Greetings from Austria!
Actually I am on the train from Bratislava to Vienna, and we just crossed the river. There are lovely yellow fields of flowers. It is a beautiful, sunny day, and my mood is equally sunny. I just feel very hopeful after having such powerful and successful prayer in 2 capitals: Budapest and Bratislava. It’s funny, I don’t know what to expect in Vienna because I’ve only passed through on the train. But I feel a kind of breathless expectation. This trip is pregnant with possibilities. More later!
—Several hours later—
The mood swung dramatically when we entered the church. Our hosts started right into a slide show about the history of Vienna, with emphasis on the spiritual realities here. For me, the most impacting was the final slide: a map of Vienna 1913-1914, showing that Hitler, Stalin, Trotsky, Tito, and Freud were all living in Vienna within a few miles of each other. It occurred to me that Vienna is a spiritual womb (see my comment above, written on the train: pregnant with possibilities!). At that time she birthed some pretty horrible things, but through prayer and worship, Vienna can birth great things for the Kingdom of God.
However, before receiving that revelation, we tried to worship, and it was a disaster at first. The worship was weak, and only the English-speakers were worshiping. One of our teammates pointed out that our hosts were not singing. An Austrian host told us that what they need is not worship, but prayer, and prayer warriors for Vienna who will seek God’s face and pray these things through.
We tried to explain that prayer and spiritual warfare is exactly what we had come to do, but that we enter into prayer first with worship, like the priests of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20). At that, a missionary who has lived here for 26 years put on a worship song in German, and we all worshiped together—some in English, and some in German. That was an important turning point. After that prayer began to breakout among our hosts, and that depressive atmosphere lifted.
Afterward, we enjoyed a lovely meal prepared for us by our hosts. Friendship and fellowship developed, and there was lots of laughter and love. God is good!