The majority of the world’s population today live in large cities. In 2010, 3 out of 4 people lived in a city. Towns and even large cities have their own distinct character and history.
How do I pray for the town or city in which I live?
If you really desire to intercede for your town or city, these two books are worth reading: (1) Taking our Cities for God, by John Dawson and (2) Strategy for Cities, by John Dawson and Linda Cowie.
Before you can pray meaningfully for the place where you live, it is helpful to do some research about your town or city. This process works best when a group of people can start to research and collects information about the town or city. Here is a basic guide for gathering and categorizing information:
- The history of origin of the town or city.
- The city or town’s founder and its history.
- Which churches are present and how many people are involved in church activities?
- Which religious sects are present?
- Which false religions are active and do they have temples or places of worship?
- What is the purpose for the existence of the city and is it known for any particular activity or industry?
- Which specific social groups are in the town or city?
- How is the population composed?
- Which social welfare tendencies are observable?
- Who are the present influential people?
- Which persons or bodies govern the town/city’s economy?
- Any other relevant information.
This information is helpful, even necessary, to pray for a town or city meaningfully. It will help you to determine where Satan has strongholds in the town or city. Don’t be in a hurry in this step. Being thorough in your research now will save you years of aimless and fruitless prayer.
Demonic forces can gain a foothold in a town or city through rituals, or contracts and covenants made with demonic forces. Ask God to reveal rituals or contracts, and seek His guidance regarding how you can pray about them and resist demonic powers through prayer. Begin by worshipping God and lifting up His Name over your town or city. Proclaim His will and His promises for the town/city and its inhabitants. Start prayer groups in order to intercede systematically for your town/city. It will be necessary to teach people about spiritual warfare and intercession. Christians must learn how to intercede from a position of authority in Christ and stand against the strongholds of the evil one. They must also learn to pray from Scripture. (See the article on praying Scripture elsewhere in this issue).
Bear in mind the following: Don’t think we, our church, or our prayer group can do this alone. Involve as many churches, and most especially prayer groups, as you can. Pray specifically for the right person to lead and coordinate the initiative. Mobilize as many people as possible to pray. Don’t dominate other prayer groups or initiatives, but allow them to retain their individual character while joining with you and fellow believers to pray for your town/city.
Use the verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14 to pray for your town/city and its inhabitants. Study this verse carefully, and use it as your starting point. If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Pray for spiritual leaders of churches in your town/city to experience a deep brokenness before the Lord, and to walk with one another in unity.
Pray for policy-makers and others in positions of authority in your town/city to realize that they are accountable to God, and they should walk in the fear of the Lord, refraining from sin. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7). Use the Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5-7 to pray for people in authority.
Pray about the following aspects of society: Politics, the media, religion, culture, economics, justice in the business sector, protective services (police and prison services), health services (doctors, hospitals etc.), education (schools, colleges, universities etc.), art, recreation, sports, municipality, and the government.
The guidance of the Holy Spirit is very important. The Lord has a plan and strategy for your town/city, but you need to spend much time in prayer to find out God’s will and His leading for the different aspects of society in your town/city. Make sure you know God’s strategy and follow it.
Unity is of utmost importance. Before your town or city can be reached for God, special effort must be taken to achieve unity and sanctification within the church. Do not act before you receive clear guidance from the Lord. Don’t start rebuking Satan and trying to take authority over demonic forces before the victory has been won, and the Holy Spirit has guided you to do so. Pray for a spirit of prayer and supplication in the church, taking special note of Scriptures, such as Ezekiel 22:30- 31 and Isaiah 62:6-7.
We cannot pray for our town or city unless we love it and its people.
Ask the Lord for a prayer in your heart, such as John Knox when he prayed: “Lord, give me Scotland or I die!” And I will pour out (…) the Spirit of grace and supplication… (Zechariah 12:10). I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. (Isaiah 62:6-7). So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30).
(Taken from: Change Your World Through Prayer, by Bennie Mostert).