We Must Pray for Our Cities
Nations, including America, are in turmoil. Numerous cities are in trouble. Many have written to us deeply concerned, wanting to know what to do. First, don’t panic. These are typically the times when people are most open to Christ. The nations could not be more ripe for harvest. As we pray for this, however, we must remember to start with our cities. Too often we focus on a nation, forgetting that it is comprised of cities. We’ll never get revival for the whole if we don’t get revival for the part.
There are many apostolic leaders being raised up and mantled with passionate callings for their cities, but every believer must engage in this battle. As individuals we must pray for our city, and the corporate Ekklesia should gather together to push back the darkness and reclaim our cities for Christ.
The following poignant quote from Andrew Murray is very pertinent to the need for prayer in this hour, “The great work of intercession is needed...It is here that the coming revival must find its strength. Let there be, with every minister and worker, ‘great searching of heart’ (Judges 5:16), as to whether they are ready to give as much time and strength to prayer as God desires. Let them...give themselves in secret to take their place in the front ranks of the great intercession host.”1
In his book, With Christ in the School of Prayer, Murray also states, “God rules the world through the prayers of His saints, ...prayer is the power by which satan is conquered, and...the church distributes the powers of heaven”2
Murray is right, of course. Prayer is among the essential disciplines of our faith and practice.
Jon Bunn, a leader in Fort Worth Texas said, “One of the most critical prayer focuses we have is the harvest of souls residing within our city. People will step into eternity with Christ based on our prayer and witness. Jesus tells us in Luke 10:2 in the New Living Translation, ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields.’ (Don’t be surprised if He sends you as an answer to that prayer.) Prayer shifts atmospheres and transforms culture.”
Amos 9:13-14, again in the NLT, speaks of transforming cities. ‘The time will come,’ says the Lord, ‘when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested. Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine! I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine.’
George Otis, Jr., in his book Informed Intercession, speaks of the incredible transformation of Cali, Colombia several years ago.
The Cali drug cartel was considered the largest, richest, and most well-organized criminal organization in history, exporting 500 million dollars worth of cocaine a month. The cartel owned as many as 12,000 properties in the city. Drug money controlled everything, including the banks, politicians, and law enforcement. Crime and murder were rampant with as many as 15 people a day killed by thugs. In the spiritual arena, the church was anemic and divided.
Then God initiated a work of prayer and unity. In May 1995, over 25,000 people filled the civic auditorium and prayed all night for breakthrough in their city. Within 48 hours, Cali experienced its first 24-hour period with no homicides in as long as anyone could remember. The police force was purged of 900 cartel-linked officers. The Colombian government began to crack down on the drug lords and, with a force of 6500 commandos, captured most of the leaders.
Through unity and much prayer, the believers in Cali finally experienced their breakthrough. For years after, they held all-night prayer rallies every 90 days with thousands of people in attendance. Great openness to the Gospel existed at every level of society. Across the board, church growth exploded due to new converts; one church grew to 35,000 members - and (at the time of this writing) is still growing! Denominational affiliation and location had little to do with it. By the year 2000, this marvelous revival had gone on for 36 consecutive months.3
Incredible! Jon Bunn continues to describe the need to pray for our cities. “Our prayers and declarations release His supernatural power, which flows into the city and touches every societal level. Many of us face cities filled with challenges and failures in education, city and county leadership, business, poverty, homelessness, violence, and fear. Without God, there is confusion and an aimless emptiness that, often by default, advances the agenda of evil. We must believe and pray that our cities will encounter God’s life and power. Only Jesus can change our cities and nation. Remember, as you pray for your city’s health and well-being, God will respond.”
Intercessors for America gives us some ways to pray for our cities:
"1) Pray for spiritual awakening in the churches of your city.
Pray the Scriptural prayers found in Ephesians 1:15-21, 3:14-21; Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:9-12, 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 3:10-13, 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, 2:16-17, 3:1-5; and Hebrews 13:20-21. Insert the name of congregations and assemblies in your city, asking God to bring the fullness of Jesus’ life into the church.
2) Pray against the spiritual strongholds of darkness over your city.
3) Pray for the leadership and authorities in your city.
Such as the mayor, the city council, police chief, school board, etc. ( 1 Timothy 2:1-4).
4.) Ask God to bless your city.
“Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted” Proverbs 11:11. The greatest blessing God can send is Jesus Christ, who will turn people from their wickedness, and bring them salvation Acts 3:26.
5) Pray for the welfare of your city.
6) Pray for the people of your city to turn to God.
7) Pray for your city to support righteousness and goodness.
“When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy” Proverbs 11:10.4"
May we see revival among the nations as a result of our intercession for our cities!
“...their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought in the other boats, and soon all the boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.” (Luke 5:6 NLT)
Pray with me:
“Father, we bless our cities in Jesus’ name. They are in great need of You. Open our eyes to see the reality of our cities, both good and bad. Forgive us for not paying closer attention to what is going on in them. We believe You have placed each of us exactly where You want us; You have a purpose for where we live and work. Grant us compassion for the needs in our communities. Give us Your plan for these cities.
We call the governing structures of our cities into order. We ask for the right individuals to run for city councils and school boards. We decree peace over our cities - protect law enforcement, giving them wisdom to do their jobs of protecting us well and without fear. Let businesses thrive. We ask for answers to any systemic problems. Lord, show us where and what to pray to uproot enemy strongholds in our cities.
We expect Your great end-time harvest and we ask You to send laborers into the fields which are white and ready for harvest. Use us in the coming revival. Release Your kingdom and power throughout each of our cities with signs, wonders, and miracles. Invade every area of our cities in every mountain of influence. Unite the churches - the size of the catch will be big enough for all houses of worship to participate. Prepare us to disciple these new believers. Strengthen us to see Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ Name we ask these things. Amen.
Transformational revival is coming to cities all over the world. America [Your nation] shall be saved!
Pastor Jon Bunn contributed to today’s post. You can find out more about him here.
3 George Otis Jr., Informed Intercession (Ventura, Calif.: Regal, 1999)