Cap's Corner: God spoke to me with a prayer for Blackwell

by Cap McIlnay

I have had many conversations about the future of our community throughout the years that I have been here. I have heard many people that are praying to God for our community. I have heard that people have had visions about Blackwell given to them by God; in these visions, they witness a growing, thriving Blackwell. Yet, with all of this praying – and with all of these visions and talks of a better tomorrow – Blackwell seems to be getting worse.

We have trouble with our water, we have trouble with our roads, we have trouble with our schools, we have trouble with our hospital, and we have trouble with our political leaders. It does not seem to me that Blackwell is improving, but that it is, in fact, still declining.

I am one of those that have been praying. There are days and times that I just drive around and see the once proud homes now in disrepair. I see the lack of pride in how our own lawns and neighborhoods look. I see and feel the sense of hopelessness that has enveloped our community. This hopelessness has been slowly strangling our community for many years – for decades, in fact.

We have replaced hope with drugs; we have replaced hope with porn; and we have replaced hope with desperation that we will win big at a casino only to lose even more. We have replaced hope with a sense of, “Why even bother?” All too often, we have replaced hope with sin.

Last Sunday morning, as I was driving around before church, I was praying, AGAIN, for the Spirit of the Lord to come down to heal us, to revive us, and to save us.

In the past, I never got an answer, but this time I did.

This is what the Lord said to me: “I have plans for Blackwell, plans that are good, a future that is good for Blackwell … I always have. However, Blackwell has turned from me. Like the days of ancient Israel, I will hold the community accountable just as the person. Write a prayer that is to be shared – a prayer that the community of Blackwell is to pray, and if Blackwell returns to me, I shall open the gates of Heaven and bless your community again.”

“Great,” I thought. But the only problem is that God did not give me the prayer. Normally, I take a nap on Sunday afternoons, but not this Sunday. How could I do that with this pressure to write a prayer for the entire community? I have true doubts about my ability to do so, but I have full faith that, no matter how poorly I write one, He can and will use it according to His glory.

This is that prayer:

Father God,

We have turned away from you again and again. We have failed to be kind to each other, we have failed to be forgiving of one another, and we have failed to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

We do not know what our future will be, but we know that without You, we will not have one. Father God, please forgive us for all of our sins, for all of the evil things that we have done to ourselves, and to each other. Please remove the stain of sin that is on our community, even from the founding of Blackwell to the present.

We know that your word is true, and that if we return to you, you will accept us and restore us. We need saving, and Father God you are the only one that can save us.


Please, my brothers and sisters, help me get our community and our town to come back to Christ – to repent. My first year here, I had a dream – a dream that I have only shared with my wife. In this dream, I saw Blackwell become a praying community, so much so that a large crowed filled both sides of the football field not for a game, but for prayer.

So many of us have been placing our hopes that some big factory or company will decide to move their operations to Blackwell, and we think that will save us. There is a greater chance of us winning the lottery.

There is only one that truly can save our community. It is not our political leaders, it is not the Chamber of Commerce, and it is not even the Board of Tourism. The only one that can save our community is our Father God, who created us, loves us, and wants us to be safe and happy. What father wouldn’t want this for his kids?

Give this prayer to everyone. Get these people – our people – to start praying, to start asking for forgiveness, and to start being obedient to God by treating each other and ourselves with love and respect. Then, sit back and watch just how glorious our God is, how faithful our God is, and how much our God loves us: His children in the Blackwell community.