Monday, December 19, 2016

Jesus' Intercessors

Jesus' Intercessors

 May you be filled with an adoration of our King as we remember and celebrate His birth this Christmas season. May we never lose the wonder of His majesty.

Let us look at two amazing intercessors, Simeon and Anna. Did these two actually pray-in the advent of Jesus? We know that usually intercession comes before a move of God. Clearly, God had burdened these two at that time in history to be intently looking for the Messiah to come to redeem Israel. It is truly remarkable that they knew Him when they saw Him, and they accepted that He was a baby.

Luke 2: 25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Luke 2:36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years,[i] who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord,[j] and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

What burden is God laying on us to pray for? We can bring forth acts of God through our intercession. First God shares His burden/heart/desire with us (looking for someone to stand in the gap) and then we fill the bowls of heaven with our prayers until He determines the time is right to answer with His plan and purposes.

We want to thank each of you for praying with us again this year. Many of you have joined us throughout the years while others have been with us since the birth of this blog/prayer letter at the beginning of 2009. We have seen some amazing answers to our prayers, while we continue to contend for others. As we walk the land and do the work of the ministry, we count it a joy to have you pray with us and for us. You are making a difference in the heavenlies over this region!
 

Prayer Points:
1)   
Pray for the churches of the Balkans, they are generally small and often inward focused. Taking Jesus’ love to the world is the exception and not the norm. Pray that Balkan Christians would share their faith more often and that it comes from a heart of true love.
2)   
It is said that the Christians which do not attend church here is larger than those that do. There are various reasons for this, but one of the main reasons is having been hurt by church leadership. Pray that there is a true and deep repentance in church leadership for damage done to His bride. Let us also pray that God would raise up healthy church leadership. 
3)   
At the core of our ministry, IST Group, there is a culture of honor. Pray that we honor and love others well, and that we can be an example of godly leadership. Jesus washed the disciple’s feet and we desire to do the same in our life and ministry.
4)   
Christmas here in the Balkans is fast becoming commercialized and the focus seems less about Jesus and family, and more about the outward expression. Christians are trying to find what is the right place in all this. Pray that believers here would not lose or neglect the true purpose of the season. May we take the time to express our affection and worship to the One who came to take away the sins of this world.


Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know You Prayed.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pray for IST Group

Pray for Intentional Strategies for Transformation

We continue to be so very grateful to the Lord for prayer warriors like you, who lift up the Balkans, the IST Group and us in your prayers! When we face challenges, we know that we do not stand alone. Thank you!
At IST we are involved with several initiatives, and of those we would like to highlight two main directions this week and ask your prayer for: The Upper Room Zagreb House Of Prayer (UR Zagreb HOP) and the Lika project.

UR Zagreb HOP 
We have been offered a new home! It is an attic much closer to the center and a much larger space! We really believe that this is God preparing to grow the UR Zagreb HOP, but we need roughly $25K for renovations.

We have two primary purposes in the HOP: First, to worship and lift up the Father, Son and Holy Spirit because the God-head is worthy and second, to pray and intercede for Croatia because God has given us the responsibility to bring forth righteousness in this land. Even as our team, faithfully comes weekly to pray and we take our place on the wall as watchman, there has been a desire to gain a deeper understanding on such things as worship and the principles of the Tabernacle or Tent of David. In order to more fully engage in the dynamics of worshiping in concert with the power of heaven, we need to put better language around this with our team. For this reason, we have decided to take the first Monday of each month and provide teaching on this, and related subjects.

This Monday Dec. 5th we will listen to Michael Mauldin of Upper Room Dallas as he taught on the Tent of David. (To see this teaching, follow the link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ljx3smmfzyA&t=4890s&list=PL53UyyJumifTsAXMCxlxcj1njrEG3Pf9B&index=16)
 
Lika
Next Friday Dec. 9th we will meet with the three Croatian families who have a burden for this region. Lika is an unreached area that actually lies in the heart of Croatia. There are three primary purposes to this meeting: Team Building and fellowship; Spending time to hear from God and pray together; Discuss vision and the way forward.
 
Prayer Points:
1)    Pray for the UR Zagreb HOP as we continue to grow and lift up Jesus over the country. Pray for the provisions for the renovation of this new space. It will be a blessing for many years to come!
2)    Praise God with us, for the many testimonies! We are not only seeing lives changed but things are changing for the better in economics and government. (We will have specific data on this soon)
3)    Please pray that those attending the prayer sets would realize and walk in their full potential as worshipers and intercessors.
4)    As we begin this new activity of bringing teaching, pray for deeper understanding and even more hunger in individuals.
5)    Pray with us that the worshippers would not only allow the Lord to purge their lives completely in the prayer room but would be fruitful in their daily lives. Lord, teach us the benefits of walking in Your joy and letting it spill over on those we encounter.
6)    Lord, we pray that we would not be satisfied with Your goodness but we would expect Your glory.
7)    Pray for the Lika meeting. Pray that God would bind our hearts together and that the meeting is productive. May each family hear clearly what their involvement is to be in this project and to what extent.
8)    Much sacrifice is needed from each parties in order to answer the call of God. Pray for His sovereign work, clarity and a deep commitment from all.
9)    Pray that we will continue to have favor and guidance from the pastoral leaders in Croatia.

Psalm 51:7
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

2 Chronicles 34:8
In the eighteenth year of his[Josiah] reign, when he had purged the land and the temple, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God.
Thanks for standing with IST Group as we seek to bring transformation in this land of Croatia and the Balkans.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pray for Ljubljana, Zagreb and Belgrade

Pray for Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia

“Revival comes when the grip of darkness over peoples or territories is broken or weakened, and the Holy Spirit is allowed to gain more control, bringing a greater manifestation of God’s Kingdom and His purposes.” Pastor John Mulinde, Uganda

Last week we completed a very intentional and on sight prayer strategy for Ljubljana, Slovenia – Zagreb, Croatia – Belgrade, Serbia. Intentional Strategies for Transformation joined with a very professional team of prayer warriors under the leadership of Henning Schikora of Operation Capitals of Europe. (www.oceprayer.com) Principalities were confronted in the spirit and we know our God extended redemption into these three cities and nations.

Tuesday evening Zuzanna and I drove back into Zagreb after finishing up in Belgrade and we could sense that something had changed. This was the first time we had been involved in spiritual warfare at this level so it was a learning experience for us. It totally amazes us how God works through spiritual acts to advance His Kingdom’s influence over nations. He, the Lord, assembled sixteen people from seven nations to break bondages, set up spiritual boundaries and bless the local believers.
 
Prayer Points: 

1.    Slovenia, is a country with a split identity. For centuries, it has been torn between East and West. A pastor in Ljubljana told us that even now the people have a hard time of thinking of themselves as a nation. It is not that they are fighting against each other but rather there is just no sense of unity and no strong identity. Slovenia is also a leading country in suicides.
   a.    In this age of God bringing forth nations, let us pray for Slovenia to find a common bond. May that bonding be a work of the Holy Spirit.
   b.    First, we ask for a unity of the churches. May the spiritual leaders of Slovenia find common ground and walk in unity.
   c.    We pray for a healthy nationalism for Slovenia that has an influence for good on its European neighbors.
   d.    Slovenia has a strong calling in the area of the arts, yet the enemy has taken their gift. May godly artists arise in Slovenia and take back this sphere of influence. Lord, humble and guide the leadership of Slovenia in all spheres of society.
 
2.    Croatia is such a diverse and beautiful country. The Croatian people corporately don’t know what they have. Pray that Croatians would realize God’s desire to form into a country that blesses many.
   a.    It is obvious that the blessings for Croatia are held back because of injustice in its established institutions. Lord, we pray for exposure that results in legal and moral justice.
   b.    Those that have the privilege to travel to Croatia will see the great natural treasures. Every summer, millions of foreigners, especially Europeans, come to vacation in Croatia. This is why the atmosphere of the country is important. In order for Croatia to be a blessing to Europe and the world, the people must have a welcoming attitude. Pray that Croatians will learn to “Bless the Guest”.
   c.     In Croatia, there is a heavy influence from the Roman Catholic Church. This is a religious spirit that brings bondage. As the Bible says, where there is darkness the light shines brighter. We have seen a move toward unity among the evangelicals and a surging forth of Catholic Charismatics. Lord, we pray for both of these movements to gain moral ground and shine like a city on a hill.
 
