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)
The Jewish exiles in Babylon were called to pray for their city. Now, Babylon is a very pagan city, it is ‘enemy territory’, and it is not their promised home. But Jeremiah calls them to pray for their city. And the reason given is that “in the city’s welfare, they will find their welfare.” In other words, a good and flourishing city benefits its citizens.
Singapore may not be a Christian city and we are meant to feel like exiles here (1 Peter 1:1), looking forward to our true home – to the eternal city whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10).
In our time on earth, while we know in faith that this is not our home, ultimately, we can nonetheless still belt out along with Kit Chan, that “this is still home, truly”. And there is a biblical call for us to pray for Singapore.
So how should we pray for Singapore, what do we pray for? In the book, “5 Things to Pray for your City”1, gives us some pointers.
1. Pray for Relationships in the City
[Read Proverbs 15:1-7]
Pray for wise perspectives that are built on God’s truth.
Pray for wise friendships that point you to Jesus.
Pray for wise families that disciple children.
Pray for wise communities that support each other.
Pray for wise schools that mould the minds and lives of the next generation.
2. Pray for Work in the City
[Read Genesis 1:28, 2:15; 3:17-19]
Pray thankfully for the blessing of work.
Pray for a sense of call in our work.
Pray for a diligent care for our work.
Pray about the frustrations stemming the curse of work.
Pray for opportunities for fruitful gospel work.
3. Pray for Rest in the City
[Read Hebrews 4:1-13]
Pray for wisdom to be busy about the right things.
Pray for a reverence for Sabbath-keeping in worship to God.
Pray for a biblical pattern of work and rest in the week.
Pray for opportunities to evangelise in your hobbies.
Pray for a use of time that honours God with every breath.
4. Pray for Justice in the City
[Read Exodus 35:30 – 36:1]
Pray for a government that upholds justice and rebuffs corruption.
Pray for a citizenry that is law-abiding and forbearing of each other.
Pray for a parliament that debates humbly and make wise laws.
Pray for the government to spend our taxes wisely for the public good.
Pray for Christians in Singapore to engage lovingly in acts of social justice.
God wants Christians everywhere to pray for their cities, for the people flourish when the city flourishes. This editorial gives us 5 prayer points in 4 categories to help us do this. Let us pray one point each day, Monday to Friday, over the next four weeks, and experience the transformation that God will graciously work in our hearts, and for our city.
- Pastor Luwin Wong
1 Thorne, H., & Nicholas, P. (2018). 5 Things to Pray For Your City: Prayers that change things for your culture, church and community. The Good Book Company