Download PDF: [Prayer for Berlin – February 2013]
Good News: A Small Jobs Miracle
The regional Statistics Office reported in November that the number of those employed in Berlin grew more than in all other German states. At the end of March, 2012, there were 1.18 million employees in the city with jobs subject to the social insurance contribution. This is 3.4 percent more than the previous year.
Many jobs were created in the capital city in the service sector (an increase of 3.6 percent) and in construction (an increase of 6 percent). The numbers of those employed in Berlin has continually increased for nearly six years. The service sector has increased greatly in the last years because many associations, interest groups, consulting organizations, etc. moved with the government to Berlin. The construction industry is being driven by building infrastructure facilities, commercial buildings, and residential housing. (Berliner Zeitung 11/23/2012 and 1/5/2013)
- Thank God for this positive development
Danger of Terrorism
The work of the Federal Agency for State Protection is being criticized in all states. Since the exposure of a right-wing terror organisation, files continue to disappear from the Agency for State Protection in various states. Since the year 2000 there has been no such agency in Berlin, but rather a State Protection „Department“ which belongs to the internal administration section.
Director Claudia Schmid resigned after files in Berlin were discovered to have been shredded which were needed to solve crimes of right-wing terrorism. Bernd Palenda has now assumed the temporary leadership. He will make changes: Right-wing extremism will be under closer surveillance. A new unit will be established for this purpose. The Agency for State Protection will also increase its personnel.
The danger of Islamism is also in focus, in addition to the danger for the country and individuals arising from right-wing or left-wing extremists. In an interview with the Berliner Zeitung, Palenda pointed out that the danger of violent Salafis in Berlin is growing. This particular Islamic group is growing rapidly. There used to be about 100 violence-prone Salafis in Berlin. In the meantime, the number has grown to about 200.
- Thank God for His protection from terrorist attacks in Berlin
- Pray that the work of the Agency for State Protection and for wisdom in leading undercover informers
- Pray that planned attacks will be discovered and prevented ahead of time
The BER airport – a never-ending problem?
On January 7th, another postponement of the opening of the new airport BER was announced. Berlin’s reigning mayor Klaus Wowereit stepped down as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The former Vice-Chairman, Brandenburg’s Prime Minister, Matthias Platzeck, has taken over. The former airport director was fired. A successor and further specialists are still being sought.
Other large construction projects are also experiencing delays. As a result, not only is there a call for the resignation for more people who are responsible, the question has also arisen concerning the suitability of politicians for such positions. The new opening date could be 2014 or even 2015.
- Pray that mistakes, cheating, and deficiencies in planning and construction will become apparent
- Pray that those who are really responsible can be identified and conclusions drawn
- Pray that the changes desired by the new Chairman of the Board, Prime Minister Platzeck, can be put into place
- Pray for new, competent experts to join the Board of Directors of the airport
- Pray that companies will be dependable and for protection from further damage
Berlin’s new Chief of Police
The position of Chief of Police has been vacant since June, 2011 following Dieter Glietsch’s retirement. After the successful lawsuit of a rival candidate, the selection process had to be repeated.
A new Chief of Police was finally named the end of December: Klaus Kandt (born in Baden-Württemberg, 52 years old, married, 2 children), who had been the head of the federal police in Berlin. He calls himself a man who looks for challenges. Now he will lead the nation’s largest police department which has 22,000 staff. He is well acquainted with the challenges of demonstrations. When the first riots took place on May 1, 1987, he was present as a member of a special forces unit.
- Pray for a quick and successful adjustment to the new job and good cooperation with Vice Chief of Police Margarete Koppers
- Pray that ways can be found to make existing resources can be used more effectively for police work
- Pray for protection and blessing for Mr. Kandt and his family
Prayer for the District
Since May, 2012 prayer for the district and its surroundings has been taking place monthly in the Spandau Josua-Gemeinde. It began as a result of an impression that Christians need to be aware of the needs of those near where they live and go to church. Blessing and prayer should permeate the district and change it. The prayer meeting lasts about two hours. Following a time of sharing, those attending divide into several teams and go on prayer walks throughout the district for at least an hour. Then they come back together and share their impressions before closing in joint prayer.
There are several prayer routes with different emphases such as primary schools and pre-schools, youth clubs, prayer in problem areas, „political“ prayer for the local government, etc.
Christians are encouraged to be „light and salt“ by taking part not only in prayer, but also in social life and political decisions, and by being in contact with people in power in the district. About 250 people attended the first New Year’s Eve Thanksgiving service held on the Spandauer Marktplatz. The vision of the Josua-Gemeinde is that many churches in Berlin would be called to prayer and involvement in their districts.
- Pray more and more Christians would be committed to prayer and social involvement in their districts
- Thank God for the Spandauer church which can serve as a model for others
In January, 2013, Berlin’s Senate established a Music-Board, which will support Berlin’s pop music scene and its international economic expansion with a million Euros annually. This is a one-of-a kind initiative in all of Germany. Katja Lucker, who has a large network in Berlin’s music scene, has been called by the Berlin Senate as Music Commissioner. The Musicboard will be the interface between the pop music scene, administration, business and partner branches. It will provide impulses for Berlin’s pop and rock music and create synergies.
Specific goals include direct support of pop musicians (through gig procurement, easier access to information and contact persons), improving Berlin’s music infrastructure (rehearsal rooms, studios, performances for fair conditions), as well as strengthening Berlin’s location marketing (arranging cooperative projects and marketing as well as broadening exports). www.berlin.de/rbmskzl/musicboard
- Thank God for this initiative that makes Berlin more attractive as a creative location and directly supports musicians
- Pray for open doors for negotiations and cooperation among the commissioners
- Pray for economical strengthening of the music scene
Keeping On: Room for Asylum-Seekers
The influx of asylum-seekers in Berlin is a growing challenge for the authorities. In particular, rooms or flats for families with several children are lacking. Let us pray for quick and humane solutions!
- Political Prayer for the City Feb. 13., 6 pm, in front of the Rotes Rathaus
- Gemeinsam für Berlin-Fest, March 2, 5-9pm, Evangelisch-Freikirchliche Gemeinde, 10827 Berlin Schöneberg, Hauptstr.125: A colourful and multifaceted celebration offering opportunities for developing relationships and hearing about encouraging models and projects, with music, entertainment, food and the presentation of the new „appearance“ of Together for Berlin.
All those receiving this prayer mail are warmly invited.