It was just another day in the neighborhood. A corrupt neighborhood – filled with dubious motives, hatred, politics and religious deviance. The city’s ministers, it seemed, were mostly self-serving and prided themselves in inflicting guilt on their saints with their powerful demands.
There was also the working class. They married, and raised children with hopes and dreams. Most people were poor and lived in the lower city, a small minority including the government officials and the ministers lived the wealthy life in the upper city.
A group of believers in the city decided to have a prayer meeting. The things that followed were unbelievable. The transformation that took place has been talked about since. Not only was there a turnaround in the city, but many miracles took place. Now instead of people standing around talking about the corrupt officials or the money hungry clergy, they were heralding the latest miraculous healing, telling about the revival taking the city by storm, or just talking about how their hometown just seemed to be a better place to live.
The place? Jerusalem. And because of the transformation of this city, the world has never been quite the same.
This took place two-thousand years ago, but things very similar are taking place today. If you don’t believe me, ask the residents of Cali-Colombia, Almolonga-Guatemala, Hemet-California or Kiambu-Kenya.
A close friend recently handed me a video and told me that she thought I might be interested in how prayer had impacted several cities. I took it to the office and put it in the video player. What transpired next is hard to explain. I sat spellbound. Tears soon began to stream down my face.
Imagine a community where 92 percent of the population now believes in Jesus; where city jails have been closed for lack of crime; where agricultural productivity has reached biblical proportions. Imagine a city where 60,000 Christians jam the soccer stadium for all-night prayer vigils every 90 days; where a multi-billion dollar drug cartel has been brought to its knees.
Imagine a town where local bars have been transformed into churches; where ancestral shrines have been destroyed; where entire family clans have come to faith in Christ.
James 5:16 tells us, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” I read a different translation recently that I like even better – it says, “When God’s people pray, great things happen.” Time has proven this to be true over and over again.
Want to make a difference in your city? Want to change the course of a nation? Want to impact your world? My suggestion to you, start a prayer meeting!
Lisa Marshall is the World Network of Prayer Strategic Prayer Coordinator