Download as PDF: Prayer for Berlin – January 2008
Because I live, you also will live!
This „Verse of the Year 2008“, John 14:19, is a good guideline and motivation for prayer for our city. Jesus-and we with Him-wants people to live. This means on the one hand, physical life and soundness. For this reason, we are happy that the birth rate is rising, and we pray for protection for the unborn in their mothers‘ wombs, as well as for protection from terrorism and violence of every sort. But life is more than just physical soundness. We desire that God’s life would be revealed in key areas of society which we define as „Nine gateways to society“. Below you will find some prayer requests for each of these areas.
Marriage and Family (Genesis 1:27-28a)
Marriage and family are God’s ideas. We pray for protection for families under attack and for inner strength for people who are suffering because of broken families.
Education and Upbringing (Exodus 35:34)
We pray that those responsible for education and upbringing would teach and train their children and students well.
Social justice (Exodus 22:20 -21)
Emigrants and socially deprived people are close to God’s heart. We pray that Christians will find ways to show them God’s love in practical ways.
Religion and Philosophy (Exodus 20: 2-3)
People in our city are once again beginning to search for orientation and God. We pray that they will get to know the true God and discover His guidelines for life.
Finances (Luke 16:10-12)
The way money is dealt with shows what’s important to people. We pray for those making decisions in the financial world, that they would manage the money entrusted to them with care for the good of all.
Government (1Timothy 2:1)
Politicians have assumed this responsibility on our behalf. We pray that God will give them wisdom and that their decisions will lead to peace, justice and the preservation of creation.
The arts, culture and the media (1 Peter 4:10)
Opinions and beliefs are greatly influenced by the media. We pray that those in the media and the creative arts would produce high-quality and wholesome contributions that are not contrary to God’s values.
Spiritual leaders Romans (1:8 ff)
Leadership shapes and moulds. We pray that Christians (in leadership) will have a positive effect and that their leadership will set people free, challenge them, and give them vision.
Justice system (Psalm 33:5)
We pray that laws will be enacted which will protect life, as well as for wisdom in law-giving, in the justice system and in the penal system.
Tip: Perhaps you might want to cut out the above portion and use it long-term as a guideline for prayer in the key areas of society.
Good News – Christians in the news
In the past weeks, there have been an increasing number of articles about Christians in Berlin newspapers. The Berlin Event Calendar TIP began with an article entitled „Homesick for God“ („Heimweh nach Gott“), followed by a series in the Morgenpost about „The Ten Commandments“, and a report about Christians on the universities in Berlin in the Berlin magazine „Stadtkind“. The reporting was neutral and communicated an attitude of wanting to find out what Christians are thinking. It’s obvious that journalists are taking note of Christians more and more.
• Thank God for the good articles about matters of faith-pray for more!
• Pray that these articles would point people who are searching for God in the right direction
Good News – Balanced budget
The Berlin Senate has settled on a two-year budget for 2008 and 2009. „There will be no new debt. For the first time in many years, we will actually be able to eliminate some of our debt. According to information from the Senate, the current debt of approximately 60 billion Euros will be reduced by 1.8 billion Euros by 2011. The SPD and the Linken (leftist party) have agreed to this budget. The CDU, the Greens and the FDP have rejected it.“ (rbb online) That doesn’t sound like much, but it is a turning-point that is coming earlier than expected. We have been praying for this for quite some time.
• Thank God for this turning point
• Pray for further responsible and careful dealings with the finances of the capital city
• Pray for wisdom and courage for the Senator of Finance Sarrazin
Over the last years, the left-wing scene had calmed down, but now, according to the police, violence is once again increasing. 111 cars have been set on fire in Berlin this year, for instance, simply because they belonged to Siemens or the German train company. The perpetrators have not been caught. Demonstrations attended by radical leftists have been increasingly used for aggressive show-downs with the police. Incidents of setting barricades on fire and violent acts against the police, as well as wilful damage to property, are increasing. Two demonstrations in Berlin and Hamburg in December erupted into violence. On the one hand, new laws to combat terrorism which enable more undercover investigations provide more potential for conflict, and on the other hand, residents of many buildings „occupied“ by radical left-wing extremists are being evicted. Residents in the last stronghold of the left-wing „occupation“, the building known as „Köpi“, have been given notice that they must leave by May 31, 2008. If force is necessary to evict residents, this could become a violent situation complete with international solidarity similar to what happened in 2006 in Kopenhagen. The left-wing autonomous scene is already trying to gather support through the internet.
• Pray for peace in the city
• Pray for wisdom and vigilance for the police so that they can prevent crime before it happens
• Pray that conflicts among different groups in society can be discussed without violence
Increase in child abuse
During the month of December, we saw dramatic evidence of how the lives of children in our city and country are threatened-extreme neglect, starved children, and child abuse even including murder, were discovered and increased to such an extent that even hardened politicians were shocked. Berlin rates highest in the country for reported cases, which is a direct result of an increased awareness among the general populace. In the two-week period between Nov. 26 and Dec. 7, over 700 phone calls reporting possible cases of abuse resulted in 127 cases in which neglected children were discovered and taken out of those families for their own protection. Politicians can no longer ignore this-new ways need to be found to better protect children. Debates have already begun about this issue, but there is no clear direction yet. The Youth Services are often overextended, and cuts in budget and personnel resulted in an impossible situation. A further budget cut of 13 million Euros in the coming year is expected, resulting in a very negative prognosis.
• Pray for new, effective measures to protect children
• Pray for a new routing of taxes for the benefit of children
• Pray for quick help for endangered families
Cooperation between Berlin and Hamburg
During a speech in the capital in September, the Lord Mayor of Hamburg, Mr. von Beust, suggested a strategic alliance between Berlin and Hamburg. Klaus Wowereit accepted this idea. The two cities have similar potential and difficulties. Developmental emphasis is being placed in both cities on biotechnology, healthcare, the creative arts, IT, and communication technology. A suggestion was already made in 2001 to form a cooperative partnership, but up until now, the only success has been in the area of tourism. In other areas there has been only competition. Now the two cities hope to combine forces to find new solutions and to encourage the development of potential in the two cities. A first summit is to take place on February 24th.
• Pray that this cooperation will be a success
• Pray that the potential of both cities can be developed
Weeks of Prayer
Christians of various denominations traditionally meet for a week of prayer at the beginning of the year. During the international Week of Prayer sponsored by the Evangelical Alliance from Jan. 6-13, there will be over 110 prayer meetings in Berlin, a radio church service (Jan. 6 at 10:00) and a concluding service in the Gedächtniskirche (Jan. 13 at 3pm). Shortly thereafter, Christians will come together for the (ecumenical) Week of Prayer for Unity among Christians.
• Pray that these prayer meetings will further unity
• Pray for concrete answers to prayer, for instance in society
• Pray for a growing joy in praying together
• Feb. 6-8, 2008 Start of „40 Days of Prayer and Fasting for our Nation“; Brochures also available in office of Together for Berlin; http://www.40tagebetenundfasten.de
• Citywide Prayer Service Feb. 9, 2008, 7pm in the Apostel-Petrus-Gemeinde, Märkisches Viertel (http://www.apg-berlin.de); Emphasis: Prayer for prisoners and prison workers