Nebraska is a mid-western state in the Great Plains area. It is bordered by South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming. It is a landlocked state of 77,220 square miles. The capital is Lincoln.
The population is just short of 1.9 million, which includes some of the indigenous people (Native Americans). There is a mixture of peoples, although the majority is Caucasian.
The climate is humid continental and humid subtropical; the western half of the state is semi-arid. There are wide variations between winter and summer temperatures, and the state is also subject to major thunderstorms and tornadoes.
In terms of religion, Protestants make up 51%, Catholics 23%, no religion 20%, and other groups are less than 1% each.
The economy is largely dependent upon the agricultural sector, which includes beef, pork, corn, soybeans, and sorghum. Another large segment of the economy includes freight transport, manufacturing, telecommunications, information technology, and insurance. Nebraska also boasts the world’s largest train yard; railroads are a big part of the economy and culture.
Some interesting facts about Nebraska:
-Kool Aid was invented in 1927 and is the official soft drink of the state.
-CliffNotes, used by thousands of students, originated here.
-Nebraska is home to Warren Buffet, the second-richest man in the world.
-Former President Gerald Ford was born here.
Problems in Nebraska fall into three major categories: Property taxes, prison issues, and student violence in schools. There is an ongoing quest for relief of property taxes, with committees established to study the matter. Prisons are greatly overcrowded and understaffed. There have been riots, deaths of inmates, and escapes. In addition, there have been legislative investigations into these matters. Currently there are movements to not only expand the prison system but also to help inmates succeed once they are released. A rather alarming problem is the rate of student violence in the schools; teachers are mobilizing through the teachers’ union for the right to use physical intervention when necessary, as well as the power to remove a student from class when necessary. These factors are certainly disturbing and need resolution.
Let us pray for this state. Gracious God, we lift up the state of Nebraska for Your blessings and ministry. We praise You for the accomplishments and successes of industry and general economy. We also are glad to see the large population of Christians. Yet, we are dismayed by problems which seem to be caused by failures of people to be serving in Christian ways. We pray that the citizens, and especially the legislators, will find appropriate ways to relieve the tax burdens, looking to Scripture for teachings about money. We pray for the prison system, especially for the fact that the population of inmates is so large that management is difficult; we pray that the Holy Spirit may intercede to affect the causes of incarceration and reduce the number of those involved. We also pray for the staff members, whose job seems exceedingly difficult. We lift up the children of Nebraska and their parents so that the youth can study the ways of Christian behavior and attend school to learn in a peaceful environment. May the Holy Spirit intervene in these families also to bring about peace and positive involvement in the schools. We ask all of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Who modeled life issues of money and taxes, prisoners, teachers, and learners. Amen.