Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
This year's Seek God for the City campaign is just around the corner! Join in the prayers in this discussion thread. Click the picture for the Seek God for the City web page (at waymakers.org), where you can find more information about the prayer resources available.
A companion prayer guide for use with children is attached to this discussion. This children's prayer guide is also available on the SGFC web page as a free download and is freely reproducible.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." -- Ephesians 3:20-21
Week 1, Day 1: Wednesday, Feb. 10
Father, thank you for the wonderful gift of salvation and for the ways in which you revive your people again and again. Out of these revivals, Lord - whether individual or corporate - please bring lives fully devoted to you. May the experience of your presence change us as a people - changing our hearts, aligning our priorities with yours, putting kingdom concerns at the center of our lives. As you empower us to love you with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves, draw others to yourself by the joy that they see in us and the love that they experience from us.
Father, please watch over our children. What a loving gift from you they are! Arrange their paths so that they are able to hear and receive the gospel at an early age. Equip parents to share your love with their children and to help them grow up in you. Heal the wounds in the lives of so many children, Lord - whether emotional, physical, or spiritual wounds. Protect them from danger and guide their paths in ways that lead not into temptation but rather into the heart of your will for them. Bless our children with stable family situations, and where there is need of reconciliation, please grant the humility and repentance that can lead in that direction.
Lord, send forth your word to the farthest corners of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, and the Bahamas. Hasten the day when every people group in these countries has access to your word and to a vibrant, growing church. Send out workers into the spiritual harvest fields in these countries and break down any obstacles that stand in the way of the spread of the gospel. Strengthen your church in both doctrine and practice of your word. Make her into a body that cares for its members and that reaches out beyond its walls.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Week 1, Day 2: Thursday, Feb. 11
Father, please reveal the enormity of your love to many in our city. To believers who struggle to fully realize the depth of your love. To non-believers who need to know that there is a God who loves them. To children deprived of love from their parents. May your love be known far and wide in our city. Reveal yourself to your people and through your people to those far from you.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on the homeless. Please grant immediate relief in the form of shelter, food, and health care. Protect those who are out in the cold of winter - protect them from violence on the streets and from the elements. And on a larger scale, grant hope for the future - hope based not on a shaky economy but rather on the certainty of your love and salvation.
Father, thank you for the spiritual openness of Brazil. Fill that openness with the knowledge of you. Protect Brazilians from the darknesses of spiritism, cults, and animism. Instead, reveal yourself both through supernatural means and through the lives and words of your people, and the compassion of your church. Thank you for the ways in which you are addressing corruption in government and for the improvements made there. Please give the country's leaders wisdom to address issues of poverty and crime, and hearts of service on behalf of all the people.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Week 1, Day 3: Friday, Feb. 12
Father, please fill your people with renewed hope for your glory to be revealed in our day. Give us a sense of your imminent presence - not just in the future, but today. Teach us to watch for you in each day, in all our encounters and activities. Remind us when we're discouraged by what we see around us that you are still in control, and that the story has been written.
May the joy and hope we have in you be seen by those around us who are far from you. Please draw them to yourself. Place in them a hunger for the hope that we have in you. Cause them to thirst for truth and righteousness.
Father, please intervene on behalf of women in our society who are used and abused. We long to see women treated with respect and honored in their unique glory that you created. Please bring a halt to injustice toward women everywhere - from discrimination in wages in this country to places where they have no rights around the world. Bring down the purveyors of prostitution, pornography and other systemic exploitation of women. Bring an end to human trafficking in our day. Renew hope for those who have been entrapped; rescue them and restore them.
