How to Pray for God's Transforming Power in Your City
- Debbie Przybylski Intercessors Arise
- 2016 22 Feb
“The great work of intercession is needed for the returning of the Lord. It is here that the coming revival must find its strength. Let there be, with every minister and worker, ‘great searching of heart’ (Judges 5:16), as to whether they are ready to give as much time and strength to prayer as God desires. Let them, even as they are in public, leaders of their larger or smaller circles, give themselves in secret to take their place in the front ranks of the great intercession host.” Andrew Murray
Evil is invading our cities. Many people have resigned themselves in defeat to the darkness that is invading our world. I have to ask myself, “Is this what God wants us to do in the end times? Is He surprised or taken off guard by the increase of crime and evil?” I don’t think so. Though darkness is covering the earth, we are not powerless.
There is another way of looking at life - Let us consider the perspective of God’s transforming power.
God is beginning to move with revival power all throughout the earth, and we are the ones who are alive in such a remarkable time in all of history. These are merely the birth pangs. God is on the move and we must get ready for all that is about to enter our radar screen. We can so easily get depressed and discouraged at all the difficulties and inconveniences of living in such days as these, but do we realize what a great privilege it is to be alive for such a time as this?
I remember several years ago watching the Transformationvideos by George Otis, Jr. They were a message of hope stirring the appetite for God’s presence in the city. My husband was able to visit Almalonga, Guatemala where carrots and other produce were growing several times larger in size, and prisons were closing down because of the presence of God in the city. Transformation was happening in several cities.
I encourage you to watch the DVD called The Quickening and the Transformation videos. Part inspiration, part instruction, these videos present compelling evidences that the spiritual quickening foreseen by the prophet Amos is now upon us. In 1999 there were 8 reports of transformed cities, but since 2002 there have been no less than 175 transformational reports!
There is a hope-filled appetite for change in the world. But we can't just wish or hope for change or spiritual transformation. Hope must give way to commitment and faith. It's time for God's people to rise up in fervent, believing prayer!
What is Community Transformation?
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills.” (Amos 9:13).
Community transformation is when a culture is impacted by the presence of God. His supernatural power flows into the city and affects every level of society. Our cities are filled with spiritually homeless people who don’t know who they are or where they are going. There is an emptiness without God and we must invite Him into our cities. Our communities are looking for identity and God’s presence is our identity. We must believe that revival and transformation will affect everything. We need a sense of purpose and the authority of God in our city. Only Jesus can change a city and a nation. Jesus told His disciples, “Without me you can do nothing.”
One day God will rule the whole world because He is God of all (Ezekiel 48:35, Isaiah 62:4).
There is evidence that God is bringing transformation to communities around the world. George Otis, Jr. has witnessed evidence of God’s willingness to transform spiritually barren communities in areas where believers have determined to exchange passive dissatisfaction for active, prevailing prayer. But history tells us that people do not change until they are aware of an imminent crisis or an immediate opportunity. We as humans must be persuaded that our present circumstance is desperate and that time is running out quickly. We must realize that our condition is not only broken or painful, but very dangerous.
If we are only disappointed, most of us won’t change. We think our condition is only temporary or that time is on our side. Our society will change and we will take action in prayer only when we get desperate. Then we will be willing to do the impossible. Then we will fervently pray for our cities. We need to ask ourselves:
"Are we desperate enough for revival and city transformation?"
How to Pray for Transformation in Your City
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you” - (Isaiah 60:1-2).
Transformation is the reflection of God’s character coming forth in every way possible. This is what we want in our cities. Let us not draw back at such a critical hour. We are now at the desperate stage in our cities. Let us move forward in prevailing, passionate prayer by the grace of God and seek Him for transformation and revival! This is an opportunity that we must grasp now.
The following are principles that can bring life to your city. They are adapted from The Quickening DVD:
Pray and invite God into your city.
God wants to be invited into our communities. He wants His presence to become so strong that men see themselves as lost and start coming to Him. If God is to increase our spiritual appetite, we must ask Him. First we must be emptied of our own satisfaction and feel the awareness of our emptiness. We are "undone" like Isaiah which will cause a cry from our heart (Isaiah 6:5-8). As God's watchmen, we must call on the Lord and invite Him into our cities.
“I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isaiah 62:6-7).
Pray for holiness and humility.
God is drawn to holiness and humility. If we want to be change agents in the city, we must be changed agents. The humble and the poor in spirit He brings to himself. The biggest thing that impedes unity is our own pride. What is ready to die? We have to make the basic decision,“I will not be offended by others.” God uses humility and broken people. A sincere heart cuts into the frozenness of the world.
“'Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?’ declares the Lord. ‘These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at my word'” (Isaiah 66:2).
Pray for corporate revival.
It begins with individual obedience and solitary decisions. The most important thing is that we begin. It’s not what we do but why we do it. Man is impressed by activity but God is impressed with obedience. We will encounter resistance and get discouraged, but God is focused on us. We must make that commitment ourself and search out a core group who have that commitment. It starts with a few who won’t give up, press on and keep praying and crying out to God month after month with fasting, prayer and humility. This will have a domino effect.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
Pray for unity.
Biblical unity is a majority with God. It’s not based on numbers. Unity is a byproduct of relationships. When kingdom connection occurs, we then live under kingdom rule. Where two or three hungry hearts join together in the cause of revival, God is there. The presence of God unites people in a supernatural unity. Leaders must be committed to a community.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity… For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore” (Psalm 133:1, 3b).
Pray for fervent prayer among the churches in your city.
Breakthrough, fervent prayer releases destiny. It’s desperation and humility, a foundation of fervent, persevering prayer when we become desperate for God. People of travailing prayer have a determination with a desperation that says,“We will not let go of you until we hear from you.” Allow Him to break and mold you. Pray for your city’s destiny. We forget that God is the God of destiny, and we are people of destiny. Prayer has to be more of a priority, and we must hear the trumpet call.
“They all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14).
God’s work will always be unique. It’s risky, aggressive, and brought about through prayer. It’s not predictable and out of our control. There is an unexpectedness of God. We are often fooled by strategy, but we lack God’s processing power. You can’t format God. We are proud and impatience, but God’s approach is to come in through the back door. He shows up, not shows off. There is a flow with the Holy Spirit that is not stage-managed. He is willing to be invited but only on his terms. We must persevere through apathy and not give up. It’s not a quick start but a long run. The goal is to love God and direct men and women toward the kingdom.
God is looking for leaders who will stand in the gap for their nation who don’t care who gets the credit. They are not stakeholders but shareholders. They give God the glory. Revival leaders are often unlikely choices. The measure of leadership is not influence with the public but influence with God.
Apply this message to your own heart in prayer. Seek God for personal revival and transformation as well as for your church and nation. The Intercessors Arise International and Nations House of Prayer Equipping Center websites are designed to help you grow in personal and corporate prayer. Included are dozens of motivational teachings on prayer and intercession.
“There is nothing in Scripture to suggest the Second Coming of Christ will be welcomed by a six-billion voice choir. Darkness will increase before it is vanquished forever. But as it spreads and intensifies, it will also accentuate any light that is shining. And herein lies our hope… and opportunity. By prevailing with God in prayer and preparing his way through obedient action, we become “bearers” and “welcomers” of light in this darkening hour. As the Kingdom of God is put on exhibit in neighborhoods, towns, cities, and nations, a weary and demoralized world is made aware of a shimmering way of escape. The role is ours if we are willing to allow the pain and urgency of this present darkness to transform our passive dissatisfaction into active desperation. May God give us the courage.” George Otis, Jr.