Does the Church of your city have a unified voice that stands for Kingdom values in the public square? Is your congregation or community ready to not only take a stand against the rising rebellion and lawlessness in our city streets, but take the lead in establishing something better? If the Church is supposed to be the Spirit-filled life-giving force that brings purpose and order into our chaotic world, how are we doing?
National transformation can only happen when there is a cumulative effect of individual cities and regions both taking and occupying their land for a righteous cause. It’s at the local level that change must start. We must not only displace wicked rulers in high places, we must have the needed influence and authority to govern our land the way God has always intended, starting right at home. God is calling out to cities to take a stand for righteousness. The only thing that will hinder Him from moving in our community, is us. We are the ones who must take ownership in this call and take action. (from “Moving from Sword to Scepter”)
Now is the time for Christ-followers to rise up and work together within our own communities to guard, keep, and occupy the spiritual gates of our community. Here are ten principles I share in my recent book that can help establish a SPIRITUAL PERIMETER around our cities.
- Establish a consistent (preferably weekly) time of prayer with a core group of believers with a heart for the city (see Hebrews 10:24).
- It’s not the size of the group that matters as much as a firm commitment to consistently and faithfully pray for the city.
- To be a true “community” prayer group with corporate authority in prayer, seek participation with believers from across the city and not just one fellowship.
- Build your unity around the person of Jesus Christ, the truth of His Word, and the power and leading of the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 4:3-6).
- As believers our unity must be based around the Person of Jesus Christ, not a doctrine, ideology, or ministry agenda.
- Choose your battles. Don’t get distracted by side issues but keep your focus on becoming a community where God’s tangible peace and presence can dwell.
- Focus on what God is doing more than what the enemy is doing (see Psalm 66:5).
- Look for indicators of God’s blessing and favor and bless that which He is already doing in the city. Come into agreement with what God has spoken through His Word.
- Keep praise central. The high praises of God’s people has power to bring down strongholds (see 2 Chronicles 20:22).
- As issues arise, deal with them through repentance and forgiveness (see Daniel 10:12).
- Unresolved sin issues become open doors for the enemy. As the Holy Spirit reveals root issues on the land, ask the Lord for wisdom and take steps to clear the land of any sin, immorality, bloodshed, broken covenants, or idolatry through prayers of repentance, both personally and corporately.
- When appropriate, go on-site to the places where the Lord has revealed any defilement and take communion, pray, and worship in order to cleanse the land.
- Maintain a heart of humility and walk in the fear of the Lord (see Psalm 33:18).
- Honor those in spiritual authority; bless them and pray for them, even those you disagree with (1 Tim 2:2).
- Determine to walk “offense-free” and practice forgiveness and forbearance towards others.
- Build trusted relationships with other catalytic leaders (see Ecclesiastes 4:12).
- These leaders may not be in the church, but in business, education, entertainment, government and other sectors of your city. Strive to work together towards Kingdom-centered values and presence-based community transformation.
- Seek to establish an atmosphere in the city where all believers are inspired to be a bold witness for Christ.
- Establish prayer altars throughout the city (see 2 Samuel 24:25).
- Prayer altars help to establish a wall of prayer around a city (see Acts 18:10).
- Whether they are in schools, work places, offices, city streets, or churches, intercessory groups become living altars where the incense of their prayers and worship ascend to heaven on behalf of the city (see Leviticus 6:13).
- Look for opportunities to be a corporate witness to the power of Christ (see Romans 15:5).
- When appropriate, demonstrate the oneness of Christ in the public square. A corporate witness and testimony has authority in the spirit to thwart any scheme of the enemy.
- Pray for spiritual leaders to speak with one voice in the city and give godly wisdom when faced with threats of danger.
- Speak well of your city and bless it with your words and your works (see Isaiah 61:4).
- Speaking blessings on a city releases favor, especially to those who lead it. Determine to nullify any curses spoken by speaking the opposite, declaring God’s Word and promises.
- Put your prayers into action and look for ways to demonstrate the kindness of God through acts of compassion.
- Practice generosity in spirit and action (see Acts 4:32-33).
- Put your prayers into action by serving others and sharing from your own storehouse.
- Determine to BE the solution within your own city walls by modeling love and compassion.
*Prayer Guide from chapter 11 of Moving from Sword to Scepter.
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