Greetings from Podgorica!
This morning, after a strategy meeting for prayer walking in Podgorica (the capital of Montenegro), we met with some missionaries over coffee. They explained the particular challenges for the church here, which boiled down to suspicion and division. They couldn’t stay long, so we prayed for them, and blessed them in their ministry here.
Meanwhile a couple of teammates went to talk and pray with a newspaper man (a Christian) who is a former minister in the government, and who likely could have a future role in the government of Montenegro. The teammates who went to his office were one who has a special calling to pray for government, and the other is a missionary in Albania, and thus, the only teammate based in the Balkans. By coincidence (or as I’ve recently heard it termed, “God-incidence”), both are Norwegian men. The rest of the team went prayer walking in the center of the city.
Our walk took us down to the confluence of the small river that runs through the city center and a larger river. It is a really beautiful spot on waters that are sparkling clear. We found a small cave into which a small stage has been built. But it looks as if the site has long been abandoned, and probably used as a teenage hangout for drinking and drug use. The stage has been torn up and there is broken glass everywhere. Nevertheless, the natural beauty of this place is undeniable. We found there a couple of girls who had set up easels and were drawing. The Holy Spirit spoke to us of this place as being a place of worship and the release of creative gifts. So we included worship in our prayers there. It was there that the Holy Spirit revealed hope to me. I felt such hope for this city and this country.
Then one teammate told us of a statue that spoke to her of the powerful weapon that worship is against the enemy. It is a statue of a man holding a guitar in one hand, with his other hand raised to Heaven, and under his feet is a skull. So we went there for more prayer and worship.
On the way back through the city center, we were surprised to find our Norwegian teammates. They told us that the half hour appointment with the newspaperman had been extended to 50 minutes because he was so interested in what they had to tell him. They prayed for him, prophesied over him, and showed him things in the Bible that he found very encouraging. Needless to say, they were likewise encouraged by the meeting.
At that time, we split up, some going for lunch, others for a rest. Afterwards, we met again for a more formal debriefing of our morning’s adventures before beginning our afternoon adventure on the hill: Gorica. Podgorica means underneath or at the foot of Gorica. In the Communist Era, Podgorica had been renamed Titograd, for Tito, dictator of Yugoslavia—and the name remains in some parts of the city.
A little way up the hill is the tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War II. Honestly, it looks just like an altar. From there, it is obvious that the Communists, despite protesting that that they worship no god is a lie because they worship death. The tomb of the Unknown Soldier is an altar to death, and there had been a spirit of death that has reigned for a long time over this city. Our Balkan teammates both felt headaches coming on as we mounted the steps to the tomb. They prayed the headache away, and it left immediately. So we used our God-given authority and broke the death spirit’s hold on this land. We also sang a worship song, and the heavy atmosphere lifted.
Farther up the hill, closer to the top, we found a couple of benches which were great places overlooking the city. So we rested there before continuing up the hill. At the top, Gorica is flat, and from there we couldn’t look down on the city. There at the top, I felt a headache coming on in a different place from the side where I had always gotten migraines. It was clearly a spiritual attack, but I just prayed it away, and it left immediately. We prayed some prayers at the top, repenting for the blood-guilt upon the land, and performing a prophetic act by pouring a little wine into the soil to cover the blood-guilt with the blood of Christ.
Then we went back to the benches to pray, prophesy, and proclaim over the city. Again, I felt hope rising in my spirit for this country.
At the foot of the hill is the oldest church in Montenegro. It had fallen into disrepair, but is now being repaired, and restored. Behind the church is a graveyard, with stone sarcophagi, many of which lay open and empty. One even had a tree growing out of it. That is a strong symbol of resurrection, and resurrection brought to mind that repeated feeling of hope.
In the evening, we went to meet with local believers: a couple who are expecting their first child in a few weeks, and the husband’s mother. We got together for the purpose of encouraging them, but also to worship together. As we worshiped, laughter broke out, first in the husband, then spreading to all of us. I prophesied a joy anointing upon them and their house, rippling out to all the neighbors and across the city. Also, I prophesied that their baby girl will be a worshiper—which was immediately confirmed by the wife.
So this was an amazing day, full of hope and worship and laughter. God is good!