One morning while I (Kimberly) was in prayer the Lord called me a hypocrite. Ouch! When I inquired as to why, He answered, “Because you rally people to pray for your city, even for your mayor, but you despise where you are.” Ouch again! The Lord continued, “You are mad at the city. You have despised the land. It should be the powers and principalities that are ruling over it that you should be dealing with!” I knew He was right.

The circumstances that brought me to Lakeland, Florida back in the 1980s were not ideal. Choices I had made resulted in years of lost dreams, a broken heart, and the overwhelming disappointment from unanswered prayers that I encountered there. Honestly, I had been looking for a way to board the next train out of town. “Maybe Texas or Virginia will be better,” I pondered. “Just get me out of here,” became the cry of my heart to the Lord. I wanted to run as far away from this place as possible. In my heart I wanted no part of it. My hurts dictated my attitude.

There I was an ordained minister travelling throughout the state and the U.S. leading worship and prayer meetings, while holding resentment toward my own city at the same time! Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? Yet, it was true. I had to come to terms with my sin. So, right there in that moment I chose to die to my self-justified accusations against my city. I repented for despising the land that God created. I had to ask Him to forgive me for hating the city I lived in. I had to accept the fact that the Lord had ordered my steps, and that I was there for a reason. What I thought I wanted had to die. At that moment, I chose not only to reside here, but also to invest my time and prayers into the success of my city.

Let’s get one thing straight: We cannot go to war for something we don’t believe in. Today’s common church mentality is to tolerate this earthly life until we get to Heaven because the world’s final destination is doom and destruction. This is not God’s mandate for the church. We were saved to take dominion. We must search our heart and get clear of any resentment, judgment or curses we have spoken over our city, nation, business, family or church. If we do not do that, chances are that our motives for praying will be tainted. We must come to terms with the fact that “The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Ps. 24:1) We were born and placed in our territory for such a time as this. We are called to exercise dominion where God has planted us on this side of eternity.

We will know when we’ve come to this this place. Until we get here, we must be aware of our heart motives in battle. You see, if we lay down our lives for our city, then we no longer filter our prayers and actions through our own desires. Our eyes and ears will be tuning to the Lord and we will pray and do what He is doing on the earth. It’s no longer prayers that demand our will be done. Our prayer lives will declare, “Lord, Your will be done!”

To read more, get your copy of Preparing for Battle: Developing a Lifestyle of a Victorious Prayer Warrior by Kimberly J. & Richard C. Wilson on Amazon or Kindle today or check out our Occupying Force Podcast Episode: Fall in Love with Your City.