I don't know if it's me, but there are times when I get the feeling that it is almost an accepted fact of life that people hate the place they live. Maybe we've just noticed it more in Bedford. To hear some people talk you'd think that Bedford had nothing going for it at all. There's not enough shopping, the town centre is too dangerous at the weekends at night, there's nothing to do etc. etc. Having moved a fair number of times, it's a pattern I've observed in a number of places.
And Christians are amongst the worst offenders when it comes to decrying their local town or city.
But if we hate the place we live, how then can we love it? How can we pray the heart-achingly tear-filled prayers for God to pour out his Spirit in renewal and revival if we would rather see the place wiped from the map? How can we love the people when we're so focused on despising the place?
These are not complete thoughts, but I just wonder what difference it might make if every Christian began to pray positively for the places where they live and work. If we began to pray about the coffee shops and cafes that we use. If we began to pray for the retail workers and the businesses. I wonder how different our town centres could be if it were gangs of believers hanging around the shopping centre praying together and sharing fellowship together.
Perhaps today is the day to start to ask God to give you a heart for the place where you live. A day to begin to pray God's blessing on the people and places that surround you. Even if you want desperately to leave, there is no reason whatsoever that you can offer to God for not praying whilst still there.