“By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.” (Proverbs 11:11, NKJV)
While having lunch with a group of friends from my church, the subject drifted to a recent prayer gathering held in a metro neighborhood that has the reputation of being crime-ridden and unsafe. The area definitely needs prayer, but then what community doesn’t? It reminded me that it is my responsibility as a Christian to cover my neighborhood and my city with consistent prayer.
The Bible encourages Christians to become involved in making not just our city but also our nation a stronger, better place. We do not accomplish this by oratory or political posts on social media. It happens when we pray. Prayer is a powerful weapon for good.
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” (I Timothy2:1-3, NKJV)
We accomplish more by praying for our governmental leaders than by criticizing them. This does not mean we agree with their every action or condone legislation which goes against biblical principles. It does mean that we respect the position of authority, even if the one filling that position lacks integrity.
The prophet Jeremiah lived during a turbulent time in the history of the Jewish people. Because of their disobedience to God’s commands, He allowed the people of Judah to be taken captive by the Babylonians. Lives were disrupted and families torn apart as they were taken from their homeland to the land of their conquerors.
In such circumstances, most of us would find it difficult to pray for one’s captors, but that’s just what Jeremiah instructed them to do.
“And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace” (Jeremiah 29:7, NKJV).
There is wisdom in this verse of scripture. Whatever our circumstances, whatever our political views, wherever we live, it is important that we pray for the peace of our community. When there is peace in our community, there is peace in our lives. When our nation prospers, we prosper. It is not selfish to ask God’s blessings upon our land.
Here are just a few ways we can direct our prayers.
- Pray for a spiritual awakening in every neighborhood.
- Pray for God to heal lives damaged by the effects of sin.
- Pray for love and unity among diverse groups and cultures.
- Pray that leaders will serve with integrity, justice, and godly wisdom.
- Pray that good things will happen in your city.
- Pray that you will be a positive, godly influence in your community.
Our prayers have the power to change the destiny of our city, our state/province, our nation. We are assured, “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
Lord, help me to be a positive influence in my community by living a life that honors Your Word and Your commandments. Help me to reach out to others with compassion and kindness. Bless my city and its citizens with peace and prosperity.