city growth. Homebuilder John Houston thanked God in his prayer for the new businesses that have come to the city and the city's current economic growth. He prayed for guidance in these ventures.

“Thank you Lord, for what you are already doing in this city. The businesses, city leaders and the unity that is already there that could only be there by your spirit,” Houston said. “We thank you for Lord how you are already blessing and anointing the business here and the business owners. Just continue to guide and direct the city leaders, God, and the businesses. I pray that you would open doors for every business here that each one would be blessed and anointed.”

Dalton Stewart, who is a SAGU student, prayed for protection of the city's police and fire departments.

“Thank for these two separate departments, God. As the community continues to grow and expand through these businesses that are coming in, I ask that you would grow these departments that are there to protect us. I pray that you would give young people a heart and a burden to serve their community in these aspects, God. Whether it would be on the police force or in the fire department,” Stewart said. “I pray for the leadership in these departments, and that you would place Godly men and women in these departments that would lead in this community in the way that you would want them to go.”

Government

Prayers were then offered up the audience to people who serve in government. State Rep. John Wray prayed that God direct the action of elected officials and people running for office on how to best serve their community.

“We know that you are the source of our way of life and the source of our way of government. We thank you for that blessing. We pray that we would be good stewards of that blessing and that we would continue to deserve all of the blessing that you would shower upon us,” Wray said. “God, we thank you for those who have stepped forward to serve in elected official capacities. We thank you for those that run for those offices. We pray that they will approach it with a Godly spirit and with a righteous heart and they will seek to serve others and to serve the community. That they will have their hearts and minds open to receive your message and that they will follow that message seeking to serve others and not themselves.”

Waxahachie Mayor Kevin Strength prayed for God’s presence to move in the community and provide the city with the opportunity to be a shining light to others. In his prayer, Strength prayed people continue to work together and support each other.

Nonprofits

The audience then prayed for the work that non-profit organizations do in our community. Director of Mission 75165 Cory Lucas prayed that the members of the community would have compassion and love.

“Let us see through your eyes the needs and how to come alongside those nonprofits and those compassion ministries of our city and meet these needs that no need would be left upon us,” Lucas said. “Let us see the way you see, so we can unify and meet those.”

Andy Lehmann, who is the Mission Director at the Oaks Fellowship, prayed that the nonprofits in Ellis County have humility and have humanity for the people they encounter.

“Thank you God, for giving us this mission of care for those who are in need. There are so many organizations that are working for the good in this community. We pray that your spirit of humility would be upon them and that they would walk in the clarity of knowing what you have called them to do,” Lehmann said. “Give them wisdom and every resource that they need to do what you have given them to do, Father.”

Lehmann prayed for organizations to work together hand in hand to make this a better place and not compete because of the great need.

Churches

The final prayers of the night centered on the churches in Ellis County. In the prayers, audience members asked God for unity among the churches.

Shelli Bates, who is the worship pastor with Freedom Fellowship International, prayed to lift up each church in Ellis County.

“We lift up every church, not just our domination. In the spirit right now, we go across the demonization barriers. We seek unity,” Bates said. “We pray that the spirit of competition would die in our churches. We pray that the spirit of self promotion would die in our churches.”

Dr. Mike Clarensau, who is the Dean of Bible and Church Ministries at SAGU, prayed that the churches in Ellis County would be life-giving.

“Lord Jesus, you said you have come to give life abundance, life to the full. God, I pray that your church in this community would demonstrate that life and would dispense that life in great measure,” Clarensau said. “God, thank you for local congregations who are driven every single day with that hunger to make a difference. I pray God that you would equip your church, empower your church and help every single one of us to be your people that you died so we could be.”

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