“A watchman on the wall does many things. He carefully watches what is happening and alerts the community when good ambassadors approach the city… A watchman also warns the city far in advance when an enemy approaches. He sounds an alarm to awaken the people because he knows ‘to forewarn them is to alert and arm them.’ Then they quickly can rally to take their stand on the wall against the enemy before he wrongfully tries to enter into the city.” James Goll
Did you know that prayer changes the atmosphere of your city? If there was ever a time when we needed to be on alert for our cities and pray day and night for our neighborhoods, it is now. Too many evil things are happening at an increasing rate. We have the secret of prayer and God’s presence that can touch our cities and ward off the evil intent of the enemy. Prayer is much more powerful than we realize. It can release the power of God and His anointing in even the darkest of places.
In praying for our city we welcome and honor the Holy Spirit, asking Him to lead us in our prayer time. We need to pray by the power and at the initiation of the Holy Spirit. We can’t do it ourselves (John 5:19). Sometimes He whispers to us with an impression in our heart as to what to pray. Sometimes He directs us to specific Scriptures to pray. We need to be watchful and attentive to the Spirit’s leading (1 Peter 4:7; Ephesians 6:18). We ask the Lord what He is doing and listen. We spend time in worship when we come into God’s presence.
It’s almost like putting up the sail in a boat on a lake when the weather is calm. Suddenly the sail catches the wind even with the most gentle breeze, and the boat begins to move. We position our heart to listen carefully for the knowledge of His will; then we pray it back to Him. Many times God’s leading is like a whisper. Sometimes the action God wants us to take is prayer for protection. Sometimes it is reaching out in love to a needy person in the inner city.
Prayer is one of the best ways to protect our cities. This is going to be a necessity in the coming days. Through prayer and intercession we can pray into the atmosphere of heaven and bring heaven’s will to earth, praying the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. The word used for intercession in the Bible is “paga.” This word can also be translated as “boundary.” Through prayer we can build boundaries of protection around our cities. Through united prayer, we can protect God’s purposes and plans for our cities.
What is the central dream of your city? What is the plan or purpose of God for your city?
God has a good plan for your city, but the enemy has an evil plan. God anticipated your city and planned it. Your city does have a divine purpose; there is the need to cry out to Him for the fulfillment of that purpose. You need to protect the dream of God for your city through prayer.
“Protection is an important aspect of the watchman anointing. Watchmen are guards, bodyguards, doorkeepers and, generally speaking, those who protect by covering in prayer.” Dutch Sheets
We used to live in the city of Virginia Beach, very close to the Atlantic Ocean. Often we were threatened by possible hurricanes that occasionally came up the east coast of the United States. I remember a time when a group of Christian leaders, made up of pastors and intercessors, decided that the threat was too serious. They were on alert as watchmen. They called the region—which included seven cities—to day and night prayer for the protection of our area. God protected each city.
In the Old Testament times, a watchman would keep watch on the walls for enemies or watch after the crops at harvest time (Isaiah 1:6-8; Ezekiel 22:30). We need watchmen to watch over God’s harvest in our cities and protect it as well. Just as God appointed mankind as guardians and watchmen of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2:15, He wants us to be alert watchmen and guard the land where we live.
In an area of Africa, the first Christians were very serious about watchful prayer. Each believer had their own special place outside the village where they could be alone to pray in solitude. They reached these out door “prayer rooms” by walking through their own private footpath through the brush. But when the grass began to grow over one of the trails, they knew something was desperately wrong—someone wasn’t praying.
They were perfect examples of watchmen because they were so concerned about the spiritual welfare of each other. A custom sprang up among them. Whenever one of them noticed an overgrown prayer path, they would go to the person and warn them in a loving way by saying, “Friend, there’s grass on your path!”
God wants you to be an alert watchman just like these villagers in Africa. He wants you to join with others in prayer for your city and for one another. Isaiah 62:6-7 stresses the need to give God no rest, and to pray day and night for the city of Jerusalem:
“I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.”
The same is true for each one of our cities. As you begin to look at your city through the eyes of God and with His heart, realize that it belongs to Him. We read in Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” God wants you to contend for your city in prayer. He wants you to pray for His authority to rule supreme in your city. Although Satan has invaded our cities, through prayer and action we can take them back.
“Watchmen are ordinarily placed on the walls of a city to give notice to the rulers of coming danger. God appoints watchmen not only to warn men—often they will not hear—but also to summon Him to come to their aid whenever need or the enemy may be threatening. The great mark of the intercessors are that they are not to hold their peace day or night, to take no rest, and to give God no rest, until the deliverance comes. In faith they may count upon the assurance that God will answer their prayers.” Andrew Murray
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff