Prayer, in many ways, is a mysterious yet practical aspect of following Jesus. I believe God is working His plan. And I also believe that when I engage in prayer, at God’s invitation, I work with Him to bring His resources to bear in establishing His kingdom. In the previous blogs we considered how to pray for our pastor and other ministers and how to pray for our church.
Your small group and your church is situated in a greater community, typically a community that does not know our Lord. Your group’s prayers can make a difference in your community. Can you think of anything in your community that does not align with God’s truths? If you can, then you see the importance of leading your small group to pray earnestly, faithfully, and continually for your community. Here are 40 ways to help your group pray for your community:
I can think of at least ____ ways your small group can pray for their community.
- Pray for economic stability and the growth of your community.
- Pray for an increase of jobs in your community.
- Pray for the schools in your community: elementary, middle, and high school, as well as any colleges in your community.
- Pray for teachers and school officials in your community.
- Pray for school bus drivers in your community.
- Pray for your city’s elected and appointed officials. Check the internet for names and offices.
- Pray for your county’s elected and appointed officials. Check the internet for names and offices.
- Pray for state legislators and other state officers who influence your community.
- Pray for federal legislators and other federal officers who influence your community.
- Pray for elections, candidates, and voters.
“People may refuse our love or reject our message, but they are defenseless against our prayers.” – Rick Warren (See more here.)
- Pray for your local law enforcement officers.
- Pray for your local first responders.
- Pray that God will intervene and reduce crime in your community.
- Pray that racial tensions will relax and groups will unify.
“Anyone can do the possible. Add courage and zeal, some may do the phenomenal. But only Christians are obliged to do the impossible.” – A. W. Tozer (See more here.)
- Pray for athletic events in your community, including any known Christians on those teams.
- Pray for community events that these events will create community and unity and for safety.
- Pray for families in your community.
- Pray for foster families in your community.
- Pray against vice, rebellion, unlawful actions, and other disruptive behaviors that could harm persons in your community.
“In prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts after him: to desire the things he desires, to love the things he loves, to will the things he wills.” – Richard Foster (See more here.)
- Pray for medical and health care personnel, hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics.
- Pray for safety in shopping and retail areas in your community.
- Pray for homeless and other displaced people in your community.
- Pray for construction projects and the safety of construction workers in your community.
- Pray for the lost and unchurched in your community.
- Pray for specific neighborhoods.
- Pray for new home constructions in your area.
- Pray about events and persons in the local news.
“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense.” – Oswald Chambers (See more here.)
- Pray for people in the community who are experiencing grief and loss.
- Pray for new parents in the community.
- Pray for safety and protection in your local parks and playgrounds.
- Pray for civic and service organizations in your community.
- Pray for local businesses and business leaders to deal justly with customers and clients.
- Pray for a sense of generosity and service in your community.
- Pray for new jobs and economic growth for everyone in your community.
“In all states of dilemma or of difficulty, prayer is an available source. The ship of prayer may sail through all temptations, doubts and fears, straight up to the throne of God; and though she may be outward bound with only griefs, and groans, and sighs, she shall return freighted with a wealth of blessings!” – Charles Spurgeon (See more here.)
- Pray for all the churches in your community to be Bible-believing and Bible preaching congregations.
- Pray for the pastors in the churches of your community.
- Pray for peace in your community.
- Pray that neighbors will be neighbors to one another and care for each other.
- Pray for ______________________.
Scripture: Read Jeremiah 29:7. This is in Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles in Babylon. He told them to pray for the welfare of Babylon. He said, “for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” How can we apply that today to praying for our communities?
Dig Deeper: Read The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon.