Pray for Our Cities

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Reflect

There have been more than 13 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 across 216 countries. More than 574 000 people have died, and the virus is still running rampant in countries like the United States, India and Brazil.

In Australia, we’d just about beaten the virus. Now Melbourne is having a second wave worse than the first and the city is back in lockdown.

While cases aren’t confined to urban areas, our cities face unique challenges. It’s hard to maintain social distance if you live in high-density housing or have to travel to work on public transport.

Yes, we need to act on health recommendations and keep working towards a vaccine. Yes, our politicians need to enact wise strategies to stem the spread of the disease. But there is something even more important that undergirds all of these endeavours. We need to pray.

In a previous devotion, we looked at God’s instructions to the Israelites for their time of exile in Babylon. They were to keep on living a full life, but they were also called to prayer.

Also seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. (Jer. 29:7)

God has always had a heart for the cities. He relented and saved the city of Ninevah when the people called out to him and turned from their wicked ways. The prophet Jonah was angered by this, but God showed his compassion:

But Ninevah has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left … Should I not be concerned about that great city? (Jon. 4:11)

There has never been a more urgent time to pray for our cities. Let’s lift our voices to God and pray for breakthroughs.

Pray

Lord, you hold the world in your hands. We pray for our cities and all who live in them. Please bring your healing, your power and your glory, that all may turn to you and be saved. Amen.

Ponder

Q1       Meditate on Jeremiah 29:7. How could you pray for the prosperity of the cities?

Q2       Read Jonah 3–4. What role did repentance play in the prayers of the people? What was the result of their prayers?

Photo credit – Melbourne skyline by Adri Marie on Pixabay.

Coronavirus statistics from the World Health Organisation. Please note that the statistics cited above were correct at the time of publication, but statistics on this site are constantly being updated.

Scriptures taken from the NIV Bible. Click here for the copyright notice.

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6 Responses

  1. Yes Nola good advice, I have stopped watching the news and after reading your post I have decided to spend that time praying.

    1. Good on you, Dianne. I probably watch way too much TV. I like to keep informed, but there’s a lot of negativity, so I should switch off more too. One reason I wrote the post was to remind myself to pray more. I appreciate your comment 🙂

  2. Nola, this is a really insightful post and I appreciate it. I continue to watch the news because it’s vital for me to know what we are up against but I’m praying also. It’s tough for the West but in developing nations the problem is much worse. With economies shutting down masses of people are starving. I am working with one tiny village in Africa but there are millions more.

    1. That’s great that you’re able to work with the village, Bev. We see so much western news on the regular channels, but it must be terrible in places where things are so fragile in the first place. I saw a story about India a few weeks ago. People had lost their jobs and had no option but to walk hundreds of kilometres back to their villages with no food or water. And I imagine with all the difficulties of travel, it must be hard for aid workers to get into some areas. Definitely lots of prayer needs around the world. One of the reasons I wrote the post was to remind myself of what I should be doing. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I’m sure you have seen what is going on in some of our major cities here too. Not only with the virus, but also the civil unrest. We definitely need to pray. Thanks for your insight.

    1. Hi Jan – It’s been in the news over here and I see a lot of it on social media. Certainly very difficult times. I confess I don’t pray about it as much as I should, but it’s a good reminder that prayer really needs to be a priority. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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