Download PDF: [Prayer for Berlin – November 2014]
Good News: 25 Year Fall of the Wall
Seeing God visibly intervening in history doesn’t happen every day. But November 9, 1989 was such a moment in which God sovereignly wrote history which surprised everyone. The improbable events brought tears to many eyes, whether in the west or east of the country. With Schabowski’s bizarre press conference, the Lord of the world winked and brought down both political and military powers. The miracle of freedom took place right before our eyes. “Madness“ and “miracles“ continued during the next ten months until October 3, 1990. Germany and thus Berlin were once again at peace with all its neighbours. On October 3rd, we celebrated 24 years of German unity with the motto “thanking-celebrating-praying”.
Documentaries in recent months have made us aware again of the factors that brought about the turning point—the economic collapse of the GDR, the events in Poland and Hungary, the influence of Gorbachev and Perestroika in the former Soviet Union, among others. But the fact that the transition was ultimately a peaceful revolution without any violence and bloodshed was and remains a miracle. In the midst of all human and economic factors, it was God actively moving “behind the scenes of history“. The sentence of an officer of the NVA in Leipzig, which has been quoted often during these days, “We were prepared for everything except for candles and prayers“ continues to fascinate us. God caused the turn-around despite the small number of those who were praying. Although some had prayed faithfully for years for the wall to fall, and even though there had been some prophetic references, the end was nevertheless absolutely a surprise.
- “Now thank we all our God!“
- Pray that the amazement over God’s wonderful, gracious action will never stop
- Pray that a grateful remembrance culture will continue even after the anniversary
Good News: Start-up-Unit
Berlin’s universities are strongly promoting the start-up boom in Berlin. New start-up companies which arose from the universities have had a turn-over of 1.7 billion Euros — far more than the music industry. 17,000 jobs have been created, and the number of start-ups continues to rise sharply. Now the city will become even more attractive for start-ups — public and private sector initiatives for start-ups will be coordinated through a so-called Berlin start-up-unit. The hope is that this pooling of skills will cause Berlin to become the start-up metropolis of Europe. (Information: Berliner Zeitung)
- Thank God for the creative productivity that is coming out of the universities
- Pray that the Start-up-Unit will promote this development in a sustainable way
Lichtgrenze for the Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall
Berlin will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall with LICHTGRENZE (Border of Lights). The State of Berlin initiated this hands-on project which will take place from November 7-11, 2014. Thousands of luminous white balloons will trace 15 km of the former site of the wall which divided the city. On the evening of November 9, following a countdown, thousands of balloon sponsors of the Lichtgrenze will let the balloons go simultaneously. Each balloon sponsor can link his balloon with an individual message, which is published with his name and picture.
Together for Berlin, publisher of this prayer-mail, will be participating with its own group of balloon sponsors celebrating on Sebastian Straße between Kreuzberg and Mitte (right and left of the previous checkpoint Heinrich-Heine-Straße). From 5:00 until about 8:00pm four local worship music groups (without amps) will be praising God for this miracle. All who wish to celebrate with us are invited!
- Pray for the success of the celebration and for good weather
- Pray that the message of the miracle of freedom and unity will go around the world
Michael Müller New Mayor
At the end of October, the result of the decision by members of the SPD was announced. The former Senator for Urban Development, Michael Müller, was nominated by an overwhelming majority for the election of Klaus Wowereit’s successor as Governing Mayor of Berlin.
The defeated candidates Jan Stöß and Raed Saleh immediately offered their constructive cooperation. Müller will turn 50 years old the day after his expected election by the House of Representatives on December 8th. He is married, Lutheran, and has two children. He has a background in West-Berliner municipal politics and is known for his unflustered, effective work.
- Pray for fresh impulses through the new mayor
- Pray for wisdom in the choice of senators who will be replaced
- Pray that the work in the coalition with the CDU will be constructive and serve the city well
Young Israelis and Palestinians
From November 20-24, young Israelis and Palestinians will participate in a training course in Berlin. The topic: “Reconciliation in the midst of the conflict!“ The goal: That participants will be equipped to help others to understand one another better and to work towards reconciliation. The training is being organized by a group called Musalaha, which works for reconciliation and understanding between Jews and Palestinians. http://www.musalaha.org
- Pray for good, deep encounters among the participants on „neutral ground“
- Pray that the young people will apply what they learn in their own environments and thus contribute to reconciliation
Students in Berlin
The winter semester began with a record – There are now over 166,000 students in Berlin. Of these 15,000 are new students—the size of a small town. These new students are looking for affordable housing options, but they are increasingly hard to find. Many students are international students from all parts of the world, and they are looking for contacts. There are lots of opportunities for Christians to offer support through hospitality. Such models have already been successfully tested in other countries and have also been implemented in Berlin in recent years.
- Pray that students from countries that are closed to the gospel will meet Jesus here
- Pray for more affordable housing for students
- Pray that Christian groups on the campuses will offer hospitality and be good examples of living faith
Accommodation of refugees
The Berlin state government is preparing for significantly more refugees than were expected. Mario Czaja, Senator for Health and Welfare, raised the numbers again—It is likely that more than 13,000 refugees will apply for first acceptance in Berlin by the end of 2014. The recent decision to classify Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia as safe countries of origin changes little, because the refugee numbers continue to rise. More and more newcomers are coming from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq and Pakistan. Suitable accommodation for refugees in Berlin is scarce. Many of the rooms and buildings investigated in recent months are unsuitable. So, for the first time, residential containers are to be set up. The first container village with 400 places will be opened in December in Köpenick. Five more will follow in 2015 in Pankow, Hohenschonhausen, Steglitz and Marzahn. In the six container-lodgings there will be room for a total of 2,400 people. In addition, the Senator plans to become independent of private operators by having the city once again own the accommodations. (Source: tagesspiegel.de from 20.10.2014)
- Thank God for this pragmatic interim solution
- Pray for better, quicker accommodation fit for human beings for more refugees
- Pray that residents will be well prepared to accept the refugees and make them feel welcome
Current News: Right-wing Hooligans
The risk of attacks by Islamists is rising in Berlin. The number of Salafists is growing. A violent movement of “hooligans against Salafists (HogeSa)” has formed to counter that growth. Following riots in Cologne, the group has now registered a demonstration in Berlin for November 15. A ban against the demonstration is being considered. Let us pray for correct decisions and for protection of the city.
- Nov. 9, 5-8pm: Aktion Lichtgrenze
- Nov. 12, 6pm Prayer for city politicians in front of the Rote Rathaus
- Nov. 15, 2:30pm Day of prayer for persecuted Christians, Evangelisch Freikirchliche Gemeinde, Tempelhofer Damm 133–137, sponsored by the Evangelical Alliance with Open Doors and Hilfsaktion Märtyrerkirche