Author: Beth Tays
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
- Jeremiah 29:7.
Ever look around you and take stock of the world from where you stand - what your life looks like, what these times look like, what your place in it all looks like?
I wonder, as you survey this landscape, if you find yourself a little bewildered by the patch underneath your feet. Maybe you never thought you’d be “here” - in this job, this family situation, this part of the world, this circumstance in life, this proverbial valley or mountain-top. Maybe you never thought you’d witness such turbulent times politically, culturally, environmentally in our world today. Perhaps as you consider some of these things you feel a pang of weariness or dread around them; still maybe you are lifted by the glimmer of real hope for the possibility of ‘what could be’.
In Jeremiah’s letter to the Israelites in exile, the Lord urges them all to be fully present. They found themselves in an unexpected, undesirable place. And yet they were to stand with both feet firmly there as God instructed them to plant roots, be family, create community, work the land, sow and reap.
Likewise, God invites us to stand confidently with both feet right where we are today. Whether this is expected, desirable ground or not, this is our time, our place, our cultural moment in which to speak prophetically and shape creatively.
God calls us to fully engage in his great redemptive work in our lives and in the world today. We each have a part to play in God’s unfolding plan right in our midst.
The Lord also invites us not just to apply the work of our hands (and time, intellect, finance) but to PRAY. We are to seek the welfare of our places, contending for them in prayer. Firstly because our battle is not against flesh and blood. But also because in prayer, our hearts come into alignment with the heart of God. Our desires come into place with his and our efforts fall into line with his plans. We are to seek him with our whole hearts, for when we do we will surely find him. Is there any greater treasure?
Father we look to you afresh today.
We seek your face and delight in your presence.
Thank you that you are near and quick to be found.
You are our refuge and strength.
We speak blessing over the place where we are.
Holy Spirit we welcome you here
and pray that you bring transformation.
Give us courage in our spheres of influence, that we may speak prophetically and act boldly.
May your Kingdom come in this place.
In Jesus name,
Beth Tays works with 24-7 Prayer Ireland. She lives in Belfast, but is originally from California.
Published on 12 April 2019