The cities of London and Westminster each have a motto. “Lord Guide Us” for the City of London, and “Lord Protect Us” for the City of Westminster. As I was praying last night for both cities, it struck me that both are foundational prayers for anyone wanting to do more praying for London, or for any other city.

“Lord Guide Us” should be a repeated prayer of any intercessor. And it should especially be regularly on the lips of anyone involved in city praying. It’s so easy to get tangled in knots and wander down blind alleys trying to find red herrings when praying for a city. Issues within the history of a city can be important and inform our prayers, but they can also easily become distractions, blinding us from the current reality of what we should be praying for. Discussions over territorial spirits and spiritual mapping can be helpful, but there is a danger they can be all consuming. We never want our focus to be taken away from Jesus, and what He is saying to the city. And therefore “Lord Guide Us” becomes an incredibly important prayer. Lord, what do you want us to be praying at this time for this city and its people, its institutions and its society?

But “Lord Protect Us” is also important, and should be regularly prayed too. There is a spiritual reality, there are demonic spirits and a devil who will do all they can to delay or disrupt the revival that God wants to bring. So as we pray for that revival, and for God’s Kingdom to come in the city, we also need to pray for protection. Key areas an intercessor should pray for are blessings over health, finances and family. These are all areas where the enemy will try to attack once serious city intercession gets underway. And last night we added a fourth on to our prayers. Lord, protect us from discouragement in our praying. The easiest way for us to lose the spiritual battle over our cities is to simply give up and stop praying. Lord, protect us from discouragement in our praying, and protect and bless our health, our finances and our families as we continue praying.

Will you keep on praying for revival to come to London? Then ask God to guide and protect you as you embark on the journey.

Mark Williamson also blogs regularly for One Rock, a training organisation resourcing missionary leaders across the globe. He’s passionate about good films, good food, getting into deep conversations, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna. You can follow him on Twitter @markraynespark.