Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pray for Slovenia

Week of Feb. 23 - March 1, 2015

< Be sure and include in your prayers the European Initiative needs in the left column.

The above scene is from the Passion Play in Škofja Loka, Slovenia that is performed every six years. This scene portrays Jesus being beat and spat upon by the Roman soldiers. To see the a video about this play go to  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvmYjnz3IOI

The original text of the Škofja Loka Passion Play by Friar Romuald (preserved at the Capuchin Monastery Archives and Library, Škofja Loka) dates from 1721, making it the oldest Slovene dramatic text in existence. Fragments of the play were reconstructed in 1936 and 1965, but efforts by the Museum Society of Škofja Loka to reassemble the complete text did not begin in earnest until 1997, when the mayor of Škofja Loka suggested a new staging of the play. Various organizational groups were formed and joined by experts on costume design, language, acting, vocal and instrumental music, overall image creation, cuisine, organization and promotion. Group leaders recruited actors in individual villages, rehearsals were organized and the play was performed in 1999 and again in 2000. On each occasion 1,200 participants (640 local amateur actors, 80 horsemen, etc.) presented the Passion in four locations in Škofja Loka, to over 30,000 spectators. The latest Passion was performed in 2009 (800 actors, 80 horsemen, 24,000 spectators) and will be re-staged again only in March and April 2015. The next event is scheduled for 2021.

More interesting facts about the city of Skofia Loka; Established over a thousand years ago and the story of Prince Abraham who was saved by his African servant and therefore the servants picture is depicted on the city coat of arms. http://www.skofjaloka.info/index.php?lang=en&meni=pm&page=zgmesta

Prayer Points:
1)    There is a time when it is necessary to look back in the past to find actions of faithfulness that can encourage our present hope. Thank You, Lord, for Friar Romuald and his act of writing down in the Slovene language the week of Your Passion.
2)    As this play has been a touch point for remembering the pain and suffering Jesus went through, let us remember that He did it for the Slovenian people and their nation. May they also see the glorious day Jesus arose from the grave.
3)    During the last week of March and the first week of April when this dramatic play is once again performed, let us pray for a true redemption to touch many that come to the event.
4)    Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to soften hearts, open minds and activate the spirit man of every one who attends. Lord, draw many that need to be introduced or need to remember how you gave Your life for us all.
5)    Lord, we pray for Your remnant of believers in this small city. May they be encouraged in their faith and find a new joy in serving You, Lord Jesus.

In addition, we will pray for some specific needs:
6)    Slovene Bible Society, New Translation - The Bible Society wants every Slovene to come into contact with the Bible and its message. Pray for the project to translate the New Testament into colloquial, modern Slovene, the “Life with Jesus” translation. Pray it would bring God’s word closer to people, since often traditional biblical phrases seem foreign to them.
7)    Corruption - In past years we have seen the destructive power of corruption in key Slovene businesses and even charities. Pray political and business leaders, as well as average people, would obey the laws, pay taxes, and live honorably with integrity.
8)    Pray for the Churches of Slovenia - Pray for God’s blessing on the churches of Slovenia. Pray that the name of Jesus would be lifted up today, that many more people would hear the Gospel and come to the truth, to reconciliation and forgiveness, that many more would be healed, freed, saved.
9)    Drug Addicts - There are several ministries and many churches in Slovenia working with addicts. Pray for wisdom for believers in how to help and encourage them. Pray for newly converted addicts to be boldly on fire for God, and to grow in their faith.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pray for Serbia

Week of Feb. 16-22, 2015

< Please Notice Prayer Needs for European Initiative - Balkans in Left Column.

In the NEWS: ZAGREB -- Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic stated on Sunday that he and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic had "fruitful talks on all open issues."

[This] ranged "from missing persons to the position of refugees and the treatment of Serbs in Croatia," Tanjug [news agency] reported him as saying.

Vucic told Tanjug after the meeting that they discussed the issue of missing persons on which Grabar Kitarovic insisted, and also the position of refugees and the treatement of President of the Serb National Council Milorad Pupovac and Serbs in Croatia, which were the issues that the Serbian delegation insisted on.

“I believe we had a good meeting,” he said.

Vucic said that the two sides agreed to continue to cooperate, stressing that it is important for the two countries to build up more trust and respect.

“That would be good for the future of both countries,” Vucic said.

Vucic on Sunday attended the inauguration of Croatia's new president.

