Austria’s Identity

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Hitler Balcony

Yesterday we went to the balcony where Hitler addressed Austria as the leader of Germany and the Nazis.  There we prayed and proclaimed that no more lies would come from that place, but only words of righteousness and truth.  I was standing by a very evil-looking sculpture that had a beak like a bird.  In Budapest one of the locals had given me a rubber bracelet that I have been wearing ever since.  I put the bracelet around its beak as a symbolic/prophetic act to shut the mouth of lies.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI shut his lying mouth!

Next we went to the Austrian Parliament building, but we had no connections, so we were not able to get in past the lobby unless we entered as part of a tour group.  If we did that, then we would not be able to stop and pray, so we went outside the building and prayed from there.  Our hosts told us that there is no Christian in the Austrian Parliament at all—perhaps in name only.  It was a difficult place to pray from.  The Hitler balcony had been prayed over many, many times, but the Parliament had obviously been neglected in prayer.  It was the most difficult prayer session since that first evening in Vienna (see God is Doing a New Thing).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Austrian Parliament Building

After lunch we had our debriefing, and all of us had felt the same difficulty praying at the Parliament building.  I had 2 impressions about Austria.  The first one I noted in my blog yesterday (An Emotional Day), about how in prayer my emotions had been up and down and up again—but only in prayer.  And I noted, as on the first day (God is Doing a New Thing), that I believe Austria has a female identity—and may I add, that she seems hormonal.

My second impression about Austria is that it seems to me very strange that there was no indigenous Austrian who went to pray with us.  They did pray with us in the church, but not out in the city.  To my knowledge, this was the first time that only foreigners prayed in the capital.  However, I have not been on all the prayer trips, and I was told that it was also this way in Luxembourg. 

The thing is that Operation Capitals of Europe (OCE) does not come in to do our own thing.  Rather, we want very much to come alongside the indigenous believers to support them in what (we hope) they are already doing.  Otherwise nothing lasting will result from our prayers because we cannot possibly return and return and return to pray for their capital—there are something like 50 capitals in Europe (not all are recognized, like Cardiff, which comes under the UK, but is in fact the capital of Wales).  Anyway, we did our best, and the local believers did seem encouraged by our visit and our efforts.  Much remains to be done in Austria, but we did what we could to help things along. 

Last night the team said their goodbyes to the local church, and today we said our goodbyes to each other.  I have returned to Bratislava to meet with a missionary here, then I will go to Budapest tomorrow, and fly early Sunday morning back to Milan.  It has been an interesting time, and there is still so much to pray about.  If you would like to pray for us, here are a few prayer points:

  • One teammate was unable to come on either this trip or the last one (Sofia & Skopje) because of illness.  This is obviously a spiritual attack because she was healed of this illness, so it should not have returned.
  • Others might likewise be attacked in the area of their health, especially due to the exhausting nature of these trips (see below).
  • Several of us on the team are over 45, and these trips are physically, spiritually, and emotionally exhausting.  Because of exhaustion, tempers sometimes wear thin.  We need to give each other a lot of grace and compassion.
  • Team unity has been gravely threatened by rebelliousness.  Nevertheless, we were able to remain united and to stay focused.  I suspect that the enemy will continue to try this tactic to divide the team.

All in all, I feel like this has been a very good trip—a challenging trip, but very good.  God is good!

Kings and Castles and UFO’s

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Slovakian Parliament Building

Yesterday we all met at the Slovakian Parliament building.  There are 2 Members of Parliament that are born again, and another 8 who are Christians, but perhaps unsure about the whole “born again” thing.  We met with 1 of the born again MPs, Boris.  He seemed very discouraged and hopeless.  I think he feels very alone.  Boris started a prayer meeting with the other Christian MPs, and he said that usually only 4 show up.  He said that the meeting lasts about 30 minutes.  The meeting starts by Boris reading a Bible verse about righteousness, they meditate on it for about 5 minutes, then they pray about it together.

Whenever there is an important vote, Boris calls a prayer breakfast for his supporters who are believers, and they pray together about the issue.  However, we were told later that he’s not very organized about getting the word out, so the prayer breakfasts are only about 10 people.  In reality, Boris has many more supporters who would come and pray if they knew about the prayer breakfast.  So we prayed for Boris and for the Slovakian Parliament.  It was powerful.  At one point I felt very strongly the urge to kneel as I prayed.  When I opened my eyes, everyone around me was also on their knees, including Boris and his translator.

After lunch we took a trip out to Devin Castle.  At the foot of the castle was a monument to the victims of Communist terror.  This was where the iron curtain separated east from west, at the Danube River.  From that spot in Slovakia, you could see Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria.  There more than 400 people were killed trying to escape Communism.  A few members of the team said that they couldn’t pray there because it felt so heavy.  So before praying we decided to do a prophetic act and worship.  So we marched through the gateway of the memorial singing a worship song.  Then we went to the riverside and poured wine and salt into the water (another prophetic act).  Then we sang more worship songs.  The songs started out weak, but became strong.  Then someone noticed that a couple of snakes swam across the water and the frogs began singing louder.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABullet-riddled monument to the victims of Communist terror

Then we climbed up to the castle.  Up there we heard a strange buzzing noise.  I laughed and said that it was a UFO.  Well it was unidentified and it was a flying object.  It was a photographic drone, which after the place of so many Communist murders gave me the creeps.  There was a big team up there, taking pictures with equally sophisticated equipment.

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It was a good day, with wonderful prayers and lots of hugs goodbye.  Today we travel to Vienna.  A couple of teammates are going by riverboat in order to pray and worship on the river.  God is good!

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