“Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity. Pray to the LORD for it. For as it prospers you will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7, New English Translation).
Most of us choose where we want to live. Oh, there may be some limitations if our desires exceed our budget, but we usually spend time considering many factors before making a move. We want a nice neighborhood, a good school district, and convenient shopping. We value safety and well-maintained streets. As real estate people like to say, “It’s location, location, location.”
I’d like to think it’s not only how our city can benefit us, but also how as a Christian we can benefit our city. Perhaps the most important thing we can do is pray. In reading a recent report from my city council member, I noticed revenue loss because a manufacturer closed operations. Should I make the economic well being of my community a matter of prayer? Definitely.
The words of Jeremiah in the above scripture were directed to the Israelites, who had been uprooted from their homeland and taken into Babylonian captivity. Under such circumstances, it would be so easy to complain or even grow bitter about the upheaval in their lives. But that was not what God desired from them. They were instructed to pray for the peace and prosperity of their new home. If their city prospered, they would also. That same advice is good for us today.
It’s important for us to be law-abiding citizens, but it is also important as believers to intercede for our city and cover it with prayer. The New Testament encourages us to pray for our land and especially for those in positions of leadership. I Timothy 2:1-2 says by doing so we will live quiet, peaceful lives.
“First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (NET).
Here are just a few possible prayer points:
- The protection and well being of those who live and work in our city
- That churches and pastors will boldly declare God’s truth
- The administrators, teachers, support staff, and students of our schools
- For city officials (mayor, councilmen, boards, etc.) to serve wisely and with integrity
- Protection of our police, fire, and other emergency personnel
- Local businesses to prosper
- Any problem areas such as crime, unemployment, etc.
- My own neighborhood
As our cities prosper, so will our states/provinces, and our nation. It becomes an ever-expanding circle. Let’s become an intercessor for our city. Our prayers do make a difference.
Prayer: Lord, place a burden on my heart for my city, its leaders, and its citizens. I pray for the protection, well being and blessing of each one. Give us leaders who will honor You and serve our city with integrity. Thank You for showing me the need of being an intercessor and standing in the gap with prayer.