How I Shut Down Two Porn Shops

For several years there were two porn shops near my house. Both were situated on roads that my family and I use on a weekly basis. For about six years, every time I drive by them I’ve been praying for God to shut down those porn shops, and within the last few months, He did.

Here are the two buildings where porn shops used to operate:

  

I learned to pray about things like porn shops as a kid with my family. Every Sunday we drove by this huge night club on our way to and from church. The nightclub had billboard signs implying topless dancing and other debauchery inside. I’m not sure how long my family prayed for this nightclub to close down, but one Sunday, we drove by and the billboard had been replaced with a For Sale sign. We all cheered.

Over the years my family and I asked God to shut down a lot of places we believed were strongholds of sin, and He always did. Since my childhood days of prayer-warrior training with my family, I have carried on the tradition. My parents instilled in me a very literal belief that prayer changes the world, and God continues to prove this belief to be sound.

So the title of this blog post is “How I Shut Down Two Porn Shops,” but that only tells part of the story. The rest of the story is that God shut those places down. It’s like what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:10, “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” I faithfully prayed that God would change part of my city, and by His grace, He heard my prayers and responded. But, really, even the fact that I was able to pray with Him is a gift of His grace.

As Christians, we can look at our cities with the perspective of children of God. We are God’s kids, and when our hearts are aligned with His, we can pray His will and partner with Him in advancing His kingdom and bringing grace, healing and redemption to our cities.

As stoked as I get when one of the places I pray about closes down, let me be clear that my prayers are not vindictive or self-righteous. We need to be grounded in the Father’s heart of love and compassion as well as His heart for justice. I don’t pray for porn shops and strip clubs to close down because I want a power trip. I pray because these kinds of places are strongholds of addiction, spiritual oppression, and the dehumanization of both men and women.

When I pray in this way, I pray for a blessing on the next people who will occupy the buildings I target. I pray that God would break the spiritual strongholds and curses within those spaces. And I pray that He would bring healing, freedom and repentance to the previous owners of the place.

Begin asking God for spiritual eyes with which to see your city. Ask Him to show you the places of darkness that He wants you to pray over. And don’t just pray for the porn shops to close down. Pray for churches to thrive. Pray over governmental buildings, schools — over every building you walk inside. Ask God to reveal His heart for your city because He wants to use you where you are. Your faith will grow as you experience the joy of partnering with your Father.

P.S. It took six years to see the porn shops near my house close. Don’t give up.