The latest issue of PRAYER CONNECT, which is published by the Church Prayer Leaders Network (https://www.prayerleader.com), is focused on cities at prayer. Brian Alarid “explains the strategy for America Prays, which is cropping up in cities such as Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Bellingham, Washington — and is now spreading across 14 states and eight nations.” There is also a dynamic, pastor-led prayer covering in Austin, Texas. In Nashville, Tennessee, pastors united and through their efforts, every home in the city was covered in prayer.
It appears that in many cities across the country, Jesus’ prayer in John 17 for his followers to be one is being answered. The walls that have existed for generations between churches and denominations are coming down. Churches and pastors are not having to compromise their doctrinal distinctives in order to unite their hearts in prayer for their cities. God is in the process of purifying hearts and purifying motives. He is working in such a way through united prayer that no one gets the credit but Him.
Most of the city-wide prayer movements have been pastor-led. However, here in Fort Wayne, a prayer movement began a little over a year ago that is being spearheaded by a layman, a business leader who happens to be a part of the Missionary Church. Currently there is a monthly prayer gathering of pastors and business leaders interceding for the city of Fort Wayne.
I had a conversation recently with one of our local church prayer coordinators who shared that there were efforts in her community to unite churches to pray for their town. The group pulling this together was having some difficulty getting pastors involved.
Whether it is the political climate, the decline in many churches, or the great distance from the last great awakening, God is calling His Church to prayer. In small towns and major cities, people are uniting to pray for their communities. J. Edwin Orr said, “No great spiritual awakening has begun anywhere in the world apart from united prayer.” Could it be that we are beginning to see the birth pangs of revival? Could it be that we are on the verge of another great awakening?
What might happen in your community if pastors and churches united in prayer for your city? What if, in prayer, God began to change the hearts of His people? What if competition and envy and petty differences were set aside and hearts were made pure? What if we became more concerned with Kingdom advancement than personal accolades?
Unless the Church unites in prayer, we will see this country become more and more secular and more and more hostile to the Christian faith. We dare not ignore the opposition that pops up from time to time. Even if it doesn’t affect us currently, it will in the months and years to come.
In order to see city-wide prayer, prayer will have to be a personal priority, and then it will need to be a priority of the local church. I look forward to seeing what God is going to do in these cities that have begun city-wide, united prayer.