We met at the church to hear about the history of the Jewish people of Vienna. A brief overview shows that the Jews were welcome in Vienna, then persecuted and either killed or driven out (whenever they needed a scapegoat), then they were welcomed again and the cycle repeated.
Yesterday was rather like that for me: emotions up and down and up again. After the teaching we went to the city center and divided into 2 groups: prayer for the churches and prayer for the Jews. It was so hard to decide because I really wanted to go with both groups—and I was not the only one. So I put off the decision until the moment came to decide. The church group had far fewer members, so I went with them. And that was a good decision because my calling is for the church (missionaries), even though I do have a strong love for Israel.
We went into St. Stephan’s Cathedral there in the center. One teammate said that there was a chapel with Israeli etchings or something. I didn’t really catch exactly what it was, but we found a chapel that was set apart from the rest of the cathedral and had a glass door. The door was shut, but not locked, so we went inside. I don’t think that was the place we were looking for, but it was a perfect place to pray, with stools set in a circle around the room. To my delight, I found a kneeler, so I knelt to pray. Our prayers were full of emotion, which is not unusual, but the intensity and range of emotions was very unusual: one teammate lay on the floor weeping, then another started a battle prayer and we all roared (in our spirits), then spontaneous laughter as the Sweet Holy Spirit fell upon us. It was powerful. We had intended to pray there for 20 minutes, but in the end, we were there 40 instead. I had not been aware of the passage of time, nor had the others.
We moved on to the “New City” area near the Danube River. This was a whole area of new apartment buildings near a bridge. A prophet had recently prophesied that Jesus would enter the city of Vienna by crossing this bridge. The place where we had wanted to pray was closed off for construction, and although this was Labor Day for Austria, there was a workman there who let us into the construction area. We began searching for a good place to pray. First we found too much sun, then a shady area near the workman, but he had just turned on a noisy machine. Finally we found a small sandbox play area in the shade. There we prayed, proclaimed, and welcomed Jesus to enter Vienna.
I kicked off my sandals and enjoyed the cool sand on my feet. After prayers one of the teammates (a man from Slovakia) and I danced and sang a joyful song, waving flags. Then we went back to the center and got Italian gelatos while we waited for the other prayer team to arrive.
From there we went to a prayer meeting where several churches attend together. We prayed for the sick and there were many miraculous healings. Then we broke into groups of 3-4 and prayed a few minutes for the topics given to us. When we were told to pray for trafficked people the mood changed from joyful and triumphant prayers to brokenhearted prayers. I was reminded of the girls that Clara (the pastor’s wife from Romania) had told me about.
I also thought about a friend from Eastern Europe who had recently told me that she had been a prostitute. You would never imagine it. She’s a sweet twenty-something Christian girl, who had thought that she had no future. But she met Jesus and found that she is worth so much more than all the money that men had paid to use her body.
Thinking about these girls broke my heart, and I cried my heart out for them and for all their sisters. I was not the only one to weep for them. Tears are prayers, too.
When we returned to the church, I flopped down on the floor, kicked off my sandals, and put my feet up. It felt good to rest. After dinner we laughed, but not with our usual hilarity. I think we were all just so tired. It had been a good, but emotionally draining day. God is good!