3.    Question; Can anyone tame Serbia? Answer; Yes, the Lord can. Serbia is a country of warriors; It is just built into their nature. Look at their history, they have survived the greatest of tragedies.
   a.    Just think of what could be possible for Serbia if their warrior spirit could be turned against Satan. We have heard a prophetic message more than once, “That when Belgrade burns for Jesus, the whole of the Balkans will be blessed.” We cry out: Lord, let it be, in our lifetime!
   b.    Belgrade has been a fort, village, city and metroplex for about 2,000 years. It sits at the place where the Sava river merges with the mighty Danube river. It has been leveled to the ground in various wars 45 times. This city has never obtained the glory it should have. Let us pray for a spiritual transformation in Belgrade that brings the glory of God.
   c.     What would it be like if Serbia stood up to show forth God’s glory? According to some, Serbia is further along spiritually than Slovenia or Croatia. There is a HOPE in Serbia that is waiting to be unleashed. Let us pray for the release of this hope.
   d.    There is a unity stirring among the evangelicals in Serbia that is healthy. The pastors and church leaders are grasping the revelation that there is strength in unity.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Pray for IST Group 11-11-16



Pray for Intentional Strategies for Transformation

The IST Group is privileged to organize the following prayer initiatives for Ljubljana, Slovenia; Zagreb, Croatia and Belgrade, Serbia. An organization based out of France, Operation Capitals of Europe, has a vision to pray in every European capital city. This is a powerful act of petitioning the Lord on behalf of these leading cities and it resembles the IST vison of a foundation of prayer and bringing transformation to the region.

We are growing! IST is currently planning and developing the action plan for 2017 which includes growth in both: human and real estate recourses. This will bring with it new opportunities for ministry and the furtherance of the Kingdom.
 
Prayer Points:
1)    Thank you Lord for this strategic plan for prayer. Pray for our protection as we stand shoulder to shoulder against the enemy in these three countries.
2)    During the breakup of Yugoslavia 25 years ago two of these countries, Croatia and Serbia fought bitterly over many issues. Pray that we may have the breaker anointing to break through the remaining bondages of bitterness.
3)    Looking at the statistics for Slovenia in Operation World, we find these two alarming numbers: 40% claim to be non-religious and since the year 2000 there has been a 0.2% deterioration in the number of evangelical believers. Lord Jesus, please show us how to pray for a reversal of these numbers.
4)    Both Croatia and Serbia do show positive signs of forward movement in the past 15 years. There is still much growth to be had here in the area of unity among the Body of Christ. A real revelation and a joy of giving is not yet flowing. Pray that a culture of honor would increase among brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray that Christians would learn the joy of giving.
5)    Please pray for these 10 days of spiritual warfare in these countries. (Nov. 11-20, 2016) Pray that we will be directed from Heaven in our intercession, petitions and declarations over Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.
6)    Keep the IST leadership in prayer as many plans must be finalized and decisions made on details to execute the growth which God is entrusting us with.
7)    Growth in human recourses is exciting but a big responsibility at the same time. As the Lord joins others with IST in various capacities, pray that we would operate in much wisdom and servant leadership.
8)    IST has been offered an incredible opportunity to occupy a specious attic space for the future home of the Upper Room Zagreb. This is a very exciting opportunity and we believe a timely blessing as well. The attic needs renovation however, and IST is believing for the $25K to pay for materials needed. We have a team in the US ready to come and complete the labor free of charge. Please pray with us for the $25K.
9)    Continue to pray protection over us as we unfold and execute His strategies. We have had an influx of testimonies of what God is doing in the lives of those attending the prayer sets. May God continue to show up in a big way and may there be a hedge of protection around the IST team.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pray for Montenegro

Pray for Montenegro

Total Evangelicals in the country: 286 people est.; 0.0005% of population – 

Montenegro is among the least evangelized countries on the world. There are only three churches and some small home groups. There are Orthodox and Catholic churches but the people are far from being spiritually taught and delivered from the power of sin.

Here is an amazing fact; There are more tourist visiting the Montenegrin coast each year than there are Montenegrins in the country. Population: 650,000 est. (CIA Factbook) As the Adriatic Coast becomes Europe’s number one vacation spot, Montenegro has a lot to gain.

Montenegro also has a strong relationship with Russia. Many of the tourist each year are Russians. Increasingly, Russian entrepreneurs are investing in Montenegro.

Prayer Points:
1)    Lord, we know it is in Your heart to reach the Montenegrin people. You desire to be lifted-up in Montenegro. Lord, show us how to pray and send help.
2)    Let us pray for intercessors and prayer-walkers to be burdened for the many Montenegrins that do not know Jesus. May they pray through to the point of dominion over the enemies’ territorial bondages. Lord, let the enemies’ days be numbered; we demand he release the people.
3)    Let us pray for laborers to be raised up to go to Montenegro. Holy Spirit, send out a Montenegrin Call and draw Christians to give their lives for this dry land.
4)    Lord, we ask for church planters to get a burden for the towns and villages of Montenegro. Lord, send Your “gatherers”.
5)    Let us pray for the few churches and the small home groups. Lord, let grace be their portion at this time, release hope and expectation in their midst.
6)    What if, Orthodox and Catholic priest started having dreams and visions of the Word replacing icons and statues. Let us honor the painter and sculpture for their skilled representation of the Gospel, but it is the Word that can set Montenegrins free.
7)    Pray for the establishing of an evangelical school in Montenegro that has a branch for training Russian Bible students. (I had this picture of students coming from Russia to a Holy Spirit school in Montenegro)
8)    May the Montenegrin believers seek His face and receive the spirit of boldness in order to reach the locals as well as vacationing tourists.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you prayed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pray for Zagreb, CROATIA


Pray for Zagreb

Having lived in Zagreb for nearly three years, we have seen a city that looks good on the outside, but if you take a closer look at its inhabitants, they carry an underlying pain.

There are the elderly, who dig through the trash, hoping to find bottles to be redeemed for a voucher. Second, the middle aged generation that hustles from place to place with very little hope of enjoying their dreams. This group actually has this sadness on their face that will break your heart. Now the youth are really interesting; they try their best to stay upbeat enjoying their electronic toys, but underneath there is hopelessness. As for so many the only hope they see for their future is outside of Croatia as unemployment among young adults remains around 48%.

Of course we know that the solution is transformation through the presence of Jesus because when he shows up everything begins to change. Zagreb has seen some small, isolated revivals in the past, but nothing that could be measured as having impacted the culture.

There is hope! I (Jerry) attended a meeting of local pastors a few weeks ago. This meeting was organized by an international evangelical group that is seeking to unify pastors and churches to arise to the challenge of evangelizing their country. I was amazed at how many pastors were present. We had round-table discussions to isolate the hindrances of evangelism in Croatia and how to take steps to overcome those hindrances. There seemed to be a critical honesty there of what hasn’t worked, a desire to implement new ideas and most of all a brotherly love for one another.

George Otis, Jr, whom has studied spiritual revivals, outpourings and transformation, says that there are two elements that are first steps to spiritual renewal, first is desperate prayer and the second is unity of pastors (spiritual leaders). At this meeting, there was a hope of unity. At the Upper Room Zagreb, we consistently pray and foster unity and it is one of the core values of IST, so naturally we are very encouraged to see signs of forward movement.
 
