The ten-hour drive seemed to be washed away as I stepped from my vehicle and the atmosphere of the city engulfed me. The very air was electric with faith, a tangible faith that one could feel. I had never experienced anything like it before. That day was life-changing for me. I learned that you can change the atmosphere of a city. It has been many years now, and yet if I close my eyes, I can still feel that same breathtaking ambience that captivated me that day.
Have you taken your place on the wall?
It was my first visit to the City of Faith, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Though my purpose there was for a ministry meeting, I believe to this day that the real reason I was there was that I might learn the importance of atmospheres — and how we, as believers, can create them.
Mere days later, I would find myself in another city, in a different state. Still basking in the glorious climate of Tulsa, I again stepped out of my vehicle. What I was feeling on this day was equally revealing: In this city, though, I could discern only darkness. The atmosphere here was filled with evil and oppression. It was such a stark difference from what I had experienced only days before, that I was stunned — and not in a good way.
In each of these cities, I visited only churches or ministries. I had appointments with well-known ministers — and yet the atmospheres in the two cities contrasted deeply: One was filled with faith and light, and the other was oppressive and dark.
We have all found ourselves in situations where what was going on was evident in the atmosphere: in a home where one can feel anger and dissension in the air, perhaps, or else at a funeral — places in which an aura of oppression and sadness are evident. In stark contrast, when we attend an anointed church service, say, faith and expectation fill the atmosphere. The latter is an atmosphere in which God shows up.
Atmosphere can be defined as the pervading tone or mood of a place or situation. Words and actions directly affect and even create the prevailing atmosphere, as God began to reveal to me. God works in atmospheres. We see this in the life of Jesus: And He did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58). In a city where the dominant mood was one of unbelief, there was nothing Jesus could do. Yet, time and again we see that He healed the sick and even raised the dead in places where faith and expectancy prevailed — the same faith and expectancy I felt in Tulsa that day. Atmospheres do matter, and if we are to see our cities change, we must create a faith-filled atmosphere — one that will be conducive for God to work, and not only to work, but even to make His abode. How do we do that?
Praise and Worship
Psalm 8:2 tells us that praise stops the enemy in his tracks. It renders him helpless. He will not remain where praises arise to God. Therefore, with our praise and worship we can create a blessed atmosphere, one that not only welcomes the presence of God, but also drives out all demonic forces. God inhabits our praise. He dwells where His children are praising Him. If we want to shift an atmosphere and drive out the devil, praise is the place to start.
Speak the Word
Another way to remove unwanted atmospheres from your city is with the word of God. I have always loved Matthew 8:16: When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick … (NKJV).
Jesus cast out spirits with a word. We have the authority to do the same thing. One word from God, spoken with authority, will drive out demons and bring healing to our cities. One anointed word from God will shift the atmosphere in our city, bringing faith and light to every dark place.
Our assignment is to consistently speak words of blessing over and into our city. We cannot speak words of defeat and gloom and expect our land to be filled with God. No! We must speak God’s plan for our city; we must speak blessings over our cities and states. When we do that, we will see things begin to change.
Prayer changes things: … The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16 NKJV). The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says it this way: … The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
For the atmosphere in our city to change, we must pray heartfelt and continual prayers. The Bible promises us that when we do this, tremendous power is released into the atmosphere, a power that will shift our city completely, a power that is dynamic and atmosphere-altering.
I don’t know what atmosphere your city holds, but this I do know: You can change it — I saw that with my own eyes. I felt it down in my soul. You and I can change the atmosphere of our city and cause it to be filled with faith, expectancy, and the glory of God.
Furthermore, if we can change the atmosphere in our city, we can change the oppressing atmosphere in our nation — one city at time. Will you be a part of this change? Begin today, by praising God for your city and letting that praise rise into the atmosphere. Let your praises drive out the darkness and usher in the light. Speak the word of God over and into your city, bringing forth the will and plan of God for this land. And finally, make your city a place of prayer, a place where God is pleased to dwell. For where He is, there is no darkness or oppression, but only light, only freedom. May God make His abode in our city and in our nation. God Bless America.
Have you experienced the power of praising God to change the atmosphere where you live? Share below.
Kim Potter is a writer and the founder of A New Thing Ministries, which sends a daily teaching to thousands of people all around the world. Her articles have appeared on The Elijah List, in Charisma, and on Spirit Fuel and iBelieve.com. Kim’s message is one of hope: She speaks to the hearts of those who have grown discouraged or disappointed by the circumstances of life, to impart that hope. Her daily inspirational writings can be accessed at www.anewthingministries.com. Photo Credit: Casey Horner on Unsplash.