Our community gathered virtually on Tuesday, September 15th for an unusual, but wonderful 6th annual Prayer Breakfast. Jake Speck, Executive Director, A.D. Players, gave an inspirational address about the amazing power of the arts.

“The arts have the power to move people in a way that nothing else can. Music, stories, paintings, dance, sculpture, these things evoke responses from the human spirit that other mediums simply do not. And it is in times of great stress and uncertainty that the arts are needed the most. Where did everyone run to at the beginning of the pandemic? They ran to artists! Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, virtual museum tours, living room concerts! Art brings us comfort in times of trouble, it challenges us in times of struggle, it lifts our spirits in times of sorrow and it educates us in times of confusion. Remove the arts and artists from a community and you remove the very soul of that community. God hardwired human beings to learn, to grow, to empathize with others through experiencing the arts. I believe that. Why do you think Jesus uses stories so much throughout the Bible? Because he knew how good of a tool the arts were to teach us things. Will any of the students that come through the Newspring program go on to be a professional artist? Maybe. But that’s not really the point. Will the education they receive and the artistic and emotional vocabulary they develop here help them to become a more empathetic, creative, expressive and purpose driven member of their community? Without question.”

Following Jake’s powerful message, prayers of hope for our Spring Branch community and beyond were lifted up by Community leaders for our schools, healthcare workers, service agencies, churches, businesses and all the people of our area. At the end of the prayer offerings, many people added their prayers to the “chat” feature on the Zoom meeting.  Together, they form a wonderful tapestry of heartfelt prayers


  • I love you, Father Dan! Thank you for always being so inclusive in your prayers! Thank you for always lifting up our community. Good morning!
  • I pray God’s love and Holy Spirit will cover our world
  • I pray for the school IT staff who are helping those kids and teachers who are using Zoom for classes.
  • Thank you Dr. Blaine for leading our community with strength, grace, and integrity.
  • Prayers for those affected by Sally and still recovering from Laura
  • Lord, please protect the teachers, staff, students and families of St. Jerome Catholic School and protect them against this terrible pandemic.
  • Prayers for our school administration to make wise and compassionate decisions for our families in Spring Branch
  • Dear God, I pray for our community to come together and support one another on behalf of our students academic, mental, social and emotional well-being.
  • Lord I give thanks for the resources to keep struggling businesses alive during this difficult time.
  • Holy Father, I pray for all those whose lives were crumbling before the pandemic even happened.
  • Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers for those suffering from COVID-19.
  • Those in the west fighting the wildfires and those who have been and are being affected
  • I pray for the school administrations to find save solutions for teachers, staff and students to return to school safe.
  • Prayers for all of the families in Spring Branch and throughout Houston facing eviction from homes, loss of jobs and hunger
  • Please help the many individuals seeking employment to find jobs that will sustain their families. So that they may set aside their strain and find joy in daily life.
  • For more love and less hate and for Gods light to shine in all dark places.
  • I pray for all educators and spiritual leaders who are mentoring the students in our community during these very uncertain and polarizing times. Give them strength, knowledge, peace and health.
  • Lord, thank you for your grace and mercy through these challenging times. We know you will never forsake us. Heal our hearts and minds as we continue to serve you faithfully in Spring Branch and greater Houston. Give us wisdom, compassion and energy. Amen
  • Thank you Lord for unifying us in Your Spirit
  • I pray for faith based community leaders and followers to work for inclusiveness, diversity and peace in our communities and the world.
  • Prayers for Newspring and all the many volunteers. May the children and youth who we name in our hearts be touched and connected.
  • I pray for Dr. Blaine, Linda Buchman, and our school leaders as they work tirelessly to do the right thing in the face of a new and unknown time dealing with the virus and how it affects students in our schools. Give them strength and wisdom and rest.
  • Lord, may these prayers be felt by all who need them.
  • Thank you, Lord, for the hope and the peace that only you can give. Thank you for blessing our community with a cloud of witnesses so strong in the faith. Help us to stay strong & move forward, serving You.
  • Prayers for all of our teachers, administrators, and staff at our schools. Grateful for all of you.
  • Than you Lord for the beautiful and heartfelt prayers lifted up by the presenters. Thank you for the inspirational words by Jake that displayed the importance of art in the world. Personally, I loved that. God lift up all we serve, that I may personally impact someone everyday with creativity through words or art that glorify you and make the world better. Thank you for all of our leaders, in the nation and our Houston community, who lead and serve everyday with tenacity, creativity, inspiration and grit. In Your Name.
  • Thank you Father for the wonderful opportunity to praise your holy name! Thank you that you raise a hedge of protection over everyone especially our precious children. You are our hope and if you are for us, who can be against us in Jesus’ name.
  • Thank you God for the opportunity we have to help others. Please point out to us these needs and help us to respond strongly.
  • Father God, you are awesome! You are awesome in your love for us all and in your Spirit that guides many who try to live lives to touch others so that they too will know your love. Some of those, who try to touch others, are the people of Newspring. Lord Jesus I pray that you continue to bless and guide the people of Newspring so that they may provide love and guidance to the children who partake in NS programs. I pray that you will help the business owners and employees who live and work in Spring Branch so that they can bring the satisfaction work and provide economic support to the residents and families of Spring Branch. In Christ’s name I pray.
  • Thank you for all the beautiful words we have heard in your name this morning. We love you, Lord.
  • Prayers for the youth and students who are frightened and distressed. May we comfort them and support them.
  • Thank you Lord for everyone who has joined in prayer this morning.
  • Lord, help us to be a light in the community and a beacon of hope to those who are struggling during this time. May each teacher be girded with strength, patience, wisdom, and ingenuity to instruct in new and innovative ways.
  • For those who win their elections in November that they may be successful in unifying our country
  • Heavenly Father…today…business owners, executives, managers, and workers throughout the Houston community face unprecedented challenges.We pray that you will provide them with the wisdom and grit they need to be successful in their endeavors. Lord, we pray that through their initiative, innovation, and integrity they will serve as Christ’s hands and feet; that their efforts will lift up all in our community by providing them with the opportunity to experience the joy of producing valued services and products; and, that each dollar they earn will be multiplied and shared so that families in our community can thrive without financial worry.Lord, we pray that through your grace, our business leaders and workers will recognize your hand at work in their lives and give you their love and their thanks for all of the gifts that you have bestowed upon them. In your Son’s name we pray. Amen.
  • For all children to come to know their worth in Christ Jesus through each of our personal example.
  • I pray for a season of healing for our divided nation and for the peace that comes from truly loving our brothers and sisters.
  • Lord, please heal my nephew. Leo is only 20 and was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. Give his parents strength to go through this. Thank you Lord! Amen
  • Father God, you are good all the time. Continue to show your mercy on us here in Houston as we struggle with the demands of COVID; schools starting; stretched and weary essential workers who show up every day to serve others. Send compassion and patience to us. With You we can get through these storms. In your precious name we pray. Amen
  • Holy Father, I pray for the next president of our country and for unity in our beloved country
  • Father, in this unusual time for all of us, help us to live out your teaching from the Lord’s Prayer – “thy will be done.” Through the power of your Holy Spirit, help us to let go of our desires so that our desires become your desires. Help us to let go of your timing and embrace your pace. Help us to let go of our desired results and acknowledge that you are in charge of the results. Let us embrace your providence and sovereignty and trust you with all our hearts, minds, and souls. Amen
  • Lord, May blessing, protection and guide be with Newspring community!
  • Lord, thank you for the blessing of our daughter, Shannon, who is celebrating her birthday
  • We are so grateful to our partners and friends at Newspring and for the many lives changed, hearts filled with hope and love sent out into our community as a result of the efforts and deep care of so many- In my faith tradition, the week ahead is the celebration of the birthday of the world and our New Year 5781- May all be blessed with a year of peace, health, happiness, meaning and love.
  • For us to be the hands and feet of Jesus to all that we meet today
  • I pray for all these great people in this meeting!
  • Pray for healing and strength for 2 dear friends battling ovarian cancer – both stage 3 – one ending chemo treatment and one beginning chemo this week.
  • For Newspring scholarship recipients who are continuing their education in college
  • Our community is wounded, Lord, so come, Great Physician! Bind us up and release us to be wounded healers.
  • Prayers for all dealing with cancer.
  • Thank you Robert, for your vision, and for making this dream possible! Love you.
  • Prayers for all students to stay connected to their classmates and teachers and they would continue to learn and grow in these challenging situations. Prayers for all parents – patience and wisdom and understanding.
  • God, Let us recognize and accept that what need more than anything is LOVE!
  • Thank you for teachers!!!!
  • Father, help us to make time to listen to you. Isaiah 55:3 says, “Incline your ear. Come to me and hear, that your soul will live.” Help us to make space for listening in our busy lives so that our souls will live.
  • Praise be to You, God, for your amazing power and provision.
  • Thank you Mary, for your gift of song. Beautiful.
  • This is the best morning I have had in a very long time. Thank you!
  • Thank you all!!! Amen to our prayers!!