Prayer Points:
1)    Let us pray for the city of Zagreb, asking the Lord for mercy to come for people who have not yet sought Him or don’t know where to find Him.
2)    Pray that there is relief for the many hurting and struggling in Zagreb and in Croatia. May the presence of God fall upon us as a blanket, transforming and bringing hope.
3)    The real hope of any culture is the Church of Jesus Christ. Let us pray for the church in Zagreb. This movement toward unity is a real positive sign.
4)    The above mentioned meeting is an initiative of the Lausanne Movement  https://www.lausanne.org. Pray that the spirit of love for one another grows and a desire to see this city and country evangelized catches on fire. May this take root and not be just another event in the minds of the spiritual leaders.
5)    Pray for desperate prayer to break out in Zagreb. We are seeing 10-13 Christians each week sacrifice their time to come to the Upper Room Zagreb House of Prayer to lift up Jesus and pray for this city and country. Pray that the Lord would take our bowls of prayer and pour them back on the city and country as blessings. May His presence overflow from the Upper Room into the streets of Zagreb!

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pray for IST Group





Pray for Intentional Strategies for Transformation

We are so very grateful for each of you who so faithfully pray with us each week for this region and specifically for IST .

God has planted us in Croatia to raise up a ministry that is based and perpetuated out of prayer, thus IST Group was born with a vision to pioneer and resource redemptive transformation in Southeastern Europe. This vison begun to take shape through several values: Establishing a house of prayer, sustainable development among the underutilized, empowering the next generation of leaders, fostering unity in the body of Christ and discipleship. We believe this could be a model that would eventually be replicated across Southeast Europe.

One year ago, we clearly heard the Lord saying for us to spend 12 months focusing most of our efforts on prayer. We spend a year concentrating on raising up a house of prayer (HOP), hosting and teaching at prayer events, and Zuzanna completed a prayer walk through a strategic region of Croatia. As we approach the 1 year anniversary of our HOP, we are so in awe of what the Lord has done! This HOP, which we named Upper Room Zagreb (UR Zagreb), is going strong. Every week people are giving testimony of their lives being changed as they spend time in the presence of the Lord.

Our hearts continue to burn for redemptive transformation of lives, communities, cities and the nations of this region. While maintaining the UR Zagreb HOP, simultaneously the Lord is now directing our attention on an impoverished, war torn area of Croatia that has no evangelical churches or known believers. The Lika area is in the heart of Croatia; 5,000 Sq. Km or 2,000 Sq. miles, about the size of the state of Delaware. Throughout the past several months, the Lord brought us in contact with three families who have a very strong burden for Lika. Our approach will be a centralized farm that will serve as a base for establishing Upper Room Lika first as a house of prayer, which we believe will eventually become a church community. The Lord has given us further vision for this undertaking which we will share at a later time.
 
Prayer Points:
1)    The vision is broad and it is tailored specifically for this region. We are convinced that God has not forgotten the suffering of the Balkan people. Pray for us, that we will stay the course and execute His plan with excellence.
Habakkuk 2:2 Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.
2)    Thank you so much for praying with us this past year to see the house of prayer established. Now please join us in praying for the Lika project.
3)    Pray that the Lord would join to us financial partners to help carry the load. The need has been identified and the Lord is ready to assemble a team.
4)    Zuzanna is now in the US casting the vision. Pray for open doors.
5)    The people in Croatia are suffering physically and spiritually. Pray that we as IST Group would be always listening for the Lord’s next step.
6)    We are ready to run. Ephesians 6:15  And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Zuzanna will be in the Dallas/Fort Worth area off and on until Oct. 22nd. If you are in the area, call or text her @ 940.218.7093 and schedule a meeting so you can hear what God is doing. I know Zuzanna would love to hear form you.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pray for Croatia 9-20-16


Over the past month we have been asking you to pray for the September 11th election in Croatia. This was the second election this year trying to get a working government. Even after this election no one party has a majority which means that unless the ministers swallow their pride and work together, there will be no reform. Unless there is reform the economy will remain a yoke that chokes progress.
 
Implications
A HDZ-led coalition under Mr. Plenković will hope to foster greater stability after the turbulence of the previous administration. The Croatian economy is among the weakest in the EU and relies hugely on the tourism industry of Croatia’s Adriatic coastline in particular. Overall unemployment has reached 13% and public debt has reached 85% of GDP, while the investment climate remains poor, as Croatia emerges from a six year recession. Political deadlock has prevented the enactment of key reforms over the past few years, while allocation of available EU funds since accession has also been problematic. Mending relations with its Balkan neighbors, in particular Serbia, will also be important in the next administration. (Sorry, no link is available for this article)

Croatia Soon to Become Poorest and Most Backward EU Nation
Croatia is in danger of becoming the poorest and most backward EU nation. This is seen in the data on purchasing power of citizens, showing Croatia is the only country that went backwards since 2008, while holding the second to last place in the EU, Večernji List reported on July 4, 2016.
http://www.total-croatia-news.com/item/12844-croatia-soon-to-become-poorest-and-most-backward-eu-nation
 
Prayer Points:
1)    Let us first of all, stand for the purposes of God in Croatia. We say YES to Gods destiny and no to the plans of the enemy to make Croatia the most Backward nation in the EU.
2)    Pray for a shift in the economic climate of Croatia.
3)    May there be a release of investments toward growth in Croatia. Having spent some time traveling last month through Croatia, I find a beautiful land that needs to be developed. May there be favorable laws passed in order to support the farmers of this land.
4)    Pray for this new government to come together in the spirit of wisdom and co-operation. Pray that the ministers would react in favor of the people.
5)    Pray for pro-business reforms that can stimulate the economy.
6)    Pray for Croatia’s relations with Serbia. After nearly 25 years, there are still charged exchanges of words and sadly sometimes these exchanges are infused instead of defused. Pray they would find workable solutions to their disagreements. Pray for healing to flow and wash over the land.
7)    Of course the overarching need in Croatia is revival in the churches and reformation in the culture. We pray for Holy Spirit to move across the land and soften hearts.
8)    Pray God would raise up the burning ones in this nation who would be so on fire for more of Him, that they would overflow and impact their community for Jesus.
Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you prayed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pray for Zagreb, Croatia 9-12-16


We heard a speaker say the other day, “When Jesus met people He didn’t try to save them but He just loved them”. This is a liberating paradigm shift! To love with no agenda! Expecting nothing in return, but letting Holy Spirit draw those we love in the process. Jesus is the “living water” and He made people actually thirsty for the Kingdom. This is what Zagreb needs! More Christians loving their neighbors with no agenda, loving well. Of course Jesus died on the cross to save us but He built His Kingdom by loving people as He still does today.


At the Upper Room HOP we often pray for the churches of Zagreb and their pastors. Mid-summer 2015 the Lord spoke to us at IST about many transitions and shifting that would take place in the coming 12 months in several of the churches here in the city. As we birth the Upper Room Zagreb 11 months ago, we prayed a lot into this and for God to bless, give grace and guide the transitions. We have seen this very thing happen, he is truly creating new “wine skins”. There really are very few evangelical Christians in Zagreb. Among a population of 1 million, there are perhaps 2,000, of which about 40% are disenfranchised and do not attend any church. This is due to past church splits, personal disagreements, offences and just the spirit of division overall.

This past Sunday were Parliamentary elections here in Croatia, and Zagreb being the capital city, bares a large amount of the stress associated with elections. Hopelessness and voter apathy is wide spread in this city.

