Tuesday, November 09, 2010

City transformation

My city - transformed by sports in February 2010.
Oh that it would be transformed by the gospel!

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18

TO CHEW ON: "Finally brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you." 2 Thessalonians 3:1

For a couple of weeks last February my city was transformed. Unfortunately the transformation did not come because of the gospel, but because of the Olympics. Of course we enjoyed the citywide good will, excitement, and patriotism along with everyone else. It was as if uniting in this common task — hosting the world — had changed us from armchair critics to partners. Even late night crowds resisted their usual tendency to implode into drunken brawls. Everyone joined in on the Canada-boosting, fun, and celebration.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:1, Paul asks the Thessalonians to pray for him and his team that the word of God would run swiftly and be glorified in and through them (supposedly as they took the gospel to other cities). It had certainly had an effect in Thessalonica. Acts 17:6 describes how the Christians were accused of turning the  the world upside down.

Can we pray that the gospel will run swiftly and be glorified in us to the extent it causes city-wide reaction and transformation? I think so. A sidebar article in my Bible suggests some prayer points we can use as we intercede for our cities:

"To pray for this:
1. Base your prayer requests on biblical cases of cities being impacted by faith and the gospel (for example, Jerusalem, Nineveh, Philippi, Lystra, Jericho, Samaria, Antioch).
2. Pray for a full activation of God's love among the believers in your community (2 Thessalonians 3:5).

It is biblical to believe for a move of the gospel that will not only change you, your church, and your city, but one that will cause that grace to spread a testimony far beyond your locale (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7)."
- David Bryant, "How to Pray for Your Community or City" New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 1695.

Let's take this challenge to pray for our cities. Let's pray with faith in God "...who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ to all generations" Ephesians 3:20-21).

PRAYER: Dear God. I pray for my city, that the gospel may run swiftly and be glorified in homes, churches, workplaces, restaurants...as it spreads person to person and via radio, TV, and the Internet. May Your good news transform my city. Amen.

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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