Praying for the Balkans – Albania
Regarding the Prayer and Information Blog for ISTPrayer, we will pray for a different Balkan country every fourth week of the month. So let us start with Albania and proceed each month alphabetically through the twelve countries located in the region.
Voskopoja, Albania –
There is a remote village in southeastern Albania that caught our attention. Voskopoja, Albania, or as it was named in earlier centuries, Moscopole. It is said to have been the second most important city in the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century. It was an important cultural center for the ethnic Vlachs people. The Vlachs were a people group that were not Slavic or Greek but of Romanic descent. The present village is now scarcely populated but there are many historical Orthodox churches that still stand and attract tourist each year.
It is said that in the 18th century Voskopoja (Moscopole) boasted of a population of 70,000. In the later part of that century, the Muslim general, Ali Pusha – who was known for looting conquered lands in the name of Islam, raided Voskopoja and consequently scattered the merchants, scholars and leading citizenry.
Here is a blog about Voskopoja (, The following question begs to be answered; if it was a spiritual center of Orthodoxy is there anything of the Spirit that can be resurrected there? Considering the todays Orthodox church, to the average person their beliefs are rather strange. A few days ago we were discussing the subject with a leading Croatian theologian and he said the Orthodox church was actually practicing more of the Gospel than the Catholic Church. One can gain a real compassion for these Orthodox believers in Voskopoja who had been pillaged and scattered.
The answer to the above question lies in the word, “Trust”. The people of that time had a trust in God through their level of revelation. God honors the trust that is directed to Him from His people. The people in those ancient churches of Voskopoja trusted God through the way and means that the Gospel was presented to them. They trusted their shepherds/priest. This can give us a deeper revelation of how important it is as a pastor/priest to present the true Gospel. The pastor and the teacher stand accountable for what they present to us. Of course we are admonished to search the scriptures for ourselves also. There is an old song, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey”.
Scriptures to hang onto:
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, , have not forsaken those who seek You.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.”
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
Let us use this interesting bite of history to segway into praying
1. God is doing wonderful things in Albania. Let us pray that the country would stay open to the Gospel.
2. Like the two most important commandments Jesus taught us: Love (trust) God with all your heart and love (trust) your neighbor. Lord, we ask that a greater measure of trust will rise up in the Albanian people.
3. We ask for a level of trust that is childlike. As they trust more, Lord, show them Your supernatural protection and provision.
4. We want to see good shepherds that hear the Lord’s voice and they lead with heavenly motives.
5. Let this be true also in the government realm. Lord, raise up political leaders that walk in truth. Also in the field of education, raise up teachers that present facts from sound sources.
6. In the area of the media, may truth be presented as the facts dictate.
7. In order for trust to arise; evil agendas, corruption and false witness must be exposed and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Let us pray for godly judges, managers and leaders in all spheres of the culture.
8. Lastly, let us pray for a church in Tirana that has started a school of prayer. Let us pray that many will be trained and encouraged to go out from the school to raise up houses of prayer in their cities.
Thank for praying with us for the Balkans, Croatia and www.ISTgroup.org.