Prayer Points:
1)    Let us pray for Christians in Zagreb to “love well”. Jesus’ compassion needs to be released in Zagreb. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 (NKJV)
2)    We pray for a refreshing wind of His Spirit to blow across this city, that believers would have renewed passion for others.
3)     We lift up the churches who have, and others that are still, in the midst of transition. For some, this means physical relocation, or adjusting to new leadership, for others restructuring, and yet others several of the above. Grace, grace and more grace! May the enemy have no open doors in the midst of the change.
4)    Pray that as the new wine skin develops, disenfranchised believers would be brought back into the fold and be reunited with the Body of Christ in Zagreb.
5)    Pray for a radical new mindset regarding evangelism. May selfless love prevail. May the Bride of Christ in Zagreb walk in such humility, honor and freedom, that they will be like rain on a dry and parched land.
6)    Let us pray for the municipal officials that administer the daily workings of the city. May they be friendly and accommodating to Christian groups that plan events in city spaces so that the gospel can be freely proclaimed.
7)    Pray for hope to be reawakened in citizens. May believers recognize the times they are living in and the opportunity they have been presented, to let His light shine in this city.
8)    Let us pray for Zagreb as a city. Cities have strong character and themes. Pray that the Holy Spirit would hover over the city to insure peace.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Pray for IST Group 9-6-16

The Lika Project

In preparation for the next IST project, Zuzanna just completed a prayer-walk across Croatia. The primary purpose of this walk was to release God’s blessing and transformative power, invite His glory and presence to this land. A part of this walk was to target specifically the Lika area of Croatia. The 305 km or about 200 mile walk which Zuzanna completed is quite a feat, and her blistered and aching feet tell the real story.

Lika is an area totaling 5,000 sq km or 2,000 sq miles in the heart of Croatia. The population of Lika is about 50,000 with no evangelical community of any kind. Lika experienced a major displacement of its population in the 1991-95 war that broke up the former Yugoslavia. During the war between Serbian and Croatian ethnic groups many Serbs left due to the fighting. The war ended 23 years ago, yet many of those who remained in these areas, to this day live in homes damaged by bombs and shelling. There are believed to be over 46,000 land mines still unaccounted for today in Croatia, and a large portion are in Lika. Restoration is slow and spotty. Jobs are scarce and hopelessness is rampant. We believe that a cry for justice was heard during this prayer walk. There are many villages and small towns which resemble places frozen in time, but there are three main cities in Lika which we are initially focusing on: Gospić, Otočac and Gračac.

God is connecting the dots! As we have formed an advisory team specifically for the Lika Project, we are encouraged at the level of interest by key leaders. We also see that God has already been preparing key individuals and He is very rapidly connecting us with them.

The Upper Room HOP
The house of prayer is going exceptionally well. We continue to meet five days a week praying and inviting His presence to invade earth. We had a testimony time the other day and we realized God is working in all the ones attending. One lady’s business is showing increase and another man has picked up a guitar after many years of resenting it. And there are others.
 
Prayer Points:
1)    Please pray for us at IST Group. May we be faithful to plow, sow and reap the field we are planted in.
2)    May Zuzanna's steps across Croatia be a declaration to the enemy that transformation is on the way!
3)    Pray for Lika:
  a.    Socioeconomic development is needed almost form the ground up.
  b.    Pray that new laws would be passed giving incentives for industry to return to Lika
  c.    Pray that agriculture would return. Pr 13:23 says “There is much food in the fallow ground of the poor and because of a lack of justice there is waist.” Lika is beautiful and full of natural recourses. Let’s cry out for justice in this land!
  d.    Pray for our growing Lika team to know how to love well. In order to feed the spiritual needs of the people, we must know how to be the hands and feet of Jesus in Lika.
  e.    Pray for Jesus to be lifted up so the people can see the power of His resurrection.
  f.    Pray for IST Group and our efforts in the Lika Project. May we hear His heart and move to His heartbeat which will unlock His strategies for this largely unreached region. 
4)    Pray for Upper Room Zagreb house of prayer. May God continue to bring those that want to go deeper with Him.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pray for Macedonia 8-23-16

Pray for Macedonia

At least 21 people have died in floods that hit the Macedonian capital, Skopje, following torrential rain. - Aug. 7. 2016

The victims' bodies were found on Sunday morning after the storm passed. Several people are still missing.

Some of the victims drowned in their cars. Parts of the city's ring road were swept away in the floods, dragging cars into nearby fields.

Three-and-a-half inches (93mm) of rain fell in Skopje in the storm - more than the average for the whole of August.

The water level reached as high as five feet (1.5 meters) in some of the affected areas, reports said.
"Everything was a mess. Televisions, the fridge, the sofa, everything was floating... it was a nightmare," said Baze Spriovski, a 43-year-old from Singelic in the outskirts of Skopje. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37002364 
 
Short History of Macedonian Origins

Macedonians are a people group that have come together over many centuries. The assimilation of peoples have been; in the ancient time there was the Thracian people and then the Illyrians, In the late 6th century BC, the Achaemenid Persians stayed awhile put they retreated as the Greeks became stronger, then in the 4th century B.C. Phillip II begin to establish what could be considered the first Macedonians and gave them a country. Phillip’s son Alexandra the Great built a fighting force and conquered half the known world. From the fall of Alexandra until 1991 (approximately 2100 years) the Macedonian people were subjects of multiple empires that tried to control the Balkan land mass; Romans, Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians and Albanians. By majority Macedonians are predominately Slavs due to the Slavic invasion of the Balkans in the 6th thru 8th century.  

The question begs to be asked, why would God establish Macedonia as a nation after 2000+ years of occupation? Is there a seed that was dormant for all that time and now is springing forth? Although the Macedonian people have intermarried with many nationalities, they draw upon the days of Alexandra the Great as their inspiration for the future.

In addition, 33% of  the Macedonian population is ethnically Albanian. The Macedonians and Albanians do not assimilate well and so there is constant friction between the two groups.

Prayer Points:
1)    Pray for the Macedonian people to recover from the unexpected flooding. May God help them in the process to see His mighty hand.
2)    Please pray for the Christians in Macedonia to rise up and be helpful to their neighbors regardless of nationality.
3)    We are often reminded of Israel and how that after 2000 years they became a nation again. In a way this is also true with Macedonia. Pray that Macedonians would recognize that they have destiny as a nation.
4)    Pray for the spheres of influence in Macedonia; family, religion, education, business, government, media and arts/entertainment. Ask the Lord to prepare people that honor Him to take leading positions in those areas.
5)    This past spring, we spent some days in Macedonia visiting churches and also the House of Prayer. Let us pray for the Macedonian Christians as they live for Him in a culture where few know of His love.
6)    Let us thank the Lord for the House of Prayer in the capital of Skopje. May those brothers and sisters move into a realm of total victory as they lift up Jesus over the nation.
7)    Let us believe for an out-pouring of God’s mercy upon Macedonia. Lord come and purify Your children so You can flow through them to show Your love.
8)    May the Christians go the extra mile to reach out to their Albanian neighbors. Macedonians and Albanians can live in peace when Jesus is their peace maker.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you prayed.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Pray for Croatia 8-15-16

Today, Aug. 15,2016 is Assumption of Mary Day. This is the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was assumed (ascended) into heaven and did not die a natural death. It is celebrated in Croatia as one of the main holidays of the year. We as evangelical Christians believe this is not biblical, furthermore we believe this to be a curse upon the nation of Croatia, and all of Catholicism. You can read the following Catholic apologetics which attempts to explain this belief, yet it falls short.

The Assumption
The doctrine of the Assumption says that at the end of her life on earth Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven, just as Enoch, Elijah, and perhaps others had been before her. It’s also necessary to keep in mind what the Assumption is not. Some people think Catholics believe Mary "ascended" into heaven. That’s not correct. Christ, by his own power, ascended into heaven. Mary was assumed or taken up into heaven by God. She didn’t do it under her own power.
 

