Download PDF: Prayer for Berlin – July/August 2009
Vacation time has begun, so this prayer mail will include information from both July and August. We wish all our prayer partners a restful summer break. It’s wonderful that God is always with u! Warm greetings from the editorial staff.
Good News – Christians are active
Even though there are no official statistics, the number of Christians in Berlin who are active in their districts or in social projects appears to be increasing. Some are taking care of prison inmates; others are ministering to drug addicts and others to children in their districts. Others offer prayer and dialogue with people on the streets. We thank God for many creative projects – and we are praying that the number will continue to increase.
Finances of Together for Berlin
This prayer mail is a ministry of the network Together for Berlin (Gemeinsam für Berlin) that has been in existence for seven years. Many new things have begun during this time. Also among Christians «that which belongs together has grown together». God has also provided finances for this new kind of network of ministry to the city – through many sponsors and many churches and missionary organisations. Nevertheless, the financial situation is not «on the safe side». Without a clear increase in monthly income we will be unable to continue the ministry in its present scope. There are so many things to do that the board does not want to let anyone go. The board also continues to expect financial support from the non-Christian sector, since the ministry of Together for Berlin is serving the entire city!
- Pray and do what you can for that which the board of Together for Berlin expressed: «We do what we can. We look confidently to the future. We trust that God will continue to provide for us.»
How many Christians are there in Berlin?
According to the State Office of Statistics there were 981,000 registered members in the Catholic and Lutheran churches in Berlin at the end of 2008. That is nearly 30 percent of the approximately 3.4 million residents. In 2004 there were still 1.26 million registered. The number of members in free churches is not registered. In addition there is a considerable number of foreign-language churches which belong to a denomination or are non-denominational, so that we can assume there are approximately 32 % Christians in the city. But approximately 60% of the residents do not belong to any religion at all! Of course these numbers do not say anything about the quality of faith. In some Berlin districts the number of people attending worship services in Lutheran and free churches as well as in Catholic churches is growing—against the trend in other districts. In parts of Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg and in other newly developed areas on the edge of the city an increasing number of young families are attending church with their children. Churches that are neither Lutheran nor Catholic are being planted to offer a spiritual home for people in special milieus.
- Pray that an increasing number of Berliners will come to faith and find a spiritual home in a church
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will especially help those in the Eastern part of the city who were raised as atheists to open their hearts for faith
- Pray that God will bless all new, alternative church projects
Increase in left-wing violence
Since April there has been an increase in attacks and activities of left-wing extremist groups. In the first six months of the year, dozens of cars were set on fire (30 by mid-June, 2009) as well as scaffolding and other things. Because the perpetrators are clearly mobile lone operators, it is hard to catch them. During «Action Weeks», radical left-wing groups encouraged activities which deliberately accepted the possibility of breaking the law. For instance a sit-in was planned at the Tempelhof Airport for mid-June, which was averted by a massive police force. The situation became violent. The police department is complaining that the red-red Senate does not separate itself enough from the radical left-wing groups. The Police President Dieter Glietsch had asked for more support from the politicians. «Those who leave the combating of the violence-prone left-wing extremists to the police must soon realize that this will not bring about success.»
- Pray for wisdom and vigilance on the part of the police, so that they can prevent crime
- Pray for quick identification and arrest of those behind the illegal activities and attacks
- Pray for clear political statements against violence
Vacation and school holidays
Traditionally summer is the time during which families go on vacation together. This gives them a chance to strengthen the family through shared experiences. On the other hand, many pent-up tensions and unsolved conflicts often come to the surface during vacations.
For many singles, vacation time is not easy—they need good alternatives or the right travel mate if they don’t want to go on vacation alone. For the unemployed and socially disadvantaged it is also not easy to watch others going away on vacation, but not to be able to afford a trip themselves.
- Pray for a wonderful, restful vacation full of good encounters for couples, families and friends that are going on vacation together
- Pray that all those who are worn out and tired will be able to replenish their strength and renew their energy
- Pray for good alternatives for those who are unable to go away on vacation
Summer Evangelistic Activities
Different groups will be in the city this summer doing creative and charitable activities in order to point people to Jesus, and to serve them and pray for them. Some of the planned activities are:
Summer2go-Tour for young people throughout Germany will be in Berlin from 15-17 July, www.nolimit.eu
Love Europe from the Vineyard-Movement, July 16-August 2 in Berlin, www.love-europe.eu
You can still pray for these and other activities until July 14, 2009 during the 40-day fasting-praise-prayer chain, daily from 7-9pm in the Gebetshaus, Moabit, Spenerstr. 15
- Pray for «divine appointments” with people who are open to God
- Pray for wisdom for the organizers in choosing the right methods of reaching people
- Pray that God Himself will prepare the hearts of people, touch them, and draw them to Himself
The Swedish right-wing extremist and DVU member Patrick Brinkmann wants to move his Kontinent-Europa-Stiftung (KES) (Continental-Europe-Foundation) to Berlin and is looking for a prestigious location in the city centre. Brinkmann is considered to be one of the leading figures in European right-wing extremism. He gathers right-wing extremists from all over Europe in his foundation. The goal of the foundation is to be a European think-tank, which serves to unify European right-wingers. In addition to Fascist ideas, there is a very real threat of physical violence emanating from some right-wing extremist groups. Although at the moment more left-wing extremists in Berlin are attracting attention though violent activities, there is nevertheless a high number of violence-prone right-wing extremists. In the last year, the number of right-wing violent crimes has increased dramatically.
- Pray for God’s help—that right-wing extremist thinking will no longer be spread effectively from Berlin and that this foundation will not find a place to locate in Berlin
- Pray for protection from assaults motivated by racism
- Pray that those working to defend the Constitution and all groups who are working against right-wing extremism will be effective
Keeping On: Protection from Terror
It is not to be taken for granted that our city has been spared from Islamic and other terror attacks. Let us continue to pray for protection for our city and that planned terrorist attacks will be discovered before they can be carried out.
- Sept. 8, 7pm Gedächtniskirche: Panel discussion about questions concerning the church and faith with the leading candidates for the Federal Parliament elections
- October 3, 6-9pm, Intercultural Day of Prayer for our Nation, Christus-Gemeinde Hohenschönhausen