Inspired by Red Moon Rising by Pete Greig, who also wrote 'The Alpha Prayer Guide'.
In 1982, at a time during the Cold War when many East Germans were still cruelly imprisoned by the Berlin Wall, a pastor named Christian Führer began calling people to pray for peace every Monday night at the St Nicholas Church in Leipzig, East Germany. At first, only a dozen people turned up.
Such a response would make some of us think it wasn’t worth doing, but Pastor Führer persisted with these organised “peace prayers” each Monday night. By May 1989, attendance had soared as many people sought refuge in these prayer meetings.
Things came to a head one Monday night, on 9 October 1989, when 8,000 people crammed into that church to pray for peace. In a show of solidarity, up to 70,000 people had gathered to pray outside ... on the streets and in other churches throughout the city.
Expecting a riot, communist authorities tried to stop people with barricades, beatings, and hundreds of armed police.
A 13-year-old boy named Markus, who came to pray at the St Nicholas Church that night, later said that he thought, Surely it’s crazy to fight military strength with prayer. But there is power, too, in this building tonight.
After about an hour, Pastor Führer led his group of prayer warriors out into the streets, clutching candles and chanting “No violence”. Surprisingly, the police didn’t open fire.
One communist official said: “We were prepared for every eventuality, but not for candles, and not for prayers.”
Within a week, the prayer rally for peace grew to 120,000, and within a fortnight, 300,000 people had joined in. Two weeks after that, on 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down.
The prayer warriors in the St Nicholas Church had prayed faithfully, and found nothing is impossible for our God of love and freedom.
There are spiritual walls keeping many people in Australia imprisoned as well, but God can shatter any stronghold. Your prayers play a key role in the spiritual warfare we’re involved in together!
Who are you praying for—your friend, neighbour, community, nation? Keep praying—and watch what God will do through you and Alpha throughout 2019.