Praying for the Urban City
Overwhelming. That's how I define an urban city. Even though I grew up in Metro NY-NJ, my senses are still overwhelmed when I visit any urban area. The crowds standing in your way or rapidly rushing by you, loud, often exotic, music mixed with the noises of the streets streaming through the air, and the continuously changing smells—some making you salivate and some making you sick—simply engulf my senses. In the city, life is booming and moving and you can't help but to get caught up in the excitement. Jesus also lived and worked in the cities. He walked through busy markets, people brushing up against him, crowds surrounding him as they sought to be healed; I can imagine that the noises and smells overwhelmed his senses too. But in the midst of the hustle and bustle of city life, Jesus always prayed. He knew that the mission before him could only be done through the power of the Father (John 5:19, 30; 8:28). So, regularly, Jesus slipped away from the crowds to pray (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16). So as a church planter living once again in Metro NY, I need to slip away and pray too.
So how can you join me in praying for this or any other urban city? Here are some suggestions...
- Pray for the gospel to be proclaimed boldly from the pulpits in your city every Sunday.
- Pray for church leaders in your church and neighboring churches to have a God-sized concern for your city (Jonah 4:10-11).
- Pray for Christians in the marketplace to care for and boldly share the gospel with their unsaved co-workers.
- Pray for the immigrants in your city to place their hope in Christ and not the “American Dream.” Pray that the Lord help you get out of your comfort zone and tell them about this hope.
- Pray that the Christians in your city will care more about worshiping Christ on Sunday mornings than rooting for their favorite sports team on Sunday afternoons.
- Pray that teenager that just got his girlfriend pregnant would stick around and be a father to his child. Pray that he and his girlfriend would place their trust in Christ.
- Pray for the Christians in your city to care about and care for the orphans and foster children of your city.
- Pray with elected officials for the decisions they make to have lasting and positive effects on the community.
- Ask the Lord for the gospel to be discussed and debated in your city's schools and places of higher learning (Acts 17:16-34).
- Pray for business owners, workers, and the city’s economy.
- Pray the Lord would send laborers to your city (Luke 10:2).
Friends, pray for your city, let us "pray without ceasing;" (1 Thessalonians 5:17).Carlos Soca will serve as the Lead Pastor of Christ Our Hope Church in Clifton, NJ. He desires to be a faithful minister of the Word and to lead the church in joyful witness of the Gospel to the community and beyond. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from NJIT and an MDiv from SEBTS. Carlos and his wife Madai have three children, Josh, Hannah and Avery.