A few times I have referenced a prayer that I have developed over the years. Some use a prayer list of people, I focus on areas I believe are important in our lives and pray for myself and others. When I looked at it recently I realized that in 8 pages I had used establish, establishing or established 16 times! Clearly at some level I believe this to be important. The first area I focus on in my prayer list is Passion and Purpose and below are the prayer sections I have along with the supporting scriptures.
Father, I thank You that You are drawing out and establishing Your purpose in our lives. Help us to walk uprightly that our prayers may delight You! Fill us with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Prov. 20:5, Prov. 15:8, Col. 1:9-11
Continually unveil to us Your glory (nature and character, love) and establish within our hearts a compelling vision of walking with You in Your passion for Jesus and His church, filled with Your grace and glory, flowing in You and Your anointing. Ex. 33:13, John 17:22-26, Eph. 1:17, 2:10, 5:18, Gal. 5:16, 25
Establish within us wise and understanding hearts to build Your house, a dwelling for You in the Spirit/spirit. Place Your hand upon us, impart Your plans and details. Ex. 25:8-9, 1 Chron. 22:13, 19, 28:9, 12, 19-20, 1 Kings 3:9, Zech. 8:9, Eph. 2:22
Jesus, establish our hearts in Your counsel and purpose, in the walk of the watchman. Is. 62:6, Jer. 23:18, Ezek. 3:17, Eph. 2:10, Ps. 25:12-14
As we settle more deeply into our relationship with Jesus and are further established in our prayer life, a key aspect is focus. In the many things we can pray about – ranging from personal needs to corporate and societal issues, are there key areas of focus. Given that what affects one affects all, a key corporate responsibility we have is lying in wait in a little verse in Proverbs 11.
11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. Proverbs 11:11 (NKJV)
This has great power if applied properly because when we break it down we are all applying it, the question is in what manner? As believers we all carry some degree of spiritual authority, so in the way we speak about it are we blessing or cursing our city? For a clear application of this verse see what was commanded by Yahweh in Jeremiah, a principle that I think it still applies to us.
7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace. 8 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. 9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the LORD. 10 For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:7-11 (NKJV)
The key verses are 7 and 11. The context is the captivity of Israel in Babylon and false prophets saying they would return quickly. Through Jeremiah, Yahweh said they would be there for 70 years so they needed to pray for the peace of the city. The key phrase is “in its peace you will have peace.” The principle being the need to bless the community we live in because when the community does well we as believers do well.
We tend to apply verse 11 individually but in context it refers corporately to the nation of Israel. I believe that if we as believers want to see Jesus move in our city and area then we need to take seriously the call to bless it by our words and prayers and seek the good of the city. In fact in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells us to take this further than He did in Jeremiah.
13 “You are the salt of the earth… 14 You are the light of the world…” Matthew 5:13-14 (NKJV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,” Matthew 5:43-44 (NKJV)
So, with whatever spiritual authority we carry, are we blessing our city and seeing Jesus established in it?