Lifting Up West Covina in Prayer
This past Friday, we had our monthly Concert of Prayer. Following along the theme of Nehemiah and God’s heart for rebuilding our city, we prayed fervently for the Lord to come and minister to the children, the families, the institutions, and churches of West Covina. Thank you to those who participated. We did what I called a virtual prayer walk viewing various images of West Covina which represent the city and its people, and lifting them up in prayer. For this devotional, I wanted to share a few pictures with you and invite you to pray for the Lord to touch and heal our city even as you read this. We pray for great things to happen by God’s power and for His glory. As believers, even though we are citizens of God’s kingdom, we want His presence and blessing to be found right here in our community. God says as much to the Israelites in Jeremiah 29 which reads: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce . . . 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 29:4–5, 7)
Our welfare or prosperity as a church, in part, depends on the prosperity of the city itself. As God’s people, we should desire to see our neighbors flourishing and experiencing God’s blessing in practical, tangible ways. While one church alone cannot address the needs of an entire city, each church should be an instrument of light and blessing to the community. Picture the city now and our neighbors (as if we were doing a physical prayer walk) and pray for their welfare.
Let’s begin by praying for the schools and the children of West Covina. As you may know, we have been developing a relationship with Cameron Elementary School down the street from our church. But did you know that there are 15 public schools in the West Covina Unified School District consisting of eight elementary, three middle, and four high schools with over 14,000 students? We want to see the children of our city flourish in their growth, education, and development, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Here are some things to pray for: 1) Safe return to in-person instruction; 2) Healthy structure/environment for the children; 3) Effective learning and development to take place; and 4) Pray against the growth and influence of gangs, drugs, and bullying.
Over 103,000 people live in West Covina encompassing 30,000 households. Like every city, this includes many good loving households but it also includes many that desperately need God’s help in their families and relationships. The strength of the home and the family is the foundation for any strong community. Let’s pray for God’s help and strength in the homes and lives of our neighbors. Here are some things to pray for: 1) Strong marriages, good parenting; 2) Pray against abuse and neglect; 3) Love and peace in the home; and 4) That our neighbors would see their need for Christ and His Word in their lives.
Part of a thriving community is a strong economy with good stable leadership. Even in normal times, these things are a challenge but they have been especially difficult with the pandemic, financial struggles, and social unrest of the past year. Our city needs help and healing. We want to invite God to work in our city in and through the local businesses, neighborhoods, and civic government. Some things to pray for: 1) Help for struggling businesses; 2) Pray against unemployment and crime; 3) Care for the poor, homeless, and elderly; and 4) Wisdom for city and government leaders.
Lastly, the Church, the worldwide Body of Christ, has a mission of preaching the gospel, bringing people into a saving relationship with Jesus, and advancing God’s kingdom. This is a picture of Immanuel First Lutheran Church on Valinda Ave. which is just one of 20-30 Christian churches in West Covina with this mission. During this crucial time in the life of our city, let’s pray for the strength and growth of our church and other churches to impact West Covina with the blessing of Christ. Here are some things to pray for: 1) That the gospel would be preached clearly and effectively; 2) Christ’s kingdom would be advanced in the communities around our churches; 3) Congregations would be edified and equipped; and 4) People of West Covina would be saved.
Thank you for praying now. Let’s continue to lift up our city in our prayers.