"Extended hand"
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic stated on Sunday that he expects to have a good cooperation with Croatia's new President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, adding that he came to Zagreb with a message of peace and a wish for Belgrade and Zagreb to establish and show more mutual respect and trust.

1)    The presence of Prime Minister Vucic at the inauguration of Croatia’s new President Kitarovic was a huge step in the repairing of past atrocities committed by both nations. This is a step in the healing of Serbia, Croatia and the whole of the Balkans.
2)    Let us pray that this hand extended to Croatia would be sincere on the part of both nations.
3)    Let us celebrate the timely forgiveness extended between the Evangelicals in Serbia and Croatia shortly after the 90s’ war. We pray that a full trust and love would flow freely between the Serbian and Croatian houses of faith.
4)    Pray for continued steps toward the healing of Serbia in their relations with the Balkan nations.
5)    Lord, we ask You for an open door to peace between Serbia and Albania. Pray that the haters would be silenced.

In April Ballet Magnificat, a Premier Christian Ballet Company, will perform in Belgrade, Serbia. Ballet Magnificat dances with such elegance and grace that God’s grace is shown forth. This event is being organized by European Initiative Balkans, in order to bless the Christians of Serbia and display the excellence of arts in God’s Kingdom.

In 2014, Ballet Magnificat conducted four performances in Zagreb, Croatia and the result was beyond our expectations. We saw many deeply challenged in their beliefs. Also another remarkable effect was the unity among the churches that volunteered as translators, helpers and one on one witnesses themselves. On of the key results of these performances and those of similar events have been, that they help elevate the public’s perception of non-Catholic Christian churches. 

Prayer Points:
6)    Pray that the Lord will use Ballet Magnificat to touch the city of Belgrade and Serbia. May many, Christians and non-Christians, see the excellence that can spring forth from those whose talents are committed to the Lord.
7)    Pray that even now the Holy Spirit would begin preparing the hearts of those that will attend. Let’s ask the Lord for many lost to attend.
8)    Let us pray for the core team led by Zuzanna organizing the event as they prepare the venues, media advertising and mobilize the churches to get engaged.
9)    The enemy will not rest easy seeing Christian performing arts take center stage in Belgrade. Let us pray for a hedge of protection for the event, organizers, dancers, etc.
10)     This event is geared to bless the city of Belgrade, as the funds form the ticket sales will be donated to a children's hospital. Please pray that these tools would open wide the hearts of city officials and help elevate the publics perception of non-Orthodox, Christian entities.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pray for Romania - Compassion and Salvation

Week of Feb. 9-15, 2015

< See Left Column. Please include E I Balkans in your prayers.

European Initiative Balkans organized EI’s annual January outreach to Romania, by mobilizing a team from New Live Church in Colorado to a poor Roma village in the Transylvania region called  Augustin, were we ministered to the poor of that village. We are always amazed at just how well the Lord hand picks our teams. The members of this team were no different, Holy Spirit lead servants. We partnered with a local body of believers in the area who assisted us in the work and they will also carry on the work with the new believers. For more amazing photos of this outreach please take a look at this link on Flicker https://www.flickr.com/photos/europeaninitiative/sets/72157648000320013/ 

We ministered house to house to the poor, where we found many families devastated by the enemy; family members in jail, premature death, lack of jobs, lack of food and a real lack of hope. We ministered to them as the Holy Spirit led and saw many changed lives. We witnessed many tears and visible evidence of genuine salvations. We would end our visit in each home by distributing new coats, shoes and bags of groceries.

The group of leaders overseeing this work also has an after school program for the children. This is a huge blessing for the community and the investment into the lives of the children is priceless.

Prayer Points:
1)    Let us pray for Holy Spirit led follow up. May every family get the continuing discipleship they desperately need now.
2)    Those that accepted Jesus, may they be seeds that take root in Jesus’ precious love. Lord, put a hedge of your protection around them and keep them from the grips of the enemy.
3)    We encountered witchcraft in the village. Let us pray for a visitation of power from heaven to fall upon Augustin. Lord, we ask for the power of witchcraft to be broken over these people. Lord, we pray for such a transformation that those involved  would renounce witchcraft and fully surrender to Jesus.
4)    Let us pray for the church workers that are continuing the work and follow up. May they be empowered spiritually and physically to nurture the transformation needed in these special families.
5)    Thank You, Lord, for the after school program for the children. Lord, help these teachers to love like You love.
6)    Augustin is in the very heart (center) of Romania. Pray that God would continue to pour out His love to Romania so its heart can be totally healed.

