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Behold the Power of Prayer

God is using the prayers of His people to open doors for ministry through prayer-focused vision trips. Missionary Eowyn Stoddard shares the impact of a recent prayer journey to Germany.

Unsure about how an MTW short-term team could serve the refugees with whom we had contact, we decided a “safe” thing to do would be for the team to spend some time praying with and for their needs. We had told our displaced friends that our American brothers and sisters were only coming to pray. They were part of a prayer-focused vision trip that serves MTW missionaries and their work through the ministry of prayer. Half the time is spent teaching about prayer, and the other half is spent going to different sites and practicing what they have learned about prayer.

We made sure the refugees understood there would be no material aid, no long-term relationships, and a language barrier that might be difficult to overcome. However, we also told them that even if the Americans prayed for them in English, God would still understand, even if they didn’t.

Spiritual warfare erupts
On the night set aside for this gathering, a handful of refugees came. We enjoyed food and fellowship together and then divided up into prayer groups. The refugees in each group briefly shared their stories before we prayed.

One of the refugee ladies in our group was new and shared that she had been struggling with anxiety and physical pain. The American prayer team ladies gathered around, placed their hands on her, and started to pray in the name of Jesus. Suddenly, the woman started to writhe, as if she were in agony. Her chest heaved upward, and she fell backward into someone’s lap. Her eyes rolled back into her head and she was groaning.

The American ladies in our group were clearly shocked and out of their depth, but continued praying for her. They read Scripture, sang simple praise songs over her, and reassured her of God’s love. They prayed against whatever evil was assaulting this poor woman. In the middle of this, I felt a strong sense from the Holy Spirit that a man needed to pray over her. Why? I could not say, but I called my husband over who was in another group. As he started to pray over her, the woman exclaimed, “I was raped when I was five.” The enemy had clearly been using this old, festering wound to tear apart her life.

We started to pray for God’s healing and protection from the evil one. Eventually, she became quiet, turned over from her back to her knees, and stretched her arms out on the floor in front of her with her head down on the ground in an obvious posture of worship. All she could say was “Isa, Isa, Isa,” which means Jesus in Farsi. Then suddenly, she sat up, clearly relieved, and exclaimed: “I feel so light; I feel at peace!” The following Sunday the woman came to church to let us know that since our prayers for her, she had had no more anxiety or physical pain.

The power behind the prayer
This was certainly not what the team might have expected they would be doing! But you never know what will happen when the power of God is unleashed through prayer. The ladies on this short-term team were no experts in how to deliver people from satanic oppression. They were simply regular Christians who courageously followed God’s call to go pray in a foreign country and God answered in an unusual, yet amazing way.

The clear lesson the prayer team learned that night is that God loves to listen to His children pray for His kingdom to come, His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. When we call on Him, evil flees. It cannot stand before Jesus and His sovereign power.

This story reminds me of the message of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Aslan, the rightful lion King, is on the move and winter is melting before him. Events like this point us to the truth that the ultimate deliverance of this groaning creation is guaranteed. The coming of spring is sure because it is tied to our sovereign King’s person, power, and presence. We have a God who, like Aslan, is on the move and He will not stop until all His purposes are accomplished. Until then, He loves for us to pray for Him to bring on the spring!

Eowyn Stoddard is an MTW missionary serving in Berlin. 

Eowyn Stoddard, Berlin SW Germany Nov 5, 2019
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Pray for those who have entered into life and death questions of faith with missionaries in Berlin as a result of the pandemic. 

Pray for a group of international friends in Germany who are meeting together and building community in a missionary's home. Pray they would come to know Christ through this community.

Pray for Muslims coming to faith in Christ across Europe. Pray that they would be discipled and find a church home. 

Pray for the refugees who have recently immigrated to Germany and are being drawn to Christ and becoming active in an MTW church.

Pray for missionaries seeking to minister to those who are critical and hard to love. Pray that missionaries would love their neighbor as Christ loved us.

Pray specifically for the refugees in Berlin with whom our missionaries are building relationships. Pray that these refugees would come to faith if they do not know Christ.

Pray for MTW's ministry to refugees in Greece, Germany, Ukraine, Uganda, Panama, and the U.S.

Give thanks to God for a movement of the Spirit spreading across Europe opening doors that have been long-shut.

Praise God for opening doors in Germany for us to minister to refugees in a local refugee home. Pray for refugees to grasp the love of Christ. 

Pray for the declining Church in Europe. Many see Europe as post-Christian and without hope. But we know that Christ will build His church.

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