October 2, 2005 in City

West urges prayers for leaders

By The Spokesman-Review
 

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Spokane Mayor Jim West said Saturday night that local leaders need the prayers of the community.

“We elect them and assume that they are smarter than us, and they aren’t,” he told a prayer conference at the Korean Presbyterian Church in east Spokane. “… They are sinners. They have faults, any number of faults.”

West was asked to talk to the conference, which was attended by about 150 people, on how to best pray for local leaders, said Ed Cain, English pastor of the church. The evening conference was filled with prayer and song and also focused on reaching out to a diverse group of people.

The mayor, who is mired in a sex scandal and facing a recall, has been called on by the Spokane City Council and some business groups to resign. Saturday night he asked that people pray for God to walk with community leaders.

“Pray that God comes into their body and mind to give them strength, because sometimes doing the right thing is not easy,” West said. “… Pray that when they stray and that they do stupid things or that they do bad things that they can come back to the path.”

West told the crowd of about 150 people that he learned the power of prayer after he was diagnosed with cancer and people talked to him about praying for him.

“While I believed in God, I had not developed a personal relationship with God,” he said.

West, who spoke for about 10 minutes, also asked people to show tolerance for others and expressed the goal of making Spokane a “city of love.”

“God commands us to love your neighbor as yourself. He doesn’t say tolerate your neighbor,” West said. “… If we’re going to be a city and a blessed city, we must love everybody.”

The audience responded warmly to West, applauding after he spoke and offering a prayer on his behalf.


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