The Church has never formally defined whether she died or not, and the integrity of the doctrine of the Assumption would not be impaired if she did not in fact die, but the almost universal consensus is that she did die. Pope Pius XII, in Munificentissimus Deus (1950), defined that Mary, "after the completion of her earthly life" (note the silence regarding her death), "was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven."  http://www.catholic.com/tracts/immaculate-conception-and-assumption

After talking to a leader of one of the churches here in Croatia, we understand in part the obsession with Mary worship. This brother shared that Croatians are very attached and admire their mothers, the matriarch of their families. Therefore, this strong affiliation with Mary is a psychological connection that somewhat translates to them spiritually. Another Croatian Christian explained how that Croatian Catholics pray to Mary because Jesus is the “suffering one” carrying the burdens of the world, therefore they feel it is best instead to pray to His mother, who can convey the heartfelt concern of redemption. Have you ever noticed that in many cathedrals Mary will be portrayed above Jesus? This is especially true in Croatia. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce the immaculate conception of Jesus, he did say, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Luke 1:28) Yes she should have a special place in our heart, but Mary was a human being, a sinner. She should never be placed above the Lord Jesus Christ. The roots of this heresy go very deep in Croatia. This belief has pulled a thick veil over the eyes of many. Mary worship is an intricate part of the chains that bind many Croatians. We encounter born again Catholics and it is wonderful to see them love Jesus! Usually they face a long and hard process to walk away from Mary worship. This truly is a spiritual battle!

Prayer Points:
1)    Thank the Lord for Croatian mothers. They have to be very courageous to have withstood the turbulent history of Croatia. Pray that they will be honored appropriately.
2)    Let us pray with deep conviction against the cures of Mary worship that dominates Croatia.
3)    Young Croatians are turning away from the Catholic church by the droves. This can present a challenge, because they associate the Catholic church with all Christian churches. Let us pray into this trend, in that their empty hearts will actually be filled by the Holy Spirit.
4)    There is a strong movement of Charismatic Catholics in Croatia. Please pray that they would be so drawn close to Jesus that Mary worship would be revealed for what it is, and fade from their experiences.
5)    With Croatia being 90%+ culturally Catholic, evangelization of the country is very slow. Pray for God’s strategies, wisdom, boldness and passion to reach Croatia.
6)    Pray for evangelicals in Croatia, that they would not despise their Catholic neighbors but love them and reach out to them with Jesus’ love.
7)    We should pray for the Charismatic Catholics. May the Lord move in a mighty way to rescue them from the empty rituals of the church.

> Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Pray for Zagreb Croatia - 8-8-2016

Pray for Zagreb

"Old Zagreb" was originally made up of two settlements, Gradec (also known as Gornji Grad) and Kaptol. The two settlements were situated on two neighboring hills, separated by a creek.

The existence of Kaptol, the settlement on the east slope, was confirmed in 1094 when King Ladislaus founded the Zagreb diocese. The bishop, his residence and the Cathedral had their seat in the southeast part of the Kaptol hill. Kaptol Street ran from the south to the north across the Kaptol terrace with canons' residences arranged in rows alongside. As the Latin word for a group or body of canons is "capitulum" (kaptol), so Kaptol got its name. The canons also ruled this settlement.

NOTE: Originally, a canon was cleric living with others in a clergy house or, later, in one of the houses within the precinct of or close to the cathedral and conducting its life according to the orders or rules of the Catholic church.

In 1242 Gradec received a charter of great privileges from the Hungarian King Bela IV to organize a city of artisans and merchants. Gradec, had their own autonomy, judiciary, privileges in crafts and trade, plus the right to organize fairs. They could travel to markets without paying custom duties and Gradec citizens were encouraged to build city walls for defense. 

As these two areas of Zagreb developed over the centuries they had deep differences due to their inception; Kaptol, being clerical as church ministers and Gradec, being the merchant class which held as their main concern trade and commerce. Over the years there were many skirmishes between the two.

The spiritually alert in Zagreb recognize that this division in the early days of the city has the effect of a “spirit of division” that effects the city and even the country. Not only is there strong division in the political life of Zagreb but the churches are effected also. There have been many church splits and the churches have a history of discord amongst each other.

We do have hope! Throughout the course of several years, we have seen forward movement and some signs of healing. In the Upper Room HOP, where we pray for the country, we often pray for the churches to reject this “spirit of division” and come together in unity so they may fight the real enemy, Satan and his tactics. The creek has long since, been paved over and now only the keen observer can see a difference in the two areas of the city.

On another note: Today is a special day! On August 8th 2008 Jerry, started systematically praying for the Balkan countries, increasingly known today as Southeastern Europe. We carried an intercessory burden for this region for many years but on that date, eight years ago, Jerry heard the Lord say: make it systematic and develop a pattern of prayer. In 2009 the blog was created and intercessors begun to join in prayer and those interested in the spiritual condition of Southeastern Europe. This is likely how you landed on this mailing list. The blog became a catalyst to focused prayer on the spiritual, political and socioeconomic problems of Southeastern Europe.

 To check out the archives of previous blogs, open the following: www.freebalkans.blogspot.com and www.istprayer.blogspot.com. Please note the name change from Freebalkans to ISTprayer in September of 2015 to align with Intentional Strategies for Transformation, our new ministry name.
 
Prayer Points:
1)    Let us focus our prayers on the spirit of division in Zagreb. It seems that the secular in Zagreb for the most part have passed on, no longer being concerned about the divisions of the past. Unfortunately, it still effects the government and the evangelical churches.
2)    The evangelical churches need to resolve these divisions in order to present the true message of Jesus Christ to the lost. Pray that Christians would have a revelation of Christ love as described in Matt 22:36-39.
3)    Christians should be an influence on merchants and encourage good business practices. Let us pray for Christian businessmen/women and the godly influence they can have on the business climate of Zagreb and beyond.
4)     Pray for Zagreb which is a city of influence. As the capital of Croatia, it is the largest in the nation, with a population of 1 million, and it is located in the center of the country.
5)    As the capital city, it is important that Zagreb has a healthy Christian expression and influence on the country. Pray for an evangelical explosion in Zagreb that will develop a Christian hub in order to affect the rest of the country. May there be a day when Zagreb churches are sending out evangelist throughout Croatia.

Thank the Lord for how we saw His love of Southeastern Europe for the past eight years. Many, many thanks to each of you who have lifted up petitions in prayer for this region. There is a reward waiting for you! Today, Southeastern Europe remains the lest evangelized part of the world, with only about 0.5% evangelical believers, but off in the distance we see a small cloud, the size of a hand! Come and pour out Your Glory, Lord!

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pray for IST Group Aug. 2016



Please join us in praying for Intentional Strategies for Transformation. We are intentional in finding strategies to transform Southeastern Europe (Balkans) for the sake of righteousness. We wait in prayer for God to impart wisdom to us for the task.

Here in Croatia as well as most of the Southeastern Europe, the populace goes on vacation for much of July and August. At IST we are learning to tailor our work load to better fit this culture and still be just as productive during this time. 
 
Prayer Points:
1)    Now that we are a legal Non-Governmental Organization in Croatia, let us pray for legal status in America. Pray that the filling of the 501 (c) 3 paper work will proceed on schedule.
2)    Pray that we would always hear God’s heart for IST Group and the nations it intends to serve.
3)    Upper Room Zagreb is functioning well. More people are joining us for prayer four times a week. Setting aside our upper room for prayer has been a blessing to our home and it opens a door for others to encounter the Lord. Pray that we continue to seek above all God’s presence.
4)    Pray that the Upper Room will continue to be a place where lives are changed and godly destinies are revealed to hungry hearts.
5)    Although August is a vacation month for Croatians, pray that spiritual warfare over the country would not be halted.
6)    Pray for the pastors of Croatia. Balkan pastors are men and women of great dedication. They generally have to work a full-time job and pastor also.
7)    We truly love those that partner with us in their giving. Pray for our partners to be blessed in their walk with the Lord. May the Lord reward them with His presence daily.


Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pray for Kosovo 7-26-16


Pray for Kosovo

Kosovo, much as the rest of Southeaster Europe, suffers from high rates of unemployment, particularly among young people. In 2014, about 2 out of 3 young Kosovans in the labor force did not have a job, contributing heavily to the 35 percent unemployment rate among the population. The grim reality is, that the current economic growth is able to create jobs for only about 29% of the 11,500 persons entering the labor market each year.

