Prayer for County Offaly (in Leinster province)
Nickname: “Faithful” County.
Motto: “Be faithful” - probably this was because it was loyal to English crown after the Norman conquest. English (Tudor) plantations swept aside the previous petty kingdoms of Kingdoms of Uí Failghe and Firceall.
The county population was 77,961 at the 2016 census.
Also known as the "King's County", named so after Philip II of Spain who, as husband of Queen Mary, was King of England and Ireland - (1554–1558) jure uxoris = “by right of his wife”.
St Ciaran founded Clonmacnoise Monastery: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clonmacnoise
St Colmcille’s Well is in Co. Offaly. Moneygall is the ancestral home of the former president of the United States, Barack Obama.
Geography: Central. Midlands. River Shannon to West; Athlone and Mullingar to the North; Slieve Bloom mountains to the south. Surrounding counties: Roscommon, Galway, Tipperary, Laois, Kildare, Westmeath, Meath.
County town: Tullamore, other major town: Edenderry. Population 77,000.
Economy: important centre for peat briquette production; extensive bogs. Grand Canal - link to Dublin. Celtic Tiger brought prosperity.
Primary School teacher AND traditional Irish musician Ashling Murphy was murdered on 12/1/2022, attacked and killed while walking along the Grand Canal just outside Tullamore, County Offaly. 31-year-old Slovak Romani father-of-five, Jozef Puška, was, in November 2023, convicted of her murder and sentenced to life imprisonment (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_Ashling_Murphy).
Some prayer points:
· As with our prayers for every county in Ireland we need to continue to pray for a healing of historical wounds and the pulling down of spiritual strongholds linked to political, social, economic, and religious strife. Pray for the Lord’s redemptive opposites to the above negatives of history, for His purposes to triumph over the enemy’s inroads, a reversal of any destructive or limiting mind-sets and wounded places in people’s minds and hearts.
· For the well of revival dug by the Celtic believers at Clonmacnoise to be reopened.
· Pray that Co. Offaly, the “Faithful County”, and “King’s County” be known for faithful believers who do not fall away from their love and allegiance to the King of kings: Jesus Christ. Pray for faithfulness in Christian marriages. Pray that Christian couple and families model beautifully the life and values of the Kingdom.
· As the family of murdered teacher Ashling Murphy continue to mourn the cruel loss of their daughter, and as the people of Tullamore and of Co. Offaly as a whole continue to process what happened, pray for the Lord’s comfort, and a healing of the trauma, also a cohesion and that the churches in the town and county will wisely and lovingly lead the way in this. There was a coming together of local churches of different denominations for the community vigil after the murder. Pray for relationships of trust and unity to continue to grow between churches, and for increased leadership, connection and outreach from local churches.
· For believers who may be feeling isolated and discouraged.
· New church plants and evangelistic endeavour across the county.
· For Christian missionaries, missional organisations such as Youth For Christ, Bible Society etc to establish themselves in the County.