Psalms 126: 5-6
Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.

I just wanted to add a link to a video of a lady living in poverty in Romania who had an abortion but God forgave her and her life was changed.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you prayed.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Pray for Montenegro - Corruption vs. the Poor

Week of Feb. 2-8, 2015
< See left column. Please include European Initiative Balkans in your Prayers.

In the News: Cabinet meeting: Several draft laws proposed aimed at improving rule of law, new OGP team to be appointed soon
Published date: 05.12.2014 10:46 | Author: PR Bureau

Podgorica, Montenegro (5 December 2014) – The Cabinet of Montenegro held the 92nd session earlier today, chaired by Prime Minister Milo Đukanović, adopted several draft laws, among which the very important ones for the rule of law area, such as on the Constitutional Court, the State Prosecution, and the Special State Prosecution. The Government also adopted draft amendments to the law on public gatherings, and discussed tax policies and further activities within the Open Government Partnership.

The new draft law on the Constitutional Court of Montenegro regulates the appointment of constitutional judges and the competences on constitutional appeals.

The State Prosecution draft law is intended as a measure towards improving judicial independence,... Its adoption will ensure objective and transparent procedures for election of state prosecutors, which will improve prosecutorial independence. The legal novelties establish a unique system of State Prosecutors’ appointment across the country, ensuring further transparency and merit-based selection.

The draft law on Special State Prosecution envisaged in Action Plans for Chapters 23 and 24 is a measure aimed at establishing independent, efficient, and specialised anti-corruption and anti-crime bodies. Its adoption will ensure a more efficient processing of organised crime and public sector corruption in cases of a public official’s corruption in accordance with the legislation regulating conflicts of interest. The new law will also ensure more efficient processing of crimes with graft elements in the private sector and in instances of money laundering, terrorism, and war crimes.

The Cabinet also discussed further activities within the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative and it clarified that five representatives from civil society at the OGP Operational Team should be appointed in accordance with the Decision on manner and procedure of establishing cooperation between the state administration and NGOs.

Remarks: Many times over the years here at Praying For the Balkans we have prayed for justice in Montenegro. Corruption has been the curse that has plagued the land. The above article talks of the Open Government Partnership and “establishing independent, efficient, and specialized anti-corruption and anti-crime bodies.” Also the “appointment of constitutional judges and the competences on constitutional appeals” is a positive sign.

Prayer Points:
1)    We see these steps toward justice that the Montenegrin government is taking as the Lord’s hand of mercy upon the land. Lord, You have heard the cry of the oppressed.
2)    Let us pray that this proposed legislation would be enacted and carried out as prescribed so the ethical standards can be raised in Montenegro.
3)    Let us pray for more accountability to come from those elected and chosen to lead the government.
4)    Corruption is an injustice to the population as a whole, but especially the poor and inadequately educated. Let us pray that the poor of Montenegro would see justice.
5)    Let us pray for the doors of opportunity to open up to the poor.

Job 5:11-16  
He sets on high those who are lowly,
And those who mourn are lifted to safety.
He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
So that their hands cannot carry out their plans.
He catches the wise in their own craftiness,
And the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them.
They meet with darkness in the daytime,
And grope at noontime as in the night.
But He saves the needy from the sword,
From the mouth of the mighty,
And from their hand.
So the poor have hope,
And injustice shuts her mouth.

6)    The above verses are from Job’s friend Eliphaz. Let these verses guide you in praying for the humble in spirit and that the poor are raised up. May He cast down the wicked and crafty. God will bring hope to the poor and the injustice against them will be silenced.
7)    May those with corrupt hearts find that their hands are unable to carry out their plans. May the corrupt be exposed and fully prosecuted.
8)    It is time to intercede for Montenegro. May the Lord touch us deeply as intercessors to believe for heaven to invade Montenegro this year.
9)    Lord, we pray that You would speak humility to the Christians of Montenegro. May they repent of known sins and ask for the blood of the cross to cleanse them. May the burden of sin be lifted and heavenly joy come forth.
10)    Let us pray from a new revelation of renewal and hope to fill the hearts of the evangelical pastors. When they stand up to preach, let the Holy Spirit bring forth words of life that will set people free.
11)    I see the pastors being given a key that they will use to unlock those chained to habitual sins. The word of God will set the captives free.
12)    God will raise up a remnant to pray for Montenegro and the enemy will hear the trumpet of the Lord sounding out the call for angels to assemble for battle. Let us stand in prayer for this remnant; Lord, give them boldness to call down heaven’s armies.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pray for Macedonia

Week of Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015

< See European Initiative Prayer needs in the left column.

