Praying for London can get pretty overwhelming at times. It can feel messy, and it’s easy to lose focus on the real issues. I’ve written about this before (see The Purpose of London).
The solution I came up with is to pray for the different key spheres that make up the capital city. In order of age, and possibly in importance within the city, these are the Business/ Financial Sphere, the Political Sphere, the Legal Sphere, the Media Sphere, the Arts/ Entertainments Sphere, and the Academic Sphere. And alongside these six, we pray for the Church Sphere as it interacts with each of the others, and seeks to further the Kingdom throughout the city.
But how to pray for each of the different spheres? Sometimes each of these can feel overwhelming in themselves. When we pray for each sphere, what are we actually praying for? Each sphere is made up of a few key institutions or organisations. If we pray for a Kingdom influence in these institutions, we will see a change throughout the whole sphere, such is the influence each exerts.
Examples would be in the Business Sphere the Bank of England, The Corporation of London, HSBC, Barclays, etc and Lloyds of London. In the Political Sphere it could be different political parties, e.g. Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem, or it could be major government departments – the Cabinet Office, the Treasury, the Foreign Office, the Home Office, etc.
In the Legal Sphere it could be the four inns of court (Gray’s Inn, Lincoln’s Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple), or perhaps more importantly the largest legal firms based in London; the so-called Magic Circle of Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy, and Slaughter & May.
In the Media Sphere it would be the major TV news departments (BBC, SKY and ITN), and the major newspapers (by UK circulation these are The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Star, The Daily Express, The Times, The Guardian and The Independent).
In the Entertainments Sphere it could be the major theatre and concert venues, e.g. the Barbican, the Royal Festival Hall, the Globe, the opera houses, the Palladium, the Apollo Victoria and Drury Lane. And in the Academic Sphere the important universities based in central London are Imperial College, UCL, King’s College and the London School of Economics.
Why not try praying for some of these institutions next time you want to pray for London?
Of course, even then you can still get a little overwhelmed. But if that’s the case, remember that any organisation is primarily being directed by a few influential people. Pray for those individuals at the head of each institution, and those in the middle who are making waves inside them. Pray for these people to be guided by the Spirit, and for their work to further and not oppose the Kingdom of God.
Praying for an individual can change an organisation. Praying for an organisation can change a sphere. Praying for a sphere can change a city. And praying for a city can change a nation. Who are you praying for today?
Mark Williamson also blogs regularly at One Rock International, 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.