Today we are praying against the strongholds over this community. There are three types of strongholds that affect our city. 1. Strongholds over issues like crime, murder, gangs, and drugs. 2. Strongholds over areas like Brownsville, Warrington, and Montclair. and 3. Strongholds over mindsets, culture and attitudes such as religion, poverty, and illiteracy. Each of these strongholds keep the city from progressing forward. The devil likes to take people captive and render them useless for the Kingdom of God. If kids grow up without a hope or future for betterment they will repeat the mistakes of their parents. They might drop out of school, get involved in gangs and turn to a life of crime. These strongholds have to be broken first in prayer. That is where we come in. Some of us are designed to pray and stand watch over the city as watchmen on the wall. That phrase comes from the idea of men standing guard on a city wall in ancient times and making sure that no enemies are coming to attack the city when every one else is sleeping. You see, as you pray and fast there is a physical change in the stronghold. Something happens that allows the gospel to enter and create hope. Isaiah 58:6 says this concerning prayer and fasting "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? When we fast our prayers set the oppressed free.
This is a spiritual concept that has physical manifestations. This is not to say that after praying we don't need to go out and do something. But we need to start first in prayer. Think about the abortion clinic. All the physical work that had been done in the past such as killings, bombings, marches, protests and shouting, never did anything to close the clinic on 9th. But when we started praying and making prayer and fasting the tool or weapon of choice, the clinic closed. I tell my bible college students that they do not need to wait until they have a degree in theology before they start effecting change on this earth. They can start today by praying and fasting. Preaching doesn't change this world, prayer and fasting does. A preacher can preach till he is blue in the face but if someone wasn't praying for the preacher and the service earlier there will be no fruit. Most every church and minister has a team of intercessors praying for the service before the service ever starts.
We need to take this responsibility seriously. Have you heard the statement: No prayer, no power. Little prayer, little power. More prayer, more power. This sums up the responsibility. If you and I don't pray and fast who will? There is no one else. There is no other person that God is speaking to right now except you and I. We need to step up and fervently take the lead in praying for this community.
2 Cor 10:3-5 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.