But how do you pray for a city? It's difficult to pray for a city because a city is so BIG. If you're anything like me you feel impotent when praying for something which requires so much power. This is clearly a misunderstanding on our part, because we know the truth of the fact that it is the Lord who has the power to change the city. My prayer itself is nothing if not answered by the Almighty Creator. And if I truly believe He created this earth and He answers when I pray, then what is a city for Him? If He truly created the stars above and, "heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him" (2 Chron 2:6), then our prayers have power because the one backing the prayer is more than powerful. He is the creator of power itself.
When I can wrap my head around a big God (or at least grasp the idea in theory), I then wonder if I even should be praying for the city. And if I'm to be praying for the city, should I also be praying for the nation? Is that even too small? Should I be praying for the whole world? Certainly if my faith is weak for a city, my faith for the whole world is weaker.
Lately I've spent a lot of time dwelling on the Lord's prayer and in light of this I noticed the second verse says, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt 6:10). This includes the friends around me I'm already praying for. This includes my family, and this city, and this nation. In fact Jesus, when teaching us how to pray, fit in a sentence on praying for the world in its entirety. The whole world. Not just our family, our friends, our ministry, or even our city and nation. We pray for the Lord's Kingdom to come in this whole earth. That's big. And it is the model Jesus gave us.
If you delve deeper in the Bible you see it's riddled with scripture about the earth, and every nation turning the Lord. "Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession," says Psalm 2:8. If God can offer this to His servant, then why do we not ask for the ends of the earth to be given back to Him for His glory?
So I implore you — pray for your city, for your nation, and for our world. Ask for revival. Ask for the Lord to open up heaven above this place and reign down His Spirit. Ask for people to hear the truth in visions in dreams. Ask for more laborers to be sent out into the harvest. Ask for the missionaries in the field to see fruit from their evangelism and discipleship. Ask for those disciples to grow in maturity and share with others. Ask for local believers everywhere to rise up and reach their neighbors, co-workers, families, friends, and cities. Ask that the smile on the faces of the believers throughout the world would ignite questions and challenge those without faith to be shocked by the hope we've found. Ask the Lord for His people to live upright lives and bring glory to His name. Ask for faith for your city. Ask for faith for your nation, and the earth. Ask the Lord to teach you to pray BIG prayers.
"And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts." - Hag 2:7Lord shake the nations. Bring the hearts of the people, Your treasure, in every nation to You. Fill Your house with glory.
"Hasten and come,Lord gather to Yourself the nations. Bring them now, call them now, turn their hearts to You even now.
all you surrounding nations,
and gather yourselves there." - Joel 3:11
"And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." - Matt 24:14Lord we beg that the gospel of the Kingdom would be proclaimed throughout the whole world. Make Your name known to all nations, everywhere. Raise up missionaries to go to new lands, raise up locals to tell their neighbors, challenge Your people everywhere to boldly proclaim Your saving truth. Lord, make Your name known in this city, in the capital, in every village, hamlet, and home. Let Your gospel be proclaimed in every last corner of the earth.
"He has shown his people the power of his works,Lord show us Your power by hearing our prayers for the nations. Make Yourself known now in the ends of the earth. Embolden us to pray by showing us Your power in our prayers. Give the nations as a spiritual inheritance to us, that Your name would be glorified everywhere.
in giving them the inheritance of the nations." - Psalms 111:6
"So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth." Phil 2:10Lord we pray for every nation, every people, every city, everyone, to turn to You. That in knowing the power of Your name they would bow before you in unity throughout all the earth.
And there are many many more. Some are here below.
"For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to sprout up before all the nations." - Isa 61:11
"For the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea." - Hab 2:14
"All the nations gather together,
and the peoples assemble." - Isa 43:9
"All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before you." - Psalms 22:27
"Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!" - Psalms 46:10
"And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'In you shall all the nations be blessed.'" - Gal 3:8The point is we are to pray big prayers. The Lord has the nations in His sight, and our role in this is to bring them before Him in prayer.