Praying for our Communities: Part 1

Part I: Canopy of Prayer

“Over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and a shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.” – Isaiah 4:5b, 6

Canopy of Prayer is a prayer initiative which seeks to bring spiritual transformation to our communities.

We have adopted the spiritual template outlined in the fourth chapter of Isaiah as our guideline. Isaiah speaks of repentance and unity of God’s people around the “branch of the Lord”, a name for Christ. His people are to be cleansed and set apart for God. Then God will send His presence and His glory. And over all He will establish a canopy of protection for His people. Canopy of Prayer gathers intercessors to pray for repentance, unity, God’s presence, and God’s protection for our families, churches, and cities, establishing God’s canopy over all.

Before we can pray for repentance and unity the intercessors must practice repentance and unity. Sins and hurts from the past must be dealt with. There can be no divisions from race, ethnicity, or denomination. As Christ is one with the Father, and we are one with Christ, we must also be united in Christ (John 17:21). We then must develop a love for our brothers and sisters in Christ so we can become friends of God and partners in God’s business (John 15:14-17). The payoff comes when the world can see our unity and love, and people believe the Gospel (John 17:23).

Once the intercessors can pray together with unity and love in their hearts, the next step is to bring the message of unity and love to their churches. One effective strategy is to pray with pastors, priests, and church leaders for the needs of their churches. Another way to foster unity and love between denominations is to hold non-denominational praise, worship, and prayer meetings. Those small beginnings can lead to regular unity meetings for church leaders and involvement of church congregations in unity activities. And a united church can be used by God to bring revival to our cities.

Canopy of Prayer intercessors can also stand in the gap for their cities. We have seen instances where intercessory prayer has thwarted violent attacks against churches. Even violent storms and tornadoes have been kept out of covered cities. In our case, the weather man said that it looked like a canopy had been placed over the city. For the storms that are coming, whether they be natural, economic, terroristic or governmental, our cities need a Canopy of Prayer.

We invite those called to intercession to stand in the gap with us to build a Canopy of Prayer over their communities.