Ethnic minorities, especially the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians in Kosovo are significantly excluded from the labor market in Kosovo. Young and older workers, women, and ethnic minorities are more likely to be jobless or employed in informal or low-wage jobs. https://undpeurasia.exposure.co/the-new-entrepreneurs-of-kosovo 

When we were last in Kosovo, what we saw was very alarming. The Albanian flag flying everywhere, yet very few Kosovo flags. The sense is that if the country were allowed to vote, the majority would vote to join Albania. At this time Kosovo is under a United Nations protective government and a vote like that would be a direct embarrassment to the UN. Much like the Greater Serbian spirit back 20 years ago that actually led to the Kosovo war in 1999, now there is a Greater Albania spirit in the region. The question is, what really is Kosovo’s identity as an emerging nation?
Coupled with this, is the reality that cities are run by corruption and a real lack of properly trained staff. This is adding pandemonium to the complexity of the Kosovo problem.
 
Prayer Points:
1)    God loves the nations and various ethnic groups. Let’s pray that Kosovo could develop into a stable country. Let us pray for God’s mercy to come.
2)    There are often mixed feelings in other Balkan countries towards Kosovo because of so many negative actions of the past; the Kosovo war of 1999, Serb and Gypsy refugees and imbedded poverty. Lord, we pray for the righteous to rise up and bring forth godly intellectuals to govern and set policy.
3)    Kosovo needs to establish its identity. As Christians we desire and pray for it to be a “sheep” not a “goat” nation. (Matt. 25:32)
4)    The spirit of Greater Albania can be a game changer that could disrupt the present balance of powers if it proceeds unchecked. As we pray for peaceful settlement of affairs, let us pray for our loving God to settle the destiny of Kosovo as He prefers. 
5)    There are some healthy churches in Kosovo. So let us pray that they would take opportunities to go the “extra mile” for their Muslim countrymen. (85% Muslim) 5)    Matthew 5:41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. (It is being proven in Muslim countries worldwide that kindness is a powerful tool that wins them to Jesus)
6)    As of now many Muslims in Kosovo are very nominal in their beliefs, but there is a strong push by Wahabi Muslims to radicalize Kosovo. They paid for the building of over 200 mosques in the country. Let us pray for confusion to disrupt their plans.
Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pray for Croatia 7-18-16


Pray for Croatia

We were praying for the education system in Croatia the other day, at Upper Room Zagreb. 
 
The educational system was dominated with communist philosophy while Croatia was part of Yugoslavia. After independence, the Catholic Church took educational dominance. This year there has been a backlash against Catholic dominance and a demand for more practical courses. During our prayer time, one of IST’s interns Cynthia, brought forth Daniel 2: 20-23

20 Daniel answered and said
 “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
21 And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
22 He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.
23 “I thank You and praise You,
O God of my fathers;
You have given me wisdom and might,
And have now made known to me what we asked of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s demand.”

Join us in praying into this:
1)    Lord, we ask for a change in the Croatian educational system.
2)    Dear God, forever wisdom and might are Yours. You can remove bad educational administrators and You set good ones in office.
3)    Those good administrators that are set in position can be wise in knowledge and understanding. Father, You can open their minds to the deep and secret things.

Daniel prayed three times a day and was made an adviser to four kings. Where no one else could interpret King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, Daniel inquired of God and got the interpretation. Wisdom from heaven was given to the king.

4)    We ask You, Lord, to surround the educational minister of Croatia; give him a dream or dreams from heaven. May his office doors be wide open for the God of wisdom to come in. Surround him with godly counselors.
5)    For generations Croatian children have received manipulated education. Let us pray that now would be the time for a healthy change in the system so a wise generation can come forth.
6)    Pray that teachers also would be touched by godly wisdom.
7)    Croatians have hard hearts because they have endured hard times. May their hearts be softened so godly wisdom can be understood.
Ezekiel 36:26
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Pray for IST Group 7-4-16



For the past four days we have hosted the board members in our home in Zagreb where we have been praying, strategizing and planning how to move forward with Intentional Strategies for Transformation for the next 18 months.  This past month, we moved some steps closer to IST becoming an official organization in Croatia as well as the US. Strategies are coming forth as we develop a solid structure and foundation. The vision of IST Group rings even clearer: We exist to pioneer and resource redemptive transformation in Southeastern Europe. We see God merging vision, strategy and obvious needs to unfold His plan for the Balkans or as it is now becoming known Southeastern Europe. (Please note this name to be used in our future communications)

One of the first items on the way forward for IST is economic development and justice for the underutilized. We see this materializing in the form of a farm development in an area of Croatia with no known community of evangelical believers. This project needs your prayers as we make slow but calculated steps toward it. You will hear more about this in the coming months.

We have two interns with us at this time, Cynthia and Laurel. They have been a tremendous blessing to us in so many ways! Not only are they participating in and helping lead prayer sets, but they have rolled up their sleeves and we were able to help a local church move to a new building. The interns are not only of great help but they are going out to the streets each weekend to talk with people about Jesus and loving on them.
 
Prayer Points:
1)    We are filled with gratitude for the boards willingness to set aside time and resources in order to join us here in Zagreb, spend time in the Upper Room HOP in order to hear His heart and then lay out a way forward for IST. Pray they receive a special blessing.
2)    Pray that the bond of unity will remain as we go forward to accomplish His will for Southeast Europe.
3)    We have identified an area of Croatia, known as Lika, with a population of 100 thousand people that has no evangelical church community. It is also an area that was heavily affected not only by the war of 1991-1995 but this area has served as a key battleground for wars dating back beyond Napoleon. This is the targeted area for the proposed farm project. Pray with us for the Lika area and the Lord of the harvest to reveal His heart concerning this area and our involvement.
4)    Doing life with the interns has been so rewarding. Pray for the Lord’s blessings to be upon them as they are giving their summer to serving with IST Group.
5)    Especially pray for those we have shared Jesus with. May they see Him as their hope and salvation. We believe these have been divine encounters.
6)    Our steps forward will require financial windows to open. Pray that God would supply all we need for what we consider His plan.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pray for Croatia


We need to pray for Croatia.

Croatian News: MPs Reportedly Collect Enough Signatures for Dissolution of Parliament
On Friday morning, Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner accepted the request of SDP and HNS and suspended the session of Parliament. Since reportedly there are more than 80 signatures for the dissolution of Parliament, representatives of the opposition parties requested that the Speaker include the dissolution of Parliament in the agenda later today, reports Večernji List on June 17, 2016.

“We cannot pretend that nothing is happening. The majority of MPs have submitted a request for the dissolution of Parliament, and it is clear that this means that the work of this Parliament has come to the end. Citizens demand new elections, and therefore we demand that you stop this session and include the dissolution to the agenda”, said Peđa Grbin (SDP).

-    Because of the above action in parliament the deputy prime minister has resigned and it is expected that the present prime minister will resign or be voted out. … we will vote on the dismissal of Prime Minister Orešković. We have already said why we are going to do it, due to the non-functionality of the government and its leadership. <Read More>
-    We started praying for the Croatian government 7 to 8 months ago. We prayed that the government of Croatia would be blessed, not to fall apart. We prayed often that corruption would be exposed. There has been some “under-handed” things exposed. The reality is that the constitution is in force but there just has to be new elections.
-    The gay sub-culture marched in the streets across Croatia recently demanding more rights. They were also joined by the pro-abortion advocates. <Read More>
-    Croatia’s President and Serbia’s Prime Minister to Meet on Monday - Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić will meet on Monday in Croatia and Serbia to sign a political declaration “of exceptional importance”, that will cover issues of minorities, missing persons, borders and succession,… <Read More>

Prayer Points:
1)    The redemption of a country always starts with intercessors. Lord, we pray for the coming together of intercessors to pray for Croatia. Croatians need to get desperate about saving their country.
2)    New elections are projected to be the first of September. This is a chance for a new direction for the country so let us pray for God’s favor.
3)    Let us pray now for men and women of good character to run for office.  May they secure positions at the head of parties, receive financial help that is not attached to favors and truthful media coverage.
4)     Twenty-three years ago Croatia and Serbia had just ceased a bloody war that left Eastern Croatia devastated. Pray that this meeting between the president of Croatia and the prime minister of Serbia will advance peace in the region. 
5)    In light of the attack on gays in Orlando, Florida, let us pray for the gay community in Croatia. Of course we want them to come to the salvation knowledge of Jesus. We as Christians in Croatia should approach them with love and let the Holy Spirit deal with any sin in their lives like He dealt with ours.
6)    Monday night, June 20th, Upper Room Zagreb hosted “Burn”. This was a team of seven people traveling through the Balkans lifting up extended times of worship. We believe this dedicated time of worship broke spiritual strong-holds over Croatia. Pray that more Croatians begin to join in on the prayer sets.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pray for Zagreb


Pray for Zagreb, Croatia

We love this part of town. Just to the left of the Cathedral is a grove of trees where Jerry likes to sit on one of the benches and wait for someone to sit next to him. Almost everyone under 40 years old speaks English in Zagreb. He gets into some of the most interesting conversations that has led to salvations.

