In Jeremiah 29:7, Jeremiah challenges the children of Israel who were in exile in Babylon to: “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” While most of us are not “exiled” to the city in which we live, the fact remains that there is a spiritual and physical benefit when believers and churches pray for their community.
Trey and Mary Anne Kent have recently written a Scripture-based, 40-day prayer guide, Praying God’s Word Over Your City, to equip believers to pray regularly for the community. Trey is the founder and a leader in the Unceasing Prayer Movement in Austin, Texas, which has rallied more than 100 churches to cover Austin in 24/7 prayer. The story of this movement and how this could happen in any city, is told in City of Prayer, by Trey and Kie Bowman. Praying God’s Word Over Your City covers the 7 key areas on which to focus prayer that the Austin Movement developed:
- Pray for Unbelievers to be Saved
- Pray for a National Spiritual Awakening
- Pray for the Unity of the Church
- Pray for Families
- Pray for Racial Reconciliation
- Pray for Life to Be Valued and Protected through All Stages of Life, Beginning at Conception
- Pray for Governmental Leaders
Each day has a Scripture verse or passage, a brief thought about it, a written prayer to pray, and 5 or 6 prayer points to use as you pray. The book can be used in an all-church 40-day prayer initiative, but also by prayer guide to use regularly to pray over your city.
Here are several sample days:
Pray for Laborers for the Harvest
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37–38)
The greatest need in our community is not only for the lost to be saved, but for the saved to become harvesters. How does this happen? It all begins with prayer. Jesus taught his disciples, and therefore he is teaching us, to cry out to the Lord of the Harvest asking him to ignite in us the passion and give us the power we desperately need to reach and disciple the lost.
Lord of the harvest, I cry out to you today in joyful obedience to your Word. You are full of love for the lost. Give me your passionate desire and love to see the lost come to know Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord. It gives me great faith to know that you want me to begin with you, as the source and power to bring people to salvation. I begin in prayer now, asking for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit to empower me to be an effective and loving evangelist in my family, workplace, neighborhood, and community.
Make me a passionate harvester like the disciples were in the book of Acts. Do miracles, convict hearts, and empower believers to make much of Jesus today in my city. Make the name of Jesus first on every believer’s heart, and prepare the unbelievers to meet us today as we interact in life. Make reaching out to those without Christ my joy. Remove fear, frustration, and insecurity from my heart and mind. Overwhelm me with your love as I long to be a reconciler of the lost with you. Use me in a way that causes those in need of Christ to look to him as Savior and Lord. Jesus, convince me and fellow believers that this is the greatest work of the church—to seek and save the lost as you did when you walked the earth. Thank you for affirming that you are both for me and with me as I step out in faith today to be a harvester. I thank you in advance that you are making me a fruitful and faithful witness for Christ today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Ask for forgiveness for letting fear and the world stifle your evangelistic fervor.
- Seek God for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit today to empower you with boldness.
- Rejoice that God is for you and with you in this mission.
- Intercede for family members, neighbors, and fellow church members to be mobilized as harvesters.
- Pray specifically for lost family, friends, work associates, and neighbors.
- Ask that you can be a clear and loving witness for Jesus Christ as soon as possible.
“The missionary church is a praying church. The history of missions is a history of prayer.
Everything vital to the success of the world’s evangelization hinges on prayer.”
— John Mott
Pray for Personal and Corporate Revival
When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13–14)
God places the responsibility for revival upon his children. He gives us a clear and concise strategy to compel us to remedy tragedies in our society and to be a part of seeing true and lasting revival in our land. Some have claimed this promise is only for Israel, but they are gravely mistaken. The Bible says all the promises of God are yes for us in Christ! Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, was referring to the Old Testament promises. They are ours to claim and embrace as we trust God for a new work of grace in our communities.
Father, I pray today, in keeping with your ancient remedy for the ills of society and your benevolent promise for a healed land, that you would send revival, and start with me! Do a work of grace inside me that causes me to humble myself, pray, seek your face, and turn from my wicked ways. I need a revived heart and life more than anyone else. Gracious Father, as you revive me, would you revive my family as well? Cause passion for Jesus to be the norm in our family line. Let no one go to hell who is a part of my family.
May this revival spread to my church! Cause holy fire for you and your name to consume our church family. May this love for Jesus overflow from my church and impact my neighborhood and the neighborhoods around our church families. May this revival that we long for transform our city! May our community experience everything Jesus died and rose again to do here. May our city impact our state. Please revive our state, making each city a place where Jesus is treasured and exalted. May our state be a champion for revival in our nation. May every part of our country blaze with holy zeal for the Lord. And, may our nation be a tool in your hand to spread a hunger and thirst for Jesus to the nations of the world. Father, let it begin with me, but let it not end there. I ask that the knowledge of God would cover the earth like water the sea. Let me see this in my lifetime! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
- Seek Jesus for a personal revival in keeping with 2 Chronicles 7:14.
- Intercede for believing family members to be set ablaze for Christ.
- Ask God to send revival to your local church.
- Request from God to send a revival that would impact your neighborhood.
- Believe God for the church in your state to be ignited with Holy fire for God.
- Pray for a National Spiritual Awakening
- Cry out for God to send a historic awakening to your nation.
- Plead with God to send revival to specific nations he puts on your heart.
“Second Chronicles 7:14 is revival on God’s terms.” — Dr. Walter Kiser, Jr.
Taken from Praying God’s Word Over Your City by Trey and Mary Anne Kent (PrayerShop Publishing). Click for more information or to order this resource.