Praying for your community
Today my friend Theresa invited me over for prayer this evening at her house. Her church is having a revival this week, and the members decided to “pave the way” for the revival through prayer at people’s homes.
Theresa and I go a long way back in friendship. She lives just around the corner from me. It doesn’t matter that she and I attend different churches now; the body of Christ is one, or it should be! Both of our hearts are that we desire for the Lord Jesus Christ to be lifted up and glorified in this community, and for His kingdom to come and His will to be done. We had a great time together tonight, praying for the city and each others’ personal prayer requests.
You can pray for your community, too. You can set aside any church doctrinal differences that you and friends or neighbors might have, and just gather together to intercede. You don’t need a whole bunch of people coming over to your house to do this. It can just be you and God, or you with one or two friends stopping by for coffee.
You can even go on a prayer walk and pray over the houses and businesses you walk (or drive) by. Go with a friend or take teams of people to pray.
The prayer time for your community doesn’t have to be a strict, religious, formal thing, praying with a formula like ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). Just pray sincerely from your heart, and God will hear your voice.
Take note of your community’s needs, and write them down. Get to know its history and find out what the important issues are in your city, politically, socially, economically, etc. A community’s history is sometimes a big key to what God wants to do in an area. For example, if a community has always been very poor and run-down, you can pray for God to remove a spirit and a generational mindset of poverty and ignorance, and for Him to begin to bless that community financially – so debts can be paid, businesses and individuals to prosper, and the gospel can be preached and even taken to the nations.
You can meet just one night to pray for your community with your friend or neighbors, or continue meeting once a week or once a month. You might be surprised at how this can grow into a full-fledged Bible study and prayer time, small group, or home church! Be led by God’s Spirit.
Pray God’s word over the community because God’s word never returns void. For example, you can pray Psalm 1:1-2 over your community: “Lord God, I pray that blessed would be the people of this community, and they would not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful, but their delight would be in the law of the Lord and in Your law they would meditate day and night.” This is a powerful way to pray for individuals or communities, because God honors His own word!
Ask God what your role in this community is. Ray and I moved to the small rural town where we’re living now over a year ago. If Ray had not gotten a job here, we would have NEVER moved to this place! I am STILL adjusting to living here. But I believe God has us here for a divine purpose. We will stay until God says go. While we are living here, I do feel that it is my place to intercede for the city and the people who live here. Ask God to give you a heart for the community where you live. God has strategically placed you there for a reason.
Your prayers are powerful and effective. They matter, and they make a difference. Ephesians 6:10-20 (Contemporary English Version) says, “Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people.”
Here are some practical ways you can pray for your community:
Pray for salvation of souls;
Pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done;
Pray for deliverance of the captives (alcoholism, drug addicts, sexual immorality, theft, rape, domestic violence, poverty, lack, debt, unbelief).
Pray for God’s financial blessings to be poured out on the community, businesses and individuals to prosper for people’s practical needs to be met (such as food, clothing, housing, utilities, and transporation), for the glory of God, and to take the gospel to the nations;
Pray for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, and that God’s love would be shed abroad in people’s hearts;
Pray for people to hunger for the Word of God;
Pray for marriages and families to be restored;
Pray for teenagers to desire God’s presence and obey Him and their parents;
Pray for God to bless the town and to remove any curse from the sins of the generations;
Pray for pastors to come together in unity because unity commands God’s blessing;
Pray for crime to be exposed and criminals to repent;
Pray for schools – public, private and homeschools – that God would anoint the staff and teachers to effectively teach the children, that the children would be protected from any unBiblical teaching, violence, drugs or immorality, and that the students would hunger and thirst for God’s presence and knowledge;
Pray for those in positions of authority such as the mayor, city council, judges, lawyers, educators, city government officials, presidents of colleges or universities, police, fire and EMS chiefs, etc. They have been raised up for such a time as this, and we are to pray for those in authority even if we personally dislike the person.
Pray for the community to become a beacon of hope and a city of light on a hill.
Pray that you will fulfill God’s will in this particular community, being used by Him to spread His love and good news to all those around you, who cross your path this year.
As you and your family, friends, and neighbors pray faithfully for your community, you will begin to see changes and will see how God is answering your prayers…even with revival! A little spark can cause a great fire!
“Our only true power is the power of prayer. When we pray, God moves from heaven. When we pray, things happen that would not otherwise happen. By prayer all things are possible.” – Dr. Ray Pritchard
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