Saturday, February 11, 2012

Praying for Albania: A 365 Day Global Prayer Journey - Feb. 11 (Day 42)

The first time I ever heard of Albania was in a church service in the early 1990's. A young couple was being commissioned to go to a country that had previously had atheism as the official state religion. Only recently had the country lifted the ban on all religious practices, and this precious young couple was headed there to see what God would do with them. I still remember the baby she bounced on her hip. I don't remember their names and never heard what happened to them, but as I reflect back now I marvel at the goodness of God working through His people. He didn't waste any time putting Albania on people's hearts - and they didn't waste any time going.

The fruit of God's work in Albania is astounding. Please read "Albania" on pages 94-97, then return here for prayer.

I hope you noticed the significant role of prayer in the overturning of state atheism: "Many credit concentrated prayer and intercession as major factors in seeing Albania opened for ministry." The work you are doing daily during our prayer times together is of uttermost importance for the kingdom! Albania also highlights a few other trends you'll begin to notice regularly throughout the remainder of this year's prayer journey:
* Previously-existing confessions are resistant to new religious movements. (This is often an Orthodox and/or Catholic conflict against evangelicals in many countries.)
* Growing pains follow explosive evangelistic growth. The church needs serious post-revival prayer to settle into a discipleship pattern. Leadership training is a vital need.
* Holistic mission sets Christians apart. It's encouraging that in Albania, "Holistic mission is possibly the defining ministry of the young Albanian church."
* Where a missional church exists "outside" (non-native) missionaries are most needed in a support role, serving the national church in various ways.

As always, please feel free to post how you are feeling led to pray!

My prayer for today: Oh Lord, we thank You for opening Albania to the Gospel. Thank You for the faithful ones who went so quickly when that kairos moment was available. We thank You for the fruit we see today - the fruit of prayer, of faithfulness, or holistic ministry, of Biblical faith. We ask You Lord for guidance as this young evangelical movement navigates the challenging waters of the existing Orthodox and Catholic churches and the Muslim community. We pray for strong adherance to Your Word and wisdom in raising up leadership and establishing focused evangelism and intentional discipleship. Guide especially as they minister to Albanian Muslims - help these precious souls see You in the lives of the Christians in Albania. Protect the country from the ethnic conflicts of other Balkan states. Thank You for the missionaries from Albania - we ask that You keep the churches missional as they fight battles on the local front. We pray for those Albanians living abroad - help them come in contact with Christians and learn to see themselves as missionaries. We pray against the pervasive trafficking and ask You to raise up people who can lead in breaking the structures that allow trafficking to flourish. Oh Lord we pray for Your glory to fall on Albania. Thank You for Your work in this land. In Jesus' name, amen.

1 comment:

Heather Harris said...

I accidentally found your blog, but I am glad I did! I know of a missionary couple in Albania, and you've reminded me to pray for them tonight. Encouraging to be a part of a group who are praying in faith. All glory be given to Him!