God Had a Better Plan

By Hyland Justice

“Would you consider going to seminary?” a friend asked me in the spring of 2012. “Absolutely not,” I replied rather curtly. I quickly added that I was “way too old!” Five prayerful months later I enrolled in a fall class at Reformed Theological Seminary in my home city of Atlanta. Five years later I graduated with a master’s degree in religion. God called and equipped me to do something I did not think I could do in a season of life when I thought school was behind me. The rich teachings from my seminary professors gave me an expanded understanding of God and his plan for redemptive history. When a friend connected me with City to City shortly before graduation, I recognized the significant way in which City to City is joining God in that work.

I began helping City to City develop a presence and friend base in Atlanta. In preparation for an inaugural event in Atlanta in 2018 at which Tim Keller would explain the vision and ministry of City to City, I invited a few friends to meet and pray. That first gathering led to monthly prayer gatherings, which have continued since.

We gather in homes for an hour of fellowship and prayer. I contact City to City for specific prayer requests before we meet, and we pray for those requests in addition to whatever the Spirit might lay on someone’s heart. After the meeting, I distribute the requests via email to a larger prayer distribution list.

Each month I am humbled by the beautiful prayers of the people who gather. We pray not only for specific prayer requests but also for a mighty work of the Holy Spirit to bring revival throughout the world and for a global church that will increasingly join together in prayer. We are praying that new groups will form in cities throughout the United States and the world to join those already praying for the ministry of City to City and for God’s kingdom work here on earth.

When I shared the Atlanta story at a City to City donor event in New York City earlier this year, individuals from several cities around the U.S. said they wanted to begin or participate in a prayer group for their respective cities. This has confirmed the hope and the vision for groups of praying people to gather across the country. My dream is to have groups join together in prayer not only throughout the United States but also around the world.

Going a step further and dreaming an even bigger dream, would it not be an extraordinary privilege to be a part of a world revival through the movement of prayer in the global church? Together might we prepare people, places and hearts for the Holy Spirit to do a mighty work in and through us to tell the world about the saving love, grace and forgiveness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?

When my friend asked me, “Would you consider…?” God changed my “Absolutely not” into a life-changing and life-giving “Yes!” He equipped me for the journey, and he led me to City to City to gather others to pray. Would you consider saying yes to gathering with people in your city to pray for City to City? You will be encouraged and strengthened in your faith journey as you pray with both new and longtime friends AND you just might be a catalyst for revival around the world!

Are you interested in starting a group in your city? CTC is looking for three to five prayer champions to be part of a local prayer initiative pilot program. Contact Rebekah Knable at rebekah@redeemercitytocity.com for more information. And follow along on social media with #prayforcities.