Thank you, God, for the miraculous turnaround you have brought to Bellavista Prison in Colombia. Thank you for turning hearts toward yourself, for changing the lives of hardened criminals. You demonstrate over and over, Lord, that you indeed are greater than he who is in the world. Thank you for the Bible studies, prayer, fasting, and evangelism taking place in the prison; for the Christian radio station and Bible Institute that you have raised up there. May the lives that you change in this prison have multiplied impact on Colombian society on the release of each prisoner.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Week 1, Day 4: Saturday, Feb. 13
Father, please guide your people more strongly than ever. Guide us by your word, by the instruction of godly leaders, by the presence of your Spirit in our lives and hearts. Clarify our minds from the confusion of declining morality. Cause believers to walk in your righteousness. Make of your people agents of transformation in the workplace, in the community, and in all spheres of life.
Lord God, please bless and complete the singles in our community. Fill their hearts with the love of Christ, grant deep and meaningful friendships. Please keep Christian singles pure sexually, free from temptation, and fulfilled in their walks with you. For those whom you are leading to eventually marry, please prepare the pathway for strong marriages and families. Grant healing to those who are single as a result of divorce or death - soothe their grief and comfort them. Bring alongside them others who can help them spiritually and emotionally.
Father, please strengthen and resource your church in the Dominican Republic. Help the church to move away from dependent relationships with foreign organizations; provide for her the resources she needs to take real leadership in the DR. Please also call several strong church leaders to stay in the country to provide guidance, leadership, and vision for the church. Raise up more leaders through the Bible schools and the National Evangelical University. Make your church a transformative force in DR culture and society.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Week 1, Day 5 - Sunday, Feb. 14
Father, please reinvigorate believers who have lost their zeal for you and for the advancement of your kingdom. Apart from you, Lord Jesus, we can do nothing - can bear no fruit. So please draw near to believers who are not bearing fruit for your kingdom today. Sustain them with your Spirit and place in them a passion to see your kingdom move in their lives and advance around them. Lead us all in spiritual disciplines that will draw us near to you - not in legalistic forms, but in time-proven priorities, activities, and disciplines that will form your heart in us.
Thank you, Lord, for all the international visitors that you bring to the United States. Thank you for students, workers, businesspeople, and tourists. Please reach out to the internationals who come from countries where they may not be exposed to your word. Raise up your church to proclaim to them the truth of the gospel and to live that out in their sight. Make their time in the United States a watershed time in their lives, changing the spiritual trajectory of those who are far from you - and returning many of them to their homelands as witnesses for you, just as you sent the demoniac back into the Decapolis to tell of what God had done for him.
Father, please bring healing to El Salvador from centuries of oppression and from over a decade of civil war. Raise up leaders who can make wise decisions to restore infrastructure and provide for those in need - servants who will put the people first. Root out any corruption in government and make leading and serving the people the top priority. Raise up your church as an agent of transformation. Grant real kingdom impact to the Christian schools, universities, and media outlets. Bring quickly the day when all peoples in El Salvador interact meaningfully with the Gospel.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Week 1, Day 6: Monday, Feb. 15
Father, please send forth your word to all who are far from you in our cities and communities. Remove the barriers that are keeping them from knowing you - barriers of materialism, false religion, culture - whatever they may be. Your word is truth, Lord - so cause those far from you to seek the truth with all their hearts.
Please also revive churches in our cities and communities that are struggling, that have lost their way, lost sight of your vision and purpose. May your Bride in all her expressions be ready for your return!
Father, please break the chains that bind gang members together in violence and crime. Satisfy their deep longings for significance, meaning, and relationship through healthy relationships with you and with others. Break the spiritual and social powers that hold them. Raise up your church to embrace them and draw them away from lives of crime and darkness. Restrain gangs by your Spirit. Restore families so that the gangs lose their influence. Change the hearts of gang leaders and transform them into proclaimers of your word.
Lord God, we claim your Lordship over Grenada, Guadaloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, and Haiti today. You have promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against your church, Jesus - please make it so in every corner of these countries. Proclaim the truth of your word to every people group in these countries; raise up workers for the harvest fields, and churches and mission agencies to reach them. Go before the harvesters to prepare the soil of the hearts of those currently far away from you. Revive your church in these countries - give her a focus upward and outward, so that your name might be known and worshiped beyond the current influence of the church. Amen.