We are going to the streets of Zagreb this summer with the interns and some Croatian Christians. Also we will visit a Roma village several times during the summer. We ask for your prayers concerning our summer outreaches.

Our main desire on the streets is to develop relationships that lead to salvation and transformation of individuals.

Prayer Points:
1)    Pray for the two young ladies who are interning with us. May the Lord use them in new ways and may they see His manifest presence as they give Jesus away.
2)    Pray that the Holy Spirit will prepare us by filling us with “compassion for the lost”.
3)    Let us come against the fear of man. (True love and compassion cancels the fear of man)
4)    Pray that the Holy Spirit will go before us and set up divine appointments. That we will encounter people that have had the Holy Spirit stirring their hearts already.
5)    Let us come against the spirit of religion. Pray that this spirit will not be able to operate during the conversations and in their after thoughts.
6)    Pray that healthy relationships will follow. Pray that the Lord would put a hook in their hearts to draw them unto Him. (Seeds sown in good ground)
7)    Pray that all will come to true repentance unto salvation.


Thank you so much for praying with us.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Pray for IST Group






Pray for ISTgroup

Life in Southeastern Europe is a lot of fun. People are learning to make humor out of their struggles.

This past Friday we went to sign the NGO application to be submitted for the IST Group, then our attorney said FTJP… When she saw the puzzled look on our faces, she said, oh do you not know? Every Croatian knows what this stands for… “Fali Ti Jošjedan Papir” which translates to “You are missing one more document”. As the Croatian law has been in evolution around new NGO legislation, we have had to make changes to the statute, etc. Thankfully that document is short and easy and we will officially submit our application on Monday! Thank you God! Now we pray that registering ISTgroup as a non-government organization (NGO) here in Croatia will go smoothly and quickly.

Once this process is finished, Intentional Strategies for Transformation will have a legal right to operate. It is almost like being on an airplane, waiting on the runway to take off. You know where you are going and you are basically on your way but you just haven’t got the go-a-head from the control tower yet. Yes, God is our control tower and we have been busy in His Kingdom but being legal on earth is important.

Thank you SO Much for praying with us for the conference with Yonathan Lara. The meetings were designed to uplift the body of Christ here and God used Yonathan in a powerful way. Just to see the pastors that joined in with us moving in the Spirit was amazing. We see the chains of disunity slowly braking off! God is amazing and He is doing something in Zagreb.
On Tuesday of this week, our first intern will be joining us for the summer. We so look forward to Cynthia Beene coming to share ISTgroup life with us. Jerry will facilitate much of the internship activities.

Also we are being joined by Laura Howton from Alabama, who will help build the infrastructure of the IST Group. She is giving of her time and finances to insure that we have a strong foundation. She will be with us for the next three weeks. Laura, Cynthia and Zuzanna will make a trip to Romania to meet with the founder of NetWorks, a ministry that has had phenomenal success working with the poor. Our son Asa is actually there now working with that ministry, www.networks.org.ro. Then Zuzanna and the team will leave for southern Serbia to visit with a Roma church where we will discuss plans to help facilitate the integration of a discipleship training program.

Prayer Points:
1)    Pray with us for angels to guide, protect and rest upon our NGO application. Pray for favor and a smooth process in these secular offices.
2)    FTJP is due to government bureaucrats in this socialist Europe who will change policy or regulations in mid-course of the procedures. Pray that our document would be acceptable to all government offices.
3)    Our Croatian Christian lawyer went the extra mile to be precise and follow all present law yet still have the best interest of IST in mind. Pray that she will be blessed in all the ways God may show you to pray.
4)    Pray that Cynthia (intern) will have a safe flight from Texas. Also pray our second intern, Laurel, who is arriving on the 21stto arrive safely. Pray that they will experience all that God has for them and be equally a blessing to Croatia.
5)    Pray for the ladies as they travel to Romania and through Serbia. We ask for traveling mercies. May the car function properly and the roads be safe.
6)    We are so thankful for Yonathan Lara coming to bless Croatia. It is amazing to see God use this 21 years old young man with the gift of preaching and wisdom. Pray for him and his ministry. May he have even more open doors to minister. We are planning a conference for 2017 involving several nations. We covet your prayers regarding the planning of that.
7)    It is the beginning of summer here, so pray with us as we encounter people on the streets. May their hearts be open to the Gospel. Pray that we will be good examples of Jesus’ love in the midst of a lost and dying world.
8)    Pray for the Upper Room Zagreb. We gather to pray five times a week. Prayer is the foundation of IST Group, and we appreciate your prayers that we will continue to hear God speak direction to our lives and ministry.



Thank you so much for you prayer and intercession.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pray for Greece





In praying for the countries of Southeastern Europe also known as the Balkans, we will take this week to pray for Greece.
Two Major events in Greece: 1) Wreckage of EgyptAir flight MS804, 2) Migrant riot on Macedonian border.

1) Greece: EgyptAir made sharp turns before crashing with 66 aboard

USA TODAY) -- Greek officials said Thursday that an EgyptAir flight that disappeared over the Mediterranean in route from Paris to Cairo with 66 people aboard apparently made two sharp turns then suddenly lost altitude before vanishing from radar.

Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi said the possibility of a terror attack as the cause of the crash of flight MS804 was “stronger” than technical failure.

Egyptian and Greek authorities said the plane likely went down near the Greek island of Crete.
Reuters reported that Greek authorities had spotted two floating objects in sea 50 miles southeast of area where the plane left the radar, 174 miles off the Egyptian coast.  Greece's defense ministry mobilized a search and rescue operation.

2) Migrants throw stones at police – Greek police throw Gas canisters
“Violence flares as Greek police clash with migrants,” May 18, 2016:

Migrants throw rocks at Greek police during a scuffle at the Macedonian border (AP)
Greek riot police have fired tear gas and stun grenades at refugees and other migrants who tried to push a railway carriage through a cordon during a protest at a crowded camp on the border with Macedonia. Police said about 200 people were involved in the violence, and the migrants also attacked officers with stones. There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.

The sprawling Idomeni camp is home to about 10,000 people trapped in Greece after a series of border closures further north on the Balkan migration route to Europe’s prosperous heartland. <Read More>

Two situations in Greece; one is of high priority to the media and one less covered but both are important to Europe. If EgyptAir flight was a result of terrorism, then it adds to heightened risk of flying especially in light of the Brussel’s attack. The refugees from the Middle East are backed up on the border of Greece because Macedonia will not allow them access as all consequent borders to Western Europe are currently closed to migrants.

