If we really want peace in our city, then we need to use the tools God has given to us to bring peace. Prayer and Evangelism are two of those tools. When used together; they become an even more powerful tool called; “PRAYER EVANGELISM”. What does it look like? I will show you in 1 Timothy chapter 2, verse 1-8. NIV (emphasis mine)
|v. 1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority,|
WHY SHOULD WE PRAY FOR THOSE IN AUTHORITY?
BECAUSE OF THEIR INFLUENCE ON THE QUALITY OF LIFE:If the garbage man drives over a trash can, we can buy a new trash can. However, if the Mayor or the Chief of Police makes a wrong decision, the entire city is affected by the mayor’s decision. An example would be the riots in Los Angeles following the beating of Rodney King.
BECAUSE OF THEIR LACK OF REAL INFLUENCE IN SOME AREAS: Men and women in government know that many of the problems they face have no solution, humanly speaking. They often will rely on “other gods” or occult influences for help. That is why we need to pray for God to help them with ideas, solutions, and tell them there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. We must pray because they are potentially open to prayer due to their realization of their inability to really influence major events.
BECAUSE THERE ARE DEMONIC FORCES: The world system is under the power of the evil one and evil structures operate along side political ones.
|v. 2 that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.|
The only way for Christians to live in an environment characterized by all godliness and holiness is for many unbelievers to become Christians. And when we pray, those who don’t believe in Him will begin to become aware of His existence and begin to fear (reverence) Him. Then, and only then, will godliness and holiness permeate the city where the church exists,
|v. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, v. 4 who wants all men to be saved
and come to a knowledge of the truth.
What Paul is saying is: Pray for everyone in your city, especially those in authority, to become Believers and followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus has already provided the payment for this with His death, burial, and resurrection. God’s will is clear that He wants all men and women; boys and girls to be saved.
|v. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ
Jesus, v. 6 who gave Himself as a ransom forall men – the testimony given in its
proper time. v. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle – I
am telling the truth, I am not lying- a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.
SO WHAT IS LACKING?
The church (that’s you and I) needs to begin to pray.
|v. 8 I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer (“intercession”) without anger or disputing (“unity in the body”).|
Then, and only then will true revival come to our city. Then, and only then will the city have true peace. A revival that fails to bring the lost to Jesus is a self-serving revival centered on man’s needs, wants, and desires; not on the glory of God.
Jeremiah 6:14 says; “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace’, they say when there is no peace.”
You and I were stragically placed in neighborhoods and places of work to be ambassadors for God. Until we start to intercede on behalf of our leaders, our cities will have no peace. We really do have a responsibility. We know that to remain silent while a house is burning is wrong. To not pray for those around us is the same as letting them sleep as we watch smoke beginning to pour out of their home.
|2 Corinthians 2:20 “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
Ephesians 3:10-12 “His intent was that now, through the Church (that’s us!), the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which He accomplished in Jesus Christ our Lord. In Him, through faith in Him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
What I like about “PRAYER EVANGELISM” is that all it takes is a short time of committed prayer ; from the comfort of our cars, living rooms, front porches, or a stroll around the block- to ask God for the salvation of people (by name) in places we live and work.
|Jeremiah 29:7 says; “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 (the city) prospers,
you too will prosper.”
From the Day of Pentecost, there has been not one great spiritual awakening in any land which has not begun in a union of prayer, though among 2 or 3, no such outward movement has continued after such prayer meetings declined.
– Dr. A. T. Pierson
When people start praying together in one accord to our Father in heaven, in the Name of Jesus, and practice praying together, things begin to change. Our lives change, our churches change, our communities change. Change takes place not when we study about prayer, not when we talk about it, not even when we memorizes beautiful scripture verses on prayer; it is only when we actually pray that things begin to happen.
– Evelyn Christenson