Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Changing the Atmosphere

My little town on the prairie is a happenin’ place. The announcement of the world’s largest pea protein processing facility opening here, followed by the announcement of Simplot’s plan to double its production, is breathing optimism into the atmosphere. I’m no economic development expert, but it doesn’t take a genius to know the ripple effect means all this good news is only the beginning.

As it should, much praise has been poured out on our municipal councils, city and RM staff, provincial officials, and all involved in making these industrial dreams come true. It takes the efforts of many people working together and putting in long hours to make massive projects reality. We applaud you all!

Today, though, I’d like to suggest there just might be an element to this success that is being overlooked in our media, board rooms, and coffee shops. A catalyst that no one can see. A force at work behind the scenes. Dare I speak of it? Consider the evidence and judge for yourself.

In 2014, my church (Prairie Alliance) embarked on a prayer journey where we discerned what God is calling us to be in our community. This led to the start of 24/7 prayer weeks, where ordinary people sign up to pray in one-hour slots, so that prayers go up around the clock for that week. I’m not suggesting for a minute that ours is the only church praying. A movement is definitely afoot across Portage la Prairie’s community of faith. Ours is simply the one with which I’m familiar.

During these prayer times, folks are given a list of specific things to ask God for. This list would fill three of my blog posts by itself, so I’ll point out a few items as they relate to recent news headlines. You can decide whether a connection exists. 

The list includes a section where we pray for our front-runners. It names our city and RM council members by name, as well as other community leaders. We ask God to deliver our citizens from pessimism to optimism, from a victim mentality to an empowered one; from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset; from fear to joy; from caution to vision. Are you seeing a link?

We’ve been praying for creative partnerships in Portage – for organizations committed to similar goals, that they can leverage resources for greater effectiveness. Have you seen this happening anywhere?

Here’s a sentence lifted right out of the prayer guide:

“Pray for the success of industry and business in Portage; that the resources generated by this success would be poured back into Portage for the good of the city.”

You can call it a coincidence. Or you can call it psychological, that what we pray for we somehow, subconsciously, cause to happen. Or you can consider the lyrics to the Chris Tomlin song we’ve been singing for years, “God of this City,” or the promise of the Bible where it says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14) 

However you see it, doesn’t it make you curious to know what else is on that prayer list? It’s not top secret; anyone is welcome to jump on board. Trust me, if you live here, you’re “on the list.” You are being prayed for. Momentum is building. Oh, did I mention the repeating tag line in that song? For greater things have yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city…”


    Fantastic news about a Fantastic place, written by a Fantastic lady. This was a FANTASTIC blog, once again. (You can see why I do not write blogs.. My list of adjectives in not that fantastic....)

  2. I love this! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I've had the privilege of hearing Ron Pierce of Empower Ministries speak about their church planting efforts in NE Africa, and was reminded of his stories when I read your article. He reports that when they arrive in an area, it is poverty stricken, people don't care about each other etc (you pen similar mentalities!). Once they get a pastor in place and the church starts to thrive, the whole community and even economy is changed for the better. You describe it well. It is awesome to hear about such transformation in other parts of the world, and maybe even more so when we can recognize it in our own communities in our corner of the world. Definitely God!