The national capital
Like it or not, what happens here affects the whole of the UK, sooner or later. If the gospel triumphs in London, ripples extend far and wide.
A populous place where few inhabitants are believers
It should move us to think of so many sheep without a shepherd. Many millions in London are virtually untouched by gospel witness.
The seat of national government
God commands prayer for all ‘in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness’ (1 Timothy 2:2).
Where the Queen resides and State occasions take place
Pray for the Royal Family, for their conversion and good influence.
A strategic centre for the English-speaking world
Despite the demise of the British Empire, London’s influence is still great. America is today’s superpower but English is the lingua franca. Imagine the influence for good if the gospel made a real impact in London once more.
More than half the country, as well as many from overseas, visit on business or pleasure, or live in London at some time. Revival here would have an effect worldwide. Congregations regularly see people from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Who knows what the result might be if London became a real centre for the gospel?
A strategic centre
London is home to banks and major financial and commercial organisations. It has influential colleges, medical schools, museums and other institutions. As Paul found with Athens, it is not easy to evangelise – but think of the repercussions if even one sceptic believes.
Teeming with students
What opportunities – yet how few labourers! When academic institutions have come under gospel sway in the past, what an impact it has made! Imagine a revival among students in even one of London’s many colleges.
A centre for the arts and media
People still come here to be ‘celebrities’. Those in the media have much influence. Conversions there could have an impact. We ought to be praying for such people.
A wicked place
Satan has his throne in London. It draws the worst sorts from many places and is a centre for the sex industry, militant homosexuality, gambling, greed, organised and unorganised crime, licentiousness and violence. All sorts of iniquity lurk in its streets and alleyways. It corrupts vast numbers. Pray for Satan’s downfall.
Hard for a Christian
Being a Christian here is not easy. Pray for believers assailed by many temptations – including that of moving away to a less demanding situation! Alternatively, dropping out of corporate church life is an easy option in this vast city. Every year professing Christians come to London and fall away, never having connected with an evangelical church.
Dangerous and stressful
Every woman in my congregation has had her purse stolen at least once. I’m not aware of anyone in the congregation who has not suffered some crime or other over the years. Pray for protection from physical harm for believers. Pray for believers that they will be resilient under the strains of urban and suburban life.
A city full of needy people
Quite apart from the problems of its native population, London continues to act as a sink for troubled souls. Poor and needy, physically or sexually abused, drug addicts and alcoholics, refugees and outcasts, destitute or dangerous – all find their way to London. The gospel is the answer for such people.
Because the city is so large, cosmopolitan and anonymous, Londoners, though not unfriendly, tend to shut out much of what goes on. The potential for loneliness and depression is great. Ralph McTell’s Streets of London is sentimental but makes a fair point. Pray for the lonely people of London’s mansions, bedsits, hostels, shelters and streets. Pray that they will know the Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
A centre for false teaching
Large crowds attend professedly ‘evangelical’ churches that actually teach fundamental error – confusing and misleading the gullible with their deadly mixture. Nominalism and liberalism thrive. There are Catholic and Orthodox churches, synagogues and mosques, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist temples. Here is the national HQ of the Watchtower Society and similar cults. Cults have posters on the tube and ‘Hare Krishna’ devotees parade on Oxford Street. Pray for the downfall of London’s false religions.
Where Christian organisations are based or hold important meetings, but Reformed churches are generally in a weak state
Some large churches in the centre and suburbs exercise a faithful influence, but most Reformed churches are small, many are struggling, and several have no pastor. The city is vast, and even were we doing ten times as much and making twenty times the impact, we would still only be scratching the surface. Brothers, pray for us.