I have a friend that speaks several languages, one heavily accented by the other so that you are sure he's not an American, and I've known him forever.
He used to come back to the US armed with a massive map of the tiny town where they live, and would show it to all of us and say, "Please pray for my city." And when Andrew and I wandered to see his part of the world, he took us to the top of the hill overlooking his town and said, "Let's pray".
I secretly thought he was nuts.
But there's something about what he does, that sticks in your mind and as we crested the hill today, and suddenly Granada was spread out underneath us like a large blanket covering the valley, I thought, "Let's pray."
All through our few days away, I unplugged from life as best as possible. I read books watching movies read blogs and all like a drowning woman gasping for her last breath. We had some friends come visit and we watched movies, and swam together and ate fish and shrimp and tiny octopuses by the seaside.
And then, as I drove him, my heart beat faster till the moment we crested the hill, and it stopped as I saw it all over again. At the very place where the Moorish King Boabdil wept in 1492 over the loss of the city and its renowned palace, the Alhambra, my breath was again taken away.
And before I even enter my tiny flat that Andrew and I call home sweet home, we are informed that the power was cut due to the fact that I didn't pay an electricity bill. Welcome home to a place so beautiful it takes your brother a way, to a place in the world so overwhelmed by the kingdom of darkness your light and life get snuffed out if you don't take care of it, and a place where we long to see God's Kingdom established.
So, find a map, spread it out, pray for this city. Pray for us to be salt and light. Pray for peace. Pray for patience, as the kingdom of God grows like a tree and expands like yeast in bread. Pray for His light to be turned on and be shone brightly in this town. May He become God of this city...