04 Jul Speaking Over Cities
When you think of your neighborhood, city, state, and nation, what do you think of first? When you are in prayer and talking to the Lord about your city, what are you saying over it?
In times like these, it is too easy to make headline proclamations. We often start talking about how bad the crime rate is, how bad the job situation is, or how “hard” it is for anything great to happen. If you pay too much attention to the news, it can even make it seem like a radical cultural transformation in the positive direction is next to impossible. Yet, we are called as reconcilers. We are meant to speak life, wholeness, restoration, and reconciliation to culture, that the culture and world might be reconciled to God.
At the beginning of Genesis, we don’t see God verbalizing His frustration with the darkness, chaos, and overall lack of order. Instead, we see Him begin to create life through His declarations and immediately begin to bless it. Then we see Him create Man, and place man in a Garden with the intent that His created Man would tend and expand it.
We often focus so much on the appearance of a “desert” around us, or what we view as “dead bones,” that we forget God is looking for us to partner with Him in pronouncing life and taking the responsibility amongst ourselves to steward, expand and bless that life.
Our cities are crying out for our blessing because they are dying under the weight of our curses. What do I mean by this? As ambassadors of our Kingdom of God, the one that God has called us into, birthed us into and given to us to be ours, we are meant to expand that power-filled life into the world around us. When talking about how hard it is to see revival, cultural change, or restoration in our city, we are in effect judging our cities according to how they are. The problem with this is that in the Kingdom of God, our Kingdom, judgments are everlasting. Think of it this way, when you say my city is “hard,” or “impossible to reach,” or my culture is “racist,” or “immoral,” you are locking the very culture the Lord gave you to impact into a place below what God says is possible. That is a curse.
Have you ever noticed that when God wanted to do something in a city or nation, He always sent a prophet with something to say? When God wants to do anything in the world, He always fills the mouths of prophets with the words from Heaven that they might have words of life to declare. Do you realize that you are meant to declare words of life over your city?
If we fail to speak life, abundance, and prosperity over our culture we starve it of the words from the Kingdom of Heaven that the culture needs to grow into what it is supposed to be. Think of it as getting angry at a plot of land for not producing tomatoes, and saying that plants can’t grow there when you have never planted tomato seeds. The blessing and life-giving proclamations from Heaven are the words our communities need in order to have the chance to grow into all that God intended for it to be.
We have to speak life over our cities from a foundation and intention of love, faith, and desire for the peace and wholeness of our cities.
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.
– Jeremiah 29:7 NKJV
Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
– Isaiah 60:1-3 NKJV
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
– 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NKJV