One of the best books on city prayer is Informed Intercession by George Otis Jr.
It suggests ways that we can turn general city prayer into strategic intercession that brings lasting Kingdom change to a whole urban landscape. How do we do that? How do we keep going in our prayers? Do we write them down in the concrete of the city, in an attempt to see them become part of the fabric of urban life?
Otis suggests that to see ongoing city prayer transform somewhere you need three research teams. Each one provides info and prayer pointers for everyone as they intercede, and the constant new information being circulated becomes an encouragement to all involved to carry on.
His suggested three teams focus on:
- History: What is the history of the city? When was it built? And more importantly, why was it built? What have been the key moments that have shaped the city, and its personality? What have been its greatest successes, and also its greatest failures, or moments of shame? What does the city’s history tell us about how we should be praying today? The team involved in this research are the sort of people happiest in reading books, Wikipedia, and mining reference works for nuggets of truth.
- Prophetic: What is God saying now? A city is shaped by its past, but is never limited by it. God can always do a new thing. So is He saying anything specific to pray into now? The Holy Spirit is the true expert we are always to rely on, and He knows best what needs to be prayed in order to see things change through our city prayer. The team involved in this research will be people who love to intercede, to spend time with God, and who have an especial gift in listening and hearing what God is wanting to say.
- Interviews: This is the practical in the here and now. Who are the people who currently live and work in the city? Who are the people that hold especial power and influence within the city? Or have deep insight into how the city seems to work? What do they believe are the current needs in the city, and the current opportunities? The type of people who can best contribute value here have journalistic skills of building relationships with individuals, and through listening to them, discerning what the current prayer for the city is.
As a blog we’ve tried to combine a little of all three. My personal inclination is probably more towards the historical, and we’ll continue to share posts that explore the history of London to help inform our prayers for today. But we’ll also start to interview more people involved in London life, and post their responses and thoughts on what we should currently be praying.
Where are the prophets in our community? We need to hear from you also! What do you believe God is currently saying, and is calling us to pray for London?
If you want to get involved, or feel you can contribute in any of these areas, then leave a comment or email me. We want to hear from you. Together, our city prayers can make a difference. We can see God’s Kingdom breaking through into different areas of London life when we pray strategically, and pray in unity.
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.