Download PDF file: Prayer for Berlin – December 2009

Good News – Celebrations on November 9th

Thousands of people celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall at the Brandenburg Gate. Once it was the symbol of the division of our country; now it’s a place of thanksgiving and amazement. This historical event was also celebrated in other places around the world. Millions watched the celebrations on TV. Lech Walesa reminded everyone that it was the Spirit of God who had motivated him and his friends in the Solidarity Movement to oppose the socialist regime in the 80’s. Then he nudged over the first of 1000 huge dominos that had been set up where the wall once stood.

Christians met on the Bornholmer Brücke and in other worship services to say thanks to God. Threatened terrorist attacks did not take place, nor were there any other disturbances. In spite of the poor weather, it was a happy day of memories and thanksgiving.

Teen Challenge in Kreuzberg

In May, 2008 Teen Challenge (TC) opened the Café “Sehnsucht” near the Kottbusser Tor to offer drug addicts a place to meet and talk to people who care. Now, over a year later, TC can look back at a successful ministry. The Café is now also being frequented by other residents in the district, who meet here to talk and have fellowship. The ministry among drug addicts has resulted in decisions to leave the drug scene and take advantage of a Christian rehab.

In November the team sponsored a three-week evangelistic campaign at the Café. The café was full every evening. Many people made decisions for Christ. Particularly surprising were the numbers of Moslems who turned to Christ. There were prayers for healing and spontaneous healing, which surprised the people. Now it’s important that these people find a spiritual fellowship where they can feel at home.

Prayer:

  • Thank God for the ministry of TC
  • Pray that churches in the district will open up to people who come to faith through TC
  • Pray for more volunteers for the ministry
  • Pray for a liberating working of God’s Spirit among the drug addicts (and also in the rehab)

Smaller Classes

Last month some improvements were agreed upon with regard to the consequences of the school reform. We would like to thank God for this answer to prayer. The classes in the first three years of primary school are to be made smaller—instead of a maximum of 28 students, there will now be only 23 to 26 students. In primary schools in problem districts, learning groups can be comprised of only 21 to 25 students. Until now, the upper limit was 28 children.

Decreasing the size of classes is always an important step in reducing the burden on teachers. In the secondary schools it will now be possible to have 7th grade classes of only 20 students (formerly 24 students).

Prayer:

  • Thank God for this answer to prayer
  • Pray that the Senator for Schools makes further decisions which will reduce pressure
  • Pray for wisdom and strength for all those working in schools

Increasing Number of Problems in the Coalition

Elections for the State Parliament will be held in Berlin in the fall of 2011. If one believes the polls, the power structure is changing. For quite some time, the CDU had no chance whatsoever to receive more votes than the SPD, but this has now changed according to the polls. After 8 years in power, conspicuous problems in the red-red coalition are showing up. In November within the space of two weeks, undertakings of the Ruling Mayor Klaus Wowereit were halted through the coalition factions of the SPD and the “Linke” party.

Wowereit’s candidate for the President of the General Accounting Office was not approved, which Wowereit called a “personal slap in the face”. In addition, the red-red coalition, against the desire of the Senate, blocked payment of the planning costs for the planned lengthening of the Autobahn A 100.

Berlin’s many problems need a strategic approach. In a democracy, it is important that the parties do not fight for power, but rather find the best ideas to solve the problems of society.

Following a phase of reorientation and identity processing, the CDU can now re-join the political scene with new keynote ideas. However, it still needs an attractive front-runner candidate for the campaign.

Prayer:

  • Pray that the political parties will strive to develop new programs to find solutions to Berlin’s problems (child and young-adult poverty, integration, education, etc.)
  • Pray that parties will become aware of undesirable developments within the party
  • Pray that people who adhere to God’s standards will have an increasing influence within the parties

New Bishop Dröge

On November 11, Bishop Wolfgang Huber was bid farewell following 14 years in office as the regional bishop. At the same time, his successor, Markus Dröge, was installed as the Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Berlin-Brandenburg-Schlesische Oberlausitz (EKBO). He was formerly Superintendent in Koblenz.

Some biographical background details: Markus Dröge made a conscious decision of faith during high school as a result of reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer. When he was 17, he was asked the question concerning the matter of conscience about military service involving armed combat, and he found an answer in Bonhoeffer, the theologian of the Confessing Church (Bekennende Kirche), which opposed the Nazi regime. He became a conscientious objector. In this way, he is similar to his father, who was a soldier in the Second World War, but then became a diplomat, in order to be an ambassador for a new, more peaceable Germany.

Markus Dröge held Bible studies for young people in the YMCA in Bonn. “That was my first church”. Working as a caregiver in a home for the elderly had a significant impact on his life, but it wasn’t until a year later, during which he worked in a rehab centre for drug addicts that he made his faith into his profession.

Markus Dröge will continue the reform process, but he thinks that even in the face of changes in the practical area, it’s important to not forget the inner reform, such as revitalizing spirituality and reminding oneself of the reason there is a church at all. “I often see that people lose steam if they do not mobilize that spiritual strength.”

Prayer:

  • Pray for a good start for the new bishop and for open doors and hearts
  • Pray for good favour and influence of the gospel in the general public
  • Pray for protection for him and his family

Christmas is coming once again

Christmas is near. Glamour and hardship will once again be seen side by side: a “perfect happy family” and explosive tension; overabundant gifts and genuine poverty; overeating and hunger; weariness because of too much stuff going on and nagging loneliness. God however is for everyone. He became one of us as a child in the manger, poor and yet so rich, small and yet so large, full of mercy and the Saviour of all who let themselves be loved.

In worship services, celebrations and in the media, Christmas will be a main topic. Does Jesus, the Messiah who comes from the Father, have a place in the midst of all of this? Let’s pray that this will be so.

The new evangelistic tool www.GottinBerlin.com wants to address this topic and bring together those who are searching with those who believe.

Prayer:

  • Pray for appealing and clear proclamation of the gospel during the Christmas season
  • Pray that God’s love shown in Jesus will reach and change hearts
  • Pray for the evangelistic internet site http://www.GottinBerlin.com

Thank you

The Christian network of Gemeinsam für Berlin (Together for Berlin) that facilitates this prayer mail kindly asks for your donations in order to be able to fulfill God´s calling in the city also in 2010.

You can donate via Paypal account:

http://www.gfberlin.de/cgi-bin/gfb_pub_webseite.pl?Index=18&en=1&title=Finances

Thank you and enjoy a wonderful Christmas!