Praying for Your City
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it. (Luke 19:41)
Jesus was so moved with compassion over a city, that He wept. He wanted Jerusalem to be transformed—to be awakened—so He wept and prayed.
The transformation of a city doesn’t automatically happen. It is prayed into being by people who see their city as God sees it and by people who have truly bought into the land they are living on. Transformation will not happen if we don’t love the land we possess; it will only happen when we lay hold of God’s intended destiny for our city and don’t let go!
This process is never easy. We tend to pray prayers for God to make our lives more comfortable—but if we want to see a city transformed it will be anything but comfortable prayers. Change is never comfortable yet change is inevitable when you want transformation!
From the mayor’s office to the business owners—from the sanitation workers to the bank presidents—all will be affected. When God starts moving and things start shaking, the effect is widespread. So before you begin seeking God for your city and its salvation, you must accept the fact that change will come and it won’t always be comfortable.
We need to make it hard to go to hell from our cities. Your city should be the most prayed over city in America! Hell is real and we should not want anyone we come in contact with to go there. If a person is not born again, there will come a day when they will wish they had never been born. What better motivation is there to cry out for our cities?
If we are not the ones to take responsibility for our cities, then who will? Satan wants to control territories so he can control people. We know him to be the prince and power of the air, but this also puts him in control of the land. Calvary gave us the right to take back what satan controls and we do this through faith, prayer and fasting!
We must learn about the land God has given us to possess. Study your city’s foundation. Who founded the city and for what purpose? The foundation affects the outcome. What is your city’s purpose? You will discover this through studying the history of your city. God will reveal more of it to you in your prayer times. Cities have purposes just as individuals do. Is your city fulfilling satan’s purpose or God’s?
We did spiritual mapping in the city of Blytheville, Arkansas. We mapped out all the places of evil influence and all the places of excellent intentions. There is a wall size map of Blytheville in the church office with these places marked as a reminder. I took a prayer team to all the evil strongholds and we walked around them and prayed for their demise. We also prayed for the prosperity of the Christian places and businesses. We are taking back our territory for God! It has been amazing what has transpired.
When we began our journey to reclaim the city for God, it was in the poorest county in Arkansas with the highest crime rate, the highest teenage pregnancy rate and any other negative statistic you can imagine. There was more negative talk on the streets than positive and oppression filled the land, but this is no longer the case. It’s attracting industry, the crime rate has dropped dramatically and there are articles in the paper about the happiness seen in the faces of the employees of the city. There is a steady stream of editorials from out of town people complimenting the people of Blytheville and the presence that is in the town. And this is a poor delta town! This is not a sunny beach side community, but God presence is prevailing.
It is not always about the location or beauty of an area that attracts people—it is a presence. And when you can pray the presence of God into your city the transformation will be remarkable!
I must warn you this doesn’t happen quickly. Satan is not going to willingly give you control of the atmosphere of your city. There will be much spiritual warfare, there should be many prayer meetings, there will need to be prayer walks scheduled. Go to the four corners of your city and declare victory over your land. Get other churches involved in your prayer effort. Have all ages in your church praying in one accord for the taking back of your territory. There is power in unity. Pray many scriptures over your city—Prayer will work, but it will be hard work!
The following is one of the prayer guides we used in praying for our city.
Our congregation prayed this one daily for one month. We prayed:
- For transformation of our city
- For God to remove spiritual powers of darkness
- For God’s light to bring many to abundant life
- For our leaders to openly honor God
- For righteousness to be established so blessings can flow
- For relationships to be restored throughout our cities
- For the Word of God to be understood
- For our eyes to be opened to what God sees for our city and county
- For God to make us life giving streams to help in the restoration of this land
- For the glory of God to be made known in our cities!
The need of prayer is constant—the urgency is evident—the place is your city.
Let’s reclaim the land for God one city at a time!