Week 1, Day 7 - Tuesday, Feb. 16
Father, we praise you because you are pure and holy. We confess that we fall short of the purity that you designed us for, and we rely on your cleansing. Save us from pride and spiritual blindness that keep us from seeing and confessing our sin - and also from the accusations of the evil one, pushing us into shame and guilt that keep us from confessing our sin and receiving your forgiveness. Call us in this season of Lent into attitudes of repentance. Make the purity of our lives something that would be attractive to those who are far from you and that would draw them to you.
Father, please look with compassion on those who are sick in our community. Bring alongside them believers who can share hope and your peace with them. Draw them near to you in their time of illness - for those who are far from you, please use these illnesses to change the trajectory of their spiritual lives. Have mercy on them, providing for their financial needs and taking care of their families. Give wisdom to doctors and caregivers taking care of them. Bring healing in a way that reveals both your power and your grace.
Thank you, Father, that you are sovereign over all nations. Today we lift up to you Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru. Lord, please send forth your word to the farthest corners of these countries, that you may be named and known among every people group in each country. Make your church an agent of transformation in society. Cleanse her of any syncretism or nominalism - purify her in both doctrine and practice. Raise up godly leaders in government in each of these countries and give them hearts of servanthood and wisdom to know how best to serve all the people. Hear the cries of the oppressed in each of these lands - hear, and respond in your mercy. Root out corruption, injustice, and greed. Make your name known far and wide in these lands, to the praise of your glory.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Note: I just discovered today that I skipped a day! What I labeled as the prayer for Feb. 16 was actually the prayer for Feb. 17. Apologies for any confusion! I'll be posting a prayer for Feb 16 shortly (and will again label it as Feb. 16; the system won't let me go back and change the title of this one).
Week 1, Day 7 - Tuesday, Feb. 16
Father, thank you so much for the pictures that Scripture gives us of Jesus, risen and glorified, beautiful, majestic and powerful. We cling to that picture - the picture of the Victorious One - even when we don't see all that beauty or glory around us day-to-day. Remind us often, Lord, that the story is written and victory is assured. Remind us of our destiny to be with you forever.
Lord Jesus, you have freed us from the power of sin and bondage to it. You have won the victory over death so that we need not fear it any more than we would fear a shadow. You have given us the wisdom of your word to help us recognize the deception of the evil one. Yet with all this, we confess, that we sometimes don't live in the freedom, victory, and wisdom that you give us. Forgive us when we allow ourselves to be overcome by the world. By your authority, keep us for yourself. And may your work in our lives draw our neighbors to you for that same freedom, victory, and wisdom.
Father, thank you for the beauty of marriage and for strong, God-honoring marriages among us. Please bring healing and reconciliation in those marriages that are struggling. Rescue marriages that are failing, in such a way that testifies to your love and grace. Bring help to couples who need it, and strengthen their resolve to remain faithful to each other and to their vows. Raise up your church to surround and strengthen marriages both within the body and in our community.
Father, please revive your church in Mexico. Strengthen the parts that are weak. Reconcile the parts that are not united. Protect evangelical believers who are suffering persecution for their faith, especially in the southern states. Please watch over youth in Mexico. Rescue them from cultures of drugs and crime, and protect them from paths of evil that will lead them into bondage. Have mercy on children on the streets and on child laborers - please rescue them and put them in situations where their needs will be met and where they can grow to know you. Provide resources and vision for your church to reach out to these children and show them compassion and grace, discipling them to grow in your love.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Week 1, Day 9: Thursday, Feb. 18
Father, please revive believers in our community who are struggling with devotion to you. Call them to put aside everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Show them how fleeting are worldly wealth and possessions. Create in all of us clean hearts, hearts fully devoted to you. Help us as believers to love you with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength - setting aside no part of us to be devoted to worldly things.
