Changing Culture, One Heart at a Time
Updated: Mar 23, 2022
It is PRAYER that shifts atmospheres and changes culture! And it happens from the inside-out, one heart at a time.
Everything around us seems to be broken or upside-down, and it can feel overwhelming! I've realized that often when I look at the culture around me I often wonder how in the world it could ever change.
So I've been praying. I've been asking the Lord,
"What's my part for involvement—for working toward solutions?"
It is PRAYER that shifts atmospheres and changes culture, one heart at a time!
As I pray, the first "atmosphere" to change is my own heart! God showed me that I was unconsciously "grouping people" or lumping them together under labels. He reminded me that groups are really just made up of individuals, and He cares about each one. For example, "that school board" is not just a "board;" it is a group of individuals. "that political party" is not just a nebulous entity; it is made up of individuals. God cares about each person's heart more than he cares about any of our politics!
It is PRAYER that shifts atmospheres and changes culture from the inside-out, one heart at a time! Inside-out is a theme that is woven throughout the story of my life. And it starts with prayer.
Jon Bunn, a leader in Fort Worth Texas said, “One of the most critical prayer focuses we have is the harvest of souls residing within our city. People will step into eternity with Christ based on our prayer and witness. Jesus tells us in Luke 10:2 in the New Living Translation, ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields.’ God's harvest is the heart-change of INDIVIDUALS. And as hearts are awakened, culture begins to change—from the inside out.
So let's do it! Let's pray! Here are some ideas on where to start that I adapted from a devotional found on Give Him 15 from Intercessors of America. These prayer points came from Bowie, Maryland on their website Turn on the Light Bowie.
When praying for our communities, begin by thanking the Lord who is “guarding the city” right now! Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.”
1. Pray for Spiritual Awakening in the Churches in your Community.
Pray the Scriptural prayers found in Eph 1:15-21, 3:14-21; Phil 1:9-11; Col 1:9-12, 4:12; 1 Thes 3:10-13, 5:23; 2 Thes 1:11-12, 2:16-17, 3:1-5; Phil 4-6; and Heb 13:20-21. When you pray these Scriptures, insert the name of churches in your community, asking God to bring the fullness of Jesus’ life into each church. Remember the example of Epaphras, a servant of Christ who “wrestled in prayer” for the Christians that lived in three cities – Colosse, Laodicia, and Hierapolis (Col 4:12).
2. Pray Against the Spiritual Strongholds of Darkness Over Your Community. Ephesians 6:12 teaches of the constant spiritual battle in the heaven lies.. actual strongholds that the enemy has over geographic areas. (see also Dan 10:10-13). Command the “rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and the spiritual forces of evil” in the north, south, east, and west of your city to “give up” those people held in spiritual bondage (see Is 43:5,6). Praise the Lord that people will come to Jesus from the four sections of your city. (Lk 13:29)
3. Pray For the Leadership and Authorities in Your Community
– such as the Mayor, the City Council, Police Chief, School Board, etc. Find out who is currently serving, write it down, and pray for them by name.
4. Ask God to Bless Your Community.
“Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted” – Proverbs 11:11
The greatest blessing God can send is Jesus Christ, who will turn people from their wickedness, and bring them salvation. Acts 3:26.
5. Pray for the Welfare of Your Community.
“…seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:7
6. Pray for the People of Your Community to Turn to God.
God causes heart-change, one person at a time. Collectively that can change a community. Remember the Nineveh (read Jn 3:1-10) and Samaria did. (John 4:39-42).
7. Pray for Peace Within Your Community and for the Prosperity of the Community. This can start with peace within your own heart and the hearts of each individual, and it will multiply from the inside-out. Psalm 122:6,7
8. Pray for Your Community to Support Righteousness and Goodness. “When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.” Proverbs 11:10
9. Pray for Your Community to be a Testimony of Righteousness.
10. Pray that Your Community Would Recognize the Time of God’s Visitation. Luke 19:41-44
Remember: It is PRAYER that shifts atmospheres and changes culture, one heart at a time!
Learn more about living from the inside out: