A Letter from the CEO

Dear Friend,

Recently our staff spent two days with John Smed and Justine Hwang from Prayer Current. Their vision is to see a river of prayer, fed by God’s Spirit, nourished by the Word of God, filled with the message of Christ, flowing through every person who prays, into the church, in the community, and into the city. This vision resonates with me. However, I still find myself getting caught up in strategies and scenario analyses and tend to approach prayer at points of desperation and not as a beloved child of the King.

When I accepted the position to lead City to City, a friend told me that while the Lord certainly cared about the work I had been doing in the business world, I needed to daily put on the full armor of God as I began leading an organization whose mission is to help leaders start new churches in global cities. “The enemy will attack you or your family and City to City,” he warned. “Be prepared.” I have already felt the weight of these attacks and now recognize more clearly the battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the wiles of the evil one (Ephesians 6:11-12). In light of this battle, Paul implores us to pray in verse 18: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

As we bring our requests to our loving Father, sometimes it seems he is silent. I often don’t really believe God understands what is best for me and think my plan is what is needed. But God is so gracious. I find him renovating my own life as he prepares me to lead for the path ahead.

Despite the days that feel discouraging, we are not defeated. Our hope remains in a Father whose character we can always trust no matter our circumstances. I was taken by John Smed’s comment at our retreat that we need to “radically re-engage in prayer,” and he reminded us of Acts 12:10: “They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it.” We are praying God opens the gates of the cities and raises up leaders who start new churches that have a faithful, gospel-centered presence in those cities.

More than anything else, this ministry needs your prayer. As City to City continues to gain ground by equipping and resourcing leaders to start new churches and helping leaders grow city and regional networks, spiritual attacks are heightening.

Will you commit to pray for us? Maybe the Lord is calling you to meet with a small group regularly to pray for us and the churches and leaders in global cities. A few of our partners are doing just that, and I know they’d love to share their experience with you. Will you consider it?

On behalf of our whole organization and our affiliates worldwide, thank you and God bless you.

Steve Shackelford