As you do this, Father, fill our lives with a purpose and meaning beyond what can be found in this life. Cause those outside the faith to see that purpose and to long for a sense of purpose in their own lives. Draw them to you by the devotion that they see in your people. Free them from the bondage of materialism; help them to see how unsatisfying worldly possessions and pleasures are ultimately, and place in their hearts a longing for deeper meaning in life.
Father, please guide the hands, hearts, and minds of teachers - whether they are in private or public schools, colleges and universities, or home-schooling their children. Empower them to teach and mentor their students faithfully and to impart not just knowledge but also wisdom and the values of your Word. Cleanse our education system of principles and ideas that are not of you, and move us in the direction of higher standards of truth. Give believing teachers among us wisdom to know how to pray for their students and for their fellow teachers; draw to yourself teachers who today are far from you.
Let your light shine forth, Lord, in the countries of Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Send forth your word to every corner of these nations, that no people group in these countries would be without a witness for you. Strengthen and purify your church in these countries - help her to set aside nominalism, syncretism, and other entanglements. Prepare her as a bride ready for your return, Lord Jesus. And give her vision and passion to reach out to those outside the body. Send forth workers into the harvest fields in these countries.
Week 1, Day 10: Friday, Feb. 19
Lord Jesus, we join in your prayer for unity among your people. Lead your people to set aside petty jealousies and differences, to repent of sins against one another and to be reconciled to each other. Fill your church with a spirit of repentance, humility, grace, and forgiveness. Heal wounds in congregations that have become divided. Restore fellowship, communication, and community where they have broken down.
Reset our eyes, Lord. Focus our hearts and our minds on things above, not on earthly things, so that we will be united as we work together to advance your kingdom.
Father, thank you so much for those you have placed among us to care for our health - to heal the sick and injured, and to work with the chronically ill. Thank you for their spirits of compassion and grace. All compassion ultimately comes from you, Father, so please draw health care workers near to you. Bless them in the work of their hands. Give them words of peace, comfort, and hope to share with their patients. Work through Christian health care workers to bless both believers and non-believers. May their work result in praise and honor to you. Protect their relationships with their families, and protect them from discouragement.
Father, we place in your hands the nations of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands. Send forth your word to every people group in these countries and raise up witnessing, multiplying churches in every area. Make your church into your hands and feet in these countries, reaching out to the poor and needy, showing your compassion and grace. Strengthen your church as an agent of transformation in towns, villages, and families in need of a new path.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Week 2, Day 11 - Saturday, Feb. 20
Lord Jesus, please let your light shine into the lives of those who today are far from you. Expose the darkness in their lives for what it is - not in a way that condemns, but in a way that calls them to repentance and belief in you. Cause those who are far from you to desire light and truth, and draw them to your light and the truth of your word. You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life - please impart that life to many who are far from you.
Father, please bless the poor in our community. Thank you that your eyes are on them and that you care about them. Please meet their needs - both spiritual and physical. Raise up your church to come alongside them. Open the eyes of your people to their needs and give us your heart for the poor. Break the cycles of poverty, oppression, and despair in their lives. Become their Hope, both for life eternal and for a brighter future in this life.
God of the nations, we lift up to you Afghanistan today. Please help this country to recover from years of war, terrorism, and violence - as well as Islamic extremism. Open up opportunities for the youth of the country to hope for a brighter future than they have known so far. Multiply the effectiveness of the efforts of both churches and NGOs to repair lives, communities, infrastructure. Sweep away corruption where it exists, so that aid will reach those who really need it. Raise up a strong and compassionate government concerned with the needs of all the people. Bring to power leaders with hearts of servanthood. Change the culture of persecution faced by the church; draw many Muslims to yourself and give your church opportunities to reach them with both word and deed.
In Jesus' name. Amen.