There is a serious stirring among select leaders in the Balkans for an extra push in prayer this year. They are believing for the raising up of many Houses of Prayer in each Balkan country.

MakHOP is a House of Prayer in Skopje, Macedonia. They are praying for Macedonia, the Balkans and the world. The participants at MakHOP are committed to not only honoring the Father but petitioning Him to move across the Balkans. https://www.facebook.com/HouseOfPrayerSkopjeMacedonia

Prayer Points:
1)    First let us hold up the arms of the brothers and sisters at MakHOP. May they have the Lord’s presence daily. May glory and revelation attend their sacrifice of praise. 
2)    Lord, we ask for Your favor upon Macedonia; we ask for a divine portal to be opened.
3)    Macedonia is near the center of the Balkans. Let us pray for waves to ripple across the Balkan countries causing genuine repentance and adoration of the Father.

In the NEWS: Macedonia's former intelligence director arrested - World Bulletin / News Desk
Verushevski, who was arrested for possession of child pornography, is the second director of Macedonian intelligence agency to be arrested.

Police in Skopje arrested a former director of the Macedonian intelligence agency early Saturday [Jan. 24] for possession of child pornography, according to local media.

Former Security and Counter-Intelligence Agency director Zoran Verushevski was taken into custody by Macedonian police for possession of child pornography and two illegal weapons, media quote Macedonian Interior Ministry Spokesman Ivo Kotevski ...

4)    Many times, over the years, we have prayed against corruption in Macedonia. This is an example of God answering prayer by exposing evil. Let us continue to pray that other unrighteous government people would be exposed. http://freebalkans.blogspot.com/2014/01/pray-for-macedonia.html
5)    Pornography is a problem everywhere. Let us pray that this filth would no longer be produced in Macedonia. Pray that strong legislation against pornography would be set into law and strictly enforced.
6)    Let us pray specifically against child pornography. May the producers be exposed at the core. We pray that everyone involved with this horrible evil be found and that child pornography as an industry be shut down in Macedonia.
7)    Because of the very weak economy in Macedonia young women can be drawn to the money flowing through pornography. Lord, we ask for your protection of the women of Macedonia.
8)    Let us pray for Macedonian pastors and church workers to gather their teenagers and educate them about the destructive facts concerning pornography.
9)    Jesus, let us pray for the children of Macedonia. Lord, take them into Your arms and protect their hearts and minds from the evil plans of the devil.
10)    Lord, we pray that the church in Macedonia be able to set the course for nurturing and restoration of the children presently caught in its downward spiral. The Body of Christ has the solutions, Lord stir your church to action through compassion for them.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pray for Kosovo

Week of Jan. 19-25, 2015

NOTE: We appreciate prayer for European Initiative also - See left panel.

In the NEWS: Kosovo mobilizes to fight religious radicalism and terrorism

After a major police operation, that recently resulted in 40 arrests of people suspected of engaging in conflicts in Syria and Iraq and supporting terrorist organizations, Kosovo institutions mobilized to fight religious extremism in the country

The involvement of Albanians in the spread of religious radicalism and terrorism in Syria and Iraq has mobilized the NATO mission in Kosovo, besides national security forces.

Heads of Islamic, Orthodox and Catholic communities urged their fellow believers to stay away from any form of extremism or violence and support peace for a better future. They condemned who uses the name of God to perpetrate criminal act against humanity, adding that religions should never justify hatred and violence.

The rule of law institutions have increased their vigilance and the Parliament will soon pass legislation banning citizens from joining foreign insurgencies, with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison on conviction.

The majority of the population in Kosovo is Muslim. According to the Constitution, the Republic of Kosovo is a secular state and is neutral in matters of religious belief.

President Atifete Jahjaga said that Kosovo will not be a shelter for extremism. The head of the Islamic Community in Kosovo, mufti Naim Ternava, … says “[Extremist] have nothing to do with the real Islam, with its principals and rules, with Qu’ran and Hadith” .

But what motivates Muslims in Kosovo to join Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq?

