Devotional: Pray for your Community
We were gathered in the early morning hours as a crisp coolness filled the air. We circled the flagpole, hands held in prayer. As seniors in high-school, we were determined to set an example. “See You At The Pole” would not be restricted to a singular day when all other schools gathered; we would show our school our devotion and pray every morning for change in our school.
After weeks of meeting before the first bell rang, I was beginning to question if my devotion to being there was even going to have an effect. I tried my hardest to focus on our prayers as the buses came and went, and as students passed us by on their way to classes. I cannot recall what exactly distracted me that day, but when I looked up I saw him making his way across the school grounds. Dressed in black jeans and a trench coat, images of Columbine tore through my mind. I stood silent, frozen as I watched him approach our circle. He approached boldly, stepping in, separating hands to claim a spot in the circle.
Almost immediately the bell rang, and we quickly finished our prayers; everyone turning their attention towards him. He said, “I’ve been watching you for weeks now. I don’t know what you’re doing but I want to be part of it.”
That day we welcomed a brother in Christ, and God taught me a valuable lesson. Though I hadn’t spoken my doubts out loud, He had heard them; and He addressed them head on. I learned that day that our obedience to pray is answered by God’s faithfulness to listen. Regardless of whether we believe our prayer is effective, God listens; and people are changed. He also taught me that people notice when we pray.
Our NW Arkansas community has 1,000 people moving in every month, and it’s estimated to continue for at least 3 more years. People from other areas of our nation and people from around the world, many who do not know the name of Jesus, are pouring into our community. Much the same as “Christian” was watching us all those mornings while we were unaware; people are now watching us curiously.
Let our voices ring out in prayer for the salvation of our community. As they watch, let them see us pleading on their behalf. Just as Paul prayed for his community, “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.” -Romans 10:1
Let the salvation of people throughout our community be heavy on our hearts, and bold from our lips as we plead with God, who desires all people to be saved. The most valuable prayer we can offer to God is that people will know Him and turn to Him.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” -1 Timothy 2:1-4