Pray for your city

Documentation Published on Saturday, 19 November 2022

Pray for your city: Mountain Prayer 2022

Pray for your city: Mountain Prayer 2022

This weekend we had our annual Mountain Prayer. However, because of the lockdown restrictions of the previous two years, this was the first since 2019. The initiative is to mobilise believers in our areas to come together for the good of the entire city and our communities. We believe that our prayers, and the way we live, impact those around us in ways that we do not always imagine. Mountain Prayer’s focus is based on Jeremiah 29:

5Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; 6Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. 7And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. – Jeremiah 29:5-7

Some will be quick to point out that what Jeremiah wrote about is the command God gave to those who were captives in Babylon, and not in their own city, and therefore the text does not qualify to be used with reference to our cities. I believe that God has a very special message for us in this text to change our suburbs and cities through our own actions.

Imagine your own city for a moment. Do you like living there? Is there crime? Are people generally happy or unhappy? What would you like to see changed in your city (or you can narrow it down to your suburb)? Who is going to do it? It is easy to always expect others to change things. Why do you not take the initiative and be part of the solution? Let us have a closer look at what God expects of his people in a foreign city. Imagine how effective this could be in your own:

Physical involvement

Start with verse 5:

  • Build homes – continuous development
  • Live in them – continuous involvement
  • Plant gardens – improvement of our areas
  • Benefit from the crop – the result of our efforts
  • Marry – live normally
  • Have children – grow your families
  • Let your children marry – advance society

Spiritual involvement

Start with verse 7:

  • Seek the peace of the city – find ways the city can benefit
  • Pray for the city – your responsibilty

The result

  • If there is peace in the city, you will experience the same

What we see here is a direct command from God for individuals. We are expected to be the change that we often want others to be. When individuals mobilise and stand united, then amazing things can happen.

I used to work in an environment where, if you asked them who is responsible for their immediate environment, they would always say “the government”. I explained to them that this is not the way it works. In this particular country, individuals do not pay tax on their income. In fact, everything is given to them. Thus, they simply do not appreciate what they have. When we become complacent and pin our own responsibilities on the authorities, the result can only be that things will deteriorate. I used to tell them to take responsibility for their actions. Whether this message has sunk in with them I will never know. I am not in that country anymore.

Instead of always pointing a finger at someone else to do the work, why do you not take heed of the three fingers that are pointing back at yourself?


What can we as believers do to help our communities change for the better? First, realise that it starts with you. Do you abide by the law, or do you take shortcuts because you think no one else sees you? What is the condition of your immediate environment? Remember the lesson from Nehemiah 3 – every person who was involved was given the task to rebuild the wall only in the areas designated to them. They were not responsible for what others were doing. In the same way you have the responsibility to start with your own area, without worrying about others. When I walk around my suburb, I admire properties that are kept in good order. I cringe when I walk past homes where clearly the owner just does not care.

Let us take things further. Do you every pray for the peace of your city? It is easy to say that your prayer cannot possibly affect the crime rate. It can, and it does:

3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) – 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

Crime and other negative elements in a city are always driven by the devil. Our prayers are the weapons we have and even if we are in the flesh, our prayers are on a completely different level, and they pull down (destroy) the works of the devil.

Consider starting to pray for your immediate environment. Make a list of things that you think need attention. Are there things on this list you can change? Then do it. How about praying for your unsaved neighbours? They need the love of God now as much as you did when you were unsaved.

Finally, get others to pray with you. You will be amazed at the results when God intervenes because of your continued prayers. You do not have to go to the top of a mountain to pray. Start in your home. Maybe this will grow into a Mountain Prayer initiative. God bless you.

More information is available on Noordvandieberg: Tell Your Story (Afrikaans only).

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