2019: The 5th annual prayer breakfast was a blessed event as more than 90 people gathered at St. Jerome Catholic Church, to break bread together and pray for our community. After a welcoming prayer and comments by Father Dan Scheel of St. Jerome, Robert Westheimer, Newspring founder, took guests on a narrative tour of Spring Branch describing the community and its needs. Prayers were then offered for the schools by Jennifer Parker, Community Superintendent S.B.I.S.D., followed by Josh Anderson, Houston Fire Department Captain, who prayed for the safety of the community and the Rev. Joseph Rios, Pastor of Generations Church who offered prayers for the churches and mission organizations of Spring Branch. Dr. Phil Johnson, Vice-Chair, UT Health Science Center prayed for the health and well-being of Spring Branch residents and Terry Sabom, Newspring board member, offered a prayer for the workers and businesses in Spring Branch. The morning was truly enriching and full of grace. It ended with guests taking a few moments to write their prayers for Spring Branch residents and businesses on table notes to be shared on the Newspring website. A final benediction was offered by Martha Moore, Teacher in Residence at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church.


2018: The 4th annual prayer breakfast was a blessed event as more than 80 people gathered at St. Jerome Catholic Church, inside their new activity center (wonderful!) to break bread together and pray for our community. After a welcoming prayer and comments by Father Dan Scheel of St. Jerome, keynote speaker, Dr. Scott Muri, president of Spring Branch ISD addressed the guests with his take on how he sees God in the life and work of the school district.

Prayers were then led by Reverend Andres Zelaya, Christ the King Presbyterian Church, followed by community leaders Mary Card, Impact Mentoring, and Anna Coffey, The Women’s Home. Robert Westheimer, founder of Newspring, offered a prayer for the workers and businesses in Spring Branch. The morning was truly enriching and full of grace. A benediction was offered by the Reverend Barbara Retzloff, Pines Presbyterian Church, to close the morning. Afterwards, guests took a few moments to write their prayers for Spring Branch residents and businesses.