(I wrote this entry in a blog June 27, 2011- I’m still seeking)
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.” Jeremiah 29:7 NIV
“Buyer Beware”. Most of the time when we think of gaining a heart for our city, we think about how much “those” people need our help. Although there are needy people, what I have found is that God is just as much interested in changing “my heart” as He is in helping me to see the needs in my city through His eyes. So be prepared when you pray a prayer for your city to be changed. God starts the changing with YOU…if you let Him.
In Jeremiah 29, the prophet is writing to the Jews who were carried to Babylon in exile. The judgment of the Lord was to last for 70 years. The Jews were to prosper and grow while they were in exile. At the appointed time, The Lord would allow them to return to Israel which was accomplished during Ezra and Nehemiah’s ministry. In the meantime, while in captivity they were supposed to flourish and prosper. God make a connection between praying for a city to prosper and receiving the benefits of that blessing.
Within this scripture are the beginning clues to gaining a “heart” for your city. Seek the peace and prosperity of the city. We must learn to look for peace over our city. Seeking is an intentional activity. It is easy to find the negative. The following are examples of negative curses (not peace) spoken repeatedly all over your city, probably many times a day. Maybe not the exact wording, but close enough,
Don’t live on that side of town
You don’t want to go to that school
Those rich people don’t care about our town. They get all our money
Don’t trust the police, they are racist
That section of town is so run down, it just breeds drug dealers
Why does my neighbor have to live so trashy
There’s no way I would shop or do business over there
Our elected officials only care about themselves
That church doesn’t care about poor folks
Our churches will never work together
When we allow ourselves and others to talk in this way, we are coming into alignment with how Satan accuses and slanders our city. He is opposed to everything good and wants to keep a town divided. When we speak in these ways, we are not only coming into alignment with the Devil, but we are perpetuating the bondage of our city. Our words according to Proverbs have the power of life and death. Speaking in a negative fashion over our city, is speaking death and curses that keep people in bondage.
How are you seeking peace in your city? What relationships are you cultivating that saturates your city with acceptance and love? If people copied your prayers for your city, what would be the impact?
Father, I pray that you would give us eyes to see and ears to hear all that you are doing in our city. Encourage all of the faint hearted today. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Blessings Love y’all