Are the stirrings of revival beginning to be felt in your community yet? Something is definitely happening in many cities across our nation today.
Take New York City, for example. In 1984, former missionaries to India Dr. Mac Pier and his wife felt the leading of God to move to New York and call churches there to pray together for their city. New York was in great need at the time, with the churches fragmented and the murder rate on the rise, reaching a high point in 1994 with 2,400 homicides.
“Concerts of Prayer Greater New York” began when Mac invited just sixteen churches to join him to pray on a Friday night. Word of mouth spread the news, and pastors from seventy-five churches showed up!
Within months, these believers were praying for their community daily. Eventually hundreds of pastors were praying at what became seven different locations around New York.
What has been the impact of this prayer? As the churches began cooperating, they were able to minister to the great needs of the city, not the least of which was offering significant help during the aftermath of 9/11.
Crime has been reduced as well. By 2013, the murder rate dropped to 648—still far too many, but a significant and welcome reduction from before. While city officials would love to take credit for this trend, the reality is that God has used united prayer to drive evil from New York.
God is also powerfully at work in other major cities in our nation, including the capital. Recently, five thousand believers from four hundred DC-area churches gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and prayed on their knees for God to move there. Leaders hope that event is just the beginning of how The Church of Washington, DC, will greatly impact that city for God’s glory and bring many to saving faith in Christ.
We’re hearing reports of similar things happening in other regions, including Chicago, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Little Rock, and Detroit.
Smaller cities are also seeing God move. He is working through the unified prayers and efforts of Christ followers in Cartersville, GA; Easton, PA; Owosso, MI; and middle-sized cities like Syracuse, NY; Asheville, NC; Reno, NV; West Palm Beach, FL; and Grand Rapids, MI.
The night before dying for our sins, Jesus repeatedly prayed in John 17 that His followers would be one. And what unexpected joy we experience from Him when we gather in our communities and pray with followers of Christ from other denominations, backgrounds, and ethnicities, asking God to move powerfully in our cities, to bring unity and love among believers, to drive out evil, and to bring revival to each local church and The Church of our towns!
What about your community? Perhaps God is calling you to start praying that He will raise up Christians in your region who will join together to pray until God pours out His Spirit in power. For the sake of your children and grandchildren and for the ultimate glory of God, take those steps of obedience.