“Some individuals in Pristina fall prey to propaganda by people living outside Kosovo who call them to participate in a 'holistic' war and they don’t analyze the situation. An investigative journalist in Pristina, Serbeze Haxhiaj, says that the lack of job opportunities for youth in Kosovo and the harsh socio-economic situation are also important elements that stimulate people to join paid radical groups.

…the Islamic Community should take a lead in this educational and awareness campaign supported by national intuitions, media and civil society.
Violeta Hyseni Kelmendi | Pristina 25 August 2014 http://world.einnews.com/article/220188674/Q_mazaUdJEknpZjB

Prayer Points:
1.    Let us first thank the Lord for answering prayer. These steps of the Kosovo institutions to take steps against radical Islam is a blessing for the country.
2.    We also thank the Lord for exposing these radical elements in Kosovo and the authorities taking appropriate actions. Lord, You direct rulers and governments to keep the peace as we pray for them.

2 Timothy 2:1-2 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,  for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

3.    We pray that these radical Imams and teachers would be exposed and dealt with according to laws that promote peace and freedom.
4.    We want to celebrate religious freedom in Kosovo. Although the evangelicals are small in numbers, the Kosovo laws do not restrict proselytizing and public promotion of Christian events.
5.    May we also celebrate the stand Islamic leaders are taking to speak up against radical elements in their mist. Lord, we ask for their protection.
6.    Let us also pray against radical Christians that do not display love toward Muslims but themselves agitate hate.
7.    Lord we pray for Christians to become Muslim lovers! In many Muslim communities across the Muslim world, Christians are using unconditional love to turn Muslims to Christ.
8.    Holy Spirit, we pray that You would continue to blow across the land. May the Intercessors and Christian Kosovars continue to pray for Kosovo.

Matthew 5:43-44 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Pray for Greece (week of Jan.5-11, 2015)

I spent most of my research time this week reading about political, economic and anti-proselytizing developments in Greece; though for the last 12 hours I was burdened for the churches. So while I am listing a few article’s web addresses of the political and economic concerns at the bottom, we will focus our prayer here on the churches.

<< Don't forget to Pray for EI-B needs also (Left panel)

Prayer Points:
1) This is the beginning of 2015. Lord, we ask for a better understanding of Your heart for the Balkans. Looking at the Balkans from a north/south, vertical view; the Balkans rest upon Greece. In the early centuries of Christianity Greece was a foundation stone European sit upon. Many evangelist were sent the corners of Europe, Asia and North Africa in those early centuries of the church.
2) Lord, we ask for an increase of intercession for Greece. Lord, we ask that evangelical church communities would seek You earnestly for Your presence.
3) May this be a year of Greek churches turning from tradition that creates stagnation to allowing the Holy Spirit to move freely. Lord, answer the desperate prayers with waves of freedom and joy.
4) Let us pray for the churches to be transformed. May they find their purpose in the surrounding culture and communities. Let them see their responsibility to be the place of redemptive hope for Greeks.
5) Unity of the pastors in a community is so important. Let us pray for Greek pastors to see their need for one another. Pastors in unity scares the devil more than anything because he knows transformation is then possible. I had a mental vision of pastors linking arms. When they were in unity, physical and emotional healing starts breaking out.
6) We ask for a coming forth of evangelist in Greece. May the Lord stir up a fire and passion for the lost. May they be sent to the lost sheep of Greece.
7) Lord, let the anointing fall on these evangelist. May they be fearless for the Gospel of truth.
8) Let us pray for the release of money to provide for these evangelist.
9) Let us pray for venues to open up for these evangelist to preach to thousands and thousands.
10) Let us pray for Greek churches throughout the world to have their hearts fully turned toward the country of their roots.
11) The Greeks boast about taking the Gospel to the world, but that mantel was lifted many years ago. Let us look to a day when that mantel is dusted off and returned to an exuberant Greek church.

For further intercession:
Greece dissolves parliament for January vote - http://www.updatednews.ca/2015/01/01/greece-dissolves-parliament-for-january-vote/
SYRIZA Leader Tsipras Invites Leftist Parties, Ecologists to Join Forces -  http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/01/03/syriza-leader-tsipras-invites-leftist-parties-ecologists-to-join-forces/#sthash.o7i1iAlh.dpuf
Greek Evangelist Faces Prison Time for Proselytizing -http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2011/October/Greek-Evangelist-Faces-Prison-Time-for-Proselytizing-/