County Name: Contae an Dúin (Irish) - Coontie Doon/Countie Doun (Ulster-Scots)
Nickname: Mourne Country
Motto: Absque Labore Nihil (Latin) "Nothing Without Labour"
Population: 531,665. Belfast – the eastern suburbs of the city lie partly in County Down but mainly in County Antrim.
A brief history (primary source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/County_Down ):
· From the 400s–1177 County Down formed a central part of the kingdom of Ulaid. Ulaid was a frequent target of Viking raids in the eighth and ninth centuries, however fierce local resistance prevented the Norse from setting up permanent settlements in the region.
· Saint Patrick is reputed to be buried at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, reputedly alongside St. Brigid and St. Columcille.
· Saul, County Down is where Saint Patrick said his first eucharist in Ireland.
· The region was invaded by the Normans in 1177.
· From the 1180s–1600s the region saw waves of English and Scottish immigration.
· The county was privately planted during the Plantation period (16th–17th centuries).
· During the Williamite War in Ireland (1689–1691) the county was a centre of Protestant rebellion against the rule of the Catholic James II.
· The city of Newry in the south of the county contains St Patrick's (Church of Ireland, 1578), which is considered to be Ireland's first ever Protestant church.
Prayer Points. (Taken from pointers sent in by a prayer leader in County Down):
· For a powerful moving of God’s revival Spirit right along both sides of the Strangford Lough, from Donaghadee to Portaferry on the east side and from Comber to the Mournes.
· For unity and gathering together of God’s people for worship and prayer.
· Use Isaiah 35 as a prompt and encouragement for prayer.
· The county motto "Nothing Without Labour" speaks of a strong work ethic in the county. Scripture echoes the importance of this but also points to the need to acknowledge and rely on the Lord as the lead builder in the Kingdom of God: see Psalms 127:1:
“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labour in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (NKJV)
· Let us pray for all the labourers in the Kingdom of God in County Down – that they will not tire themselves out in their own efforts and endeavours, but be led by the Holy Spirit and filled with His strength for the task.
· Pray also for the Watchmen and Watchwomen that they will be filled with the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation and know the Holy Spirit that helps us pray in the Spirit what is on God’s heart: Romans 8:26-27.