Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Praying for city transformation

Vancouver, B.C. (Pixabay.com)
Vancouver, B.C. (Photo: Pixabay.com)

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

Do you pray for your community and city? How?

A sidebar article in my Bible links 2 Thessalonians 3:1 with the thought of praying for transformation of the communities and cities in which we live:

“In 2 Thessalonians 3:1 God’s Word reveals His desire for His work to advance everywhere in the way it had advanced in Thessalonica. We have the authority of the Scriptures to pray boldly for the gospel to “run swiftly and be glorified” just as it was in that city the Holy Spirit impacted long ago” - David Bryant, “How to Pray for Your Community,” New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 1695.

Bryant goes on to suggest two things on which to base our prayers for our communities and cities:

1. We can pray that our cities and communities will be impacted like Bible cities were. Bryant simply lists Bible city names in his article. I’ve looked up the references that tell the stories of the cities he lists:
- Nineveh:
Jonah preached God’s warning of destruction. The people believed en mass, which led to the king believing too and a time of city-wide fasting, mourning, and repentance - Jonah 3:4-10.
- Jerusalem:
People in Jerusalem were amazed to hear the gospel in their own language at the coming of the Holy Spirit. They were “cut to the heart” and believed, 3,000 in one day. This continued for a time - Acts 2:5-7, 37-41, 4:33; 5:12-16.
- Samaria:
When the disciples were scattered from Jerusalem by persecution, Philip went to Samaria and preached, with city-wide results - Acts 8:4-8.
- Lystra:
When Paul healed a lame man, the whole city was in an uproar thinking Paul and Barnabas were gods come down. This receptivity gave Paul a brief opportunity to explain the gospel to the crowd - Acts 15:8-18.
- Philippi:
The stir Paul created when he exorcised a demon from a girl who told fortunes landed him and Silas in prison. The earthquake that set them free brought the jailer and his family to faith and caused the city magistrate to release them - Acts 16:16-34.

2. That there will be a full activation of God’s love among believers in our communities - 2 Thessalonians 3:5.

On the agenda for the Greater Vancouver area, where I live, is the March 3-5, 2017 Festival of Hope crusade with Franklin Graham.

What potentially spiritually impacting events are scheduled for your communities and cities?

Let’s pray for these events, that through them God will bring city- and community-wide transformation, and will nourish an activation of love among us Christians.

Dear Father, I read about these city movements and long for them in my time and place. You know we need them in our communities beleaguered with crime, drugs, poverty, and homelessness. Please work community-wide today like You did in the past. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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