Several years ago, I was privileged to facilitate a 3-day Prayer Summit for 14 Wellington pastors. It was a blessing to be with leaders that would take 3 days out of their busy schedules to pray and seek God for their city. Not long after the summit ended, I flew out of Wellington. It was a very wet and overcast day. We had to fly through some dark, ominous, rain filled clouds. But, after rising several thousand feet, we abruptly entered a bright, peaceful, cloudless, sun filled sky. It was breathtaking. A reminder that the sun, apart from the night, never stops shining over our cities. Yes, we may have cloudy skies, but the sun is always shining.
A reminder also that each city has its unique set of ‘dark clouds’ that blind the minds of unbelievers. (Principalities and powers that Paul refers to in Ephesians 6:12.) As God’s redeemed, new creation people we have been commissioned to disperse these ‘clouds of darkness’ over our cities, towns, regions.
Matthew 16:18-19. “I give you the name Peter, a stone. And this rock will be the bedrock foundation on which I will build my church—my legislative assembly, and the power of death will not be able to overpower it! I will give you the keys of heaven’s kingdom realm to forbid on earth that which is forbidden in heaven, and to release on earth that which is released in heaven.”
We are to believe and persevere until we see our cities and towns radically delivered from ‘dark clouds’. This requires unity and prayer, steadfast faith, courage and passion. All in order that the ‘Sun of righteousness’ can draw near, as He longs to do, with ‘healing in His wings’. (Malachi 4:2). Let’s be aware though that if we are ignorant of, or indifferent to, or unprepared to face the reality of this unseen opposition to the gospel we will remain captive to it.
Each city has its own, unique set of these ‘dark clouds’. It is encouraging to find growing numbers of Christians gathering in different places zealously seeking God for the welfare of their towns and cities according to Jeremiah 29:7, ‘But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare’.
As we pray for the welfare of our cities, the Lord will reveal ‘keys of heaven’s kingdom realm’. One of these keys is repentance. On one occasion a well-respected prophet brought this word to the pastors of the city we once lived in. ‘Your city will not make progress until you walk through the issues of repentance’. Senior pastors felt it was right and began teaching on repentance and forgiveness. (This word was actually a confirmation to some pastors who had felt to teach this prior to the prophetic word). This resulted in much repentance and reconciliation that took us to another step-up in terms of church unity and a healed city.
Author and speaker Francis Frangipane says: ‘The redemptive power of the Lord is released when people forgive each other. Individuals, families, churches and even the atmosphere of a city can change when pardon is released...principalities and powers are neutralised... The power released in forgiveness is actually a mighty weapon in the war to save our cities.’
Again, a wonderful promise to lay hold of for all the cities, towns, regions of Aotearoa! “.. to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings …”
God bless. Colin