Prayer Points:
1)    Let us first pray that the Greek authorities will handle both situations with much wisdom.
2)    Pray for the families of loved-ones that perished on the EgyptAir flight.
3)    I can only imagine what it would be like to be a refugee and have to flee my home. Let us pray that the Greek government and the European Union will figure out how to relieve their suffering.
4)    In last week’s prayer points we inserted this link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQfs7nSHGGU.  In this video it is mentioned that 53% of all refugees are Christians fleeing the Islamic oppression. Let us pray for these Christians fleeing the Middle East. May the Lord be with them as He was with the Children of Israel when they fled Egyptian bondage.
5)    It is said that a good number of Christians in the Middle East or those that lived in Muslim lands, are nominal in their spiritual and doctrinal beliefs. It is also true that persecution can supply a grace that immediately deepens a person’s faith.
   a.    First let’s pray that they would be safe on their journey and the Lord would help them get to a safe dwelling place.
   b.    Let us pray that many Christian organizations would be able to get Arabic and Farsi language Bibles into the camps.
   c.    May these Christians from Muslim backgrounds be bold in their faith and lead many Muslims to the redemptive love of Jesus.
6)    With the present situation in Greece, let us pray for Greek churches to get involved in reaching out to these refugees. May the compassion of Christ compel them to see them as human beings first.
7)    There are reports of the Greek government and EU authorities restricting access to the camps. Pray that those helping the refuges would respect the authorities but at the same time the authorities would grant favor to visit and help. Pray for any confusion to cease and may the Spirit of God bring order into the camps.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pray for Croatian



Pray for Croatia

IN THE NEWS: Croatia’s Far Right Weaponizes the Past

“The European Union’s newest member, Croatia, has an unabashed and strong-willed fascist in its new cabinet — one who makes the right-wingers in power in Hungary and Poland look like wimps. The contested figure is Zlatko Hasanbegović, a 42-year-old historian who became culture minister in late January after the country’s latest election produced a new right-wing ruling coalition. Hasanbegović had been a prominent figure in a small ultra-rightist party that openly extols the fascist World War II-era Ustasha movement (He left the party and is now unaffiliated, though he has never renounced it). As a historian, his work focuses on downplaying the crimes of the Ustasha and cautiously rehabilitating its ideas. Unlike the right-wingers in Poland and Hungary who are eviscerating their states’ democratic structures, the Croatian nationalists are waging their war within the realm of political culture — for now. Their goal is to lay the groundwork for an eventual assault on the country’s liberal democracy”, writes Foreign Policy.
http://www.total-croatia-news.com/politics/11762-foreign-policy-magazine-criticises-croatia-s-new-government

In the Balkans, digging up the political past has no redemptive value. The past is full of ethnic, territorial and political ghosts that only fuel revenge. Hatred runs deep and generations have been passing it on for a thousand years. It even penetrates the churches here. Having been in Croatia now for over years, we have seen the ugly face of back-biting, slander, dishonor and perpetual division.  As citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven we know how to combat these continual divisions, we must come in the opposite spirit. At ISTgroup our desire is to operate from a place of honor regardless of who we are dealing with. We cultivate honor in our lives and others as we encounter Him daily in the Upper Room here in Zagreb. At the ISTgroup we as a team are about about to begin a workbook study on the “Culture of Honor” by Danny Silk. If you have not read this book, we highly recommend it.
 
Prayer Points:
1)    Pray for the government of Croatia; right wing, left wing, they all need Jesus.
2)    There is fear and hopelessness among Croatians regarding the direction of the government. We pray for Jesus lovers to raise up into all spheres of government and society in order to influence culture in Croatia.
3)    Croatia, just like every other country in the world, needs Godly men and women to rise up and call upon the Lord to redeem their country from corruption. Let us pray for the Lord to raise up a Moses in Croatia. Someone that hears the cry of their people.
4)    Division in and among the churches is limiting spiritual and numerical growth in Croatia. Let us pray that Christians would be convicted of slandering other Christians.
5)    Help us Lord to honor everyone. Let us pray for the revelation of a culture of honor to take root in our Croatian brothers and sisters.
6)    The redemption of a country always starts with intercessors. Lord, we pray for the coming together of intercessors to pray for Croatia. The burning hearts need to unite and cause a fire.
7)    At the Upper Room here in Zagreb, we are praying for the country. Pray that we would stay faithful to our calling. Pray that we endure until we see a greater light shine and Lord show us how to maintain the light.
8)    It has been prophesied that God is raising up a hidden Christian army in Croatia. Let us all pray into this word and ask God to bring them forth quickly.

The following video is a powerful prophetic word for Europe that was given by Tim Morley near the end of April 2016. Tim Morley is introduced by Aliss Cresswell of Morning Star Europe.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQfs7nSHGGU

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Pray for Zagreb, Croatia


Pray for Zagreb

We are so glad to be living in Zagreb. It is a beautiful city with beautiful people in it. We have now been lifting up Jesus in the house of prayer for seven months. We really believe Jeremiah 29:7, And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace. We are compelled by the Lord to pray for the city. God is moving here, but we are believing for His glory to be poured out in a much greater way.

This month in Zagreb, a ministry called Cornerstone Arts is preparing to perform a musical. This ministry is plowing through some hard ground as arts and entertainment is very much controlled by the secular industry.
 
Prayer Points:
1)    First of all pray for the peace of the city. There are problems in the government but we pray for peaceful solutions.
2)    Pray that the churches in Zagreb will be temples where Holy Spirit freely dwells.  May the pastor’s be led by the Spirit to love their people like Jesus does.
3)    There is discontent among the unchurched of Zagreb. Many we encounter on the streets are disgusted with the Catholic and Protestant churches, but they believe in God. Pray for us as we encounter people on the streets. Pray that we will be compelled by the compassion of Jesus.
4)    Continue to pray for the coming meetings with Yonathan Lara. He truly had an impact last year and we are praying for the double anointing this year. (Meetings are May 26-28)
5)    Pray that the Upper Room we oversee will draw the burning ones form throughout the city as we cultivate His presence.
6)    Pray for Richard Montez and Cornerstone Arts to be able to overcome all opposition and prepare the musical carrying the message of hope and raising the banner of Jesus over the entertainment industry in and around Zagreb.

Psalm 95:2
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

Please leave a Comment or Reaction so we will know you Prayed.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Pray for the IST Group






Pray for the IST Group

Thanks for joining us in prayer as we intercede for the Balkan countries. This week let us pray for Intentional Strategies for Transformation, the ministry we steward. Every first week of the month we cover IST Group in prayer.

Last month the whole team was in Dallas, Texas for the Upper Room Global Summit and for the IST Group board meeting. (For a reminder of the prayers we prayed for that time see this link  http://istprayer.blogspot.hr/2016/04/pray-for-istgroup.html).

Thank you so much for your prayers while we were stateside. We were able to share the vision we carry with many. We had two new churches join us as partners. We love it when churches come on board with us, and likewise we honor all the individuals that give their sacrificial missions offering each month. We love and pray for our partners regularly.

Momentum is building here in Zagreb for the up-coming conference with Prophet Yonathan Lara from Argentina. There are five churches involved and we truly expect faith to be activated in this city and nation. The conference is May 26-28th!

The IST Group as a team will be going to Macedonia next weekend (May 6-8).  Zuzanna and Lidija will be ministering at the Daughters of the King Macedonija Conference, and Jerry will be visiting a house of prayer and a coffee shop ministry in Skopje, the capital.
 
Prayer Points:
1)    Thank you for continuing to lift up the IST group as we in collaboration with the Board suntan working towards the establishment of this vision. We are beyond blessed as we see it all coming together.
2)    Pray for the meeting with Yonathan Lara. Because of the cooperation of the 5 city leaders, the organizational piece is in good shape. We still lack some of the finances in order to cover the cost of this sizable undertaking.
3)    Pray that the same Spirit which poured out revival after revival in Argentina, would be poured out on this dry and thirsty land! We expect that believers faith will be activated and the result will be: true believers fulfilling their destiny.
4)    Pray for our time in Macedonia. May the Macedonian Call ring loud in our ears. Pray for Lidija as she leads the conference and pray for Zuzanna as she ministers. Pray for many Holy Spirit encounters.
5)    Pray for Jerry in Macedonia as he desire to reach people on the streets. Lord give him boldness to share the revelation of Jesus in power and in love.

What can I say; the Lord is just SO GOOD!