Seeking the Welfare of Our Cities
God is making us think differently in this season. He is asking us to embrace His heart. We can no longer, as the Church, divide by the way we think politically. We can’t divide denominationally. We can’t divide racially. We are going to have to find a way, especially as leaders, to unite in a new way. To reach our communities, we are going to need to be regional and territorial in vision and mission as opposed to primarily congregational. We are going to have to find a way to work with other congregations and we are going to need to pastor our cities. As the Lord exhorts us in Jeremiah 29:7, we need to choose to be those who will seek the welfare of the city to which we have been sent.
We may have to break the city into segments, so it can be effectively reached. We may have to take a completely new look at our cities. We must always remember that in the heart of God it is not broken up, especially by who attends which congregation. So, someone in each city needs to take it on themselves as a calling to find out the condition of their cities. Some leader needs to rally the other leaders and dialogue with them what is going on in other parts of town. Some things affect whole cities, while other issues may affect only one section of a city. Looking at the health of a city means looking at every part, even the part that is not your assignment.
You likely have people within your own congregation who have a heart for a specific issue. Some love taking care of the needs of the homeless or the poor. Others have a heart for children or supporting law enforcement. Some are into community gardens or city beautification, both wonderful ways to reach the lost. Maybe there’s a group that likes to pray for city council meetings and participate in “get-out-the-vote” efforts. Others want to prayer walk their neighborhoods and local schools. Now, imagine all those in every church working together to meet all those needs. Might a city be saved in a day? I cannot think of a better time in history than right now to come out of lockdown with the welfare of our cities as our new Church vision.
“Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:7; ESV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
Worship the Lord for a while until you know you are in His Presence.
Ask Him to give you a new heart for your city.
Ask Him to let you see the city as He sees it.
Intercede for the Church to lay aside all division and differences and come together with new vision to reach your city for Christ.
Intercede for the leaders, especially to desire to look past their congregational walls to the city as a region or territory.
Pray passionately for the welfare of your city!
A prayer you can pray:
God, I worship You today with my city on my mind. I don’t care about the part of the city I live in or the church I go to. I want to line up my thoughts and my view with Yours. You want to reach a city. How does that happen? You are magnificent and benevolent, Lord. You are loving and caring, kind, and just. Give me Your heart for this city You have called me to. Whether I was born here or whether I was a transplant, my heart must connect to the region in a new, fresh way, because that is what You are saying You are calling us to.
God, let me really see this city. I want to see the good and the bad, all of it. I want to see what You love, what You established, and what the enemy is trying to do to destroy people’s lives here. Show other Believers, also. Surprise us as we come out of this secluded season. Show us that Your Holy Spirit has been at work shifting our view, and our heart, our prayers. We must grow to love others more, not divide more! God, help us to unite across every social boundary, so we can get the job done. I call forth the intercessors, the seers and the prophets. I call forth the ones called to benevolent ministries and outreaches. I call forth those called to government in every regard. I call forth those called to pray for and support our educators. I call for those who love to beautify the city, to maintain it, and to grow beautiful things for the communities to share. There are so many things we can do to love our cities to Christ. Jesus, teach us. Amen.
As the Church seeks the welfare of our cities, we will find peace.