Mar 052016
 

Valletta, Malta

(Feb 29-Mar 3, 2016)

Day One

We arrived in Malta and went to the home of our host. There we were given a briefing on the history of the island, which had suffered many invasions, and miraculously fought some off. Malta was also the most bombed place in World War Two. Our host also shared that, based on the research of Bob Cornuke, the likely real place of Paul’s shipwreck landing was not at St. Paul’s Bay, but just five minutes’ walk from the apartment where we are staying. So we took a walk down there, and began Malta OCE where Paul had come ashore. Jeremiah 10

Day Two

We had a morning meeting at the Happy Hive Café (a Christian owned and run coffeehouse). We started with a time of worship. In fact, it is believed that worship will be a key to praying in Malta. As we prayed, the issue of identity surfaced very quickly. Of the four Maltese people in attendance, two had exhibited a problem to simply identify themselves as being from Malta or Maltese, instead they had each launched into a description of their foreign roots. So we prayed and honored their identity as Maltese.

The grand-master Jean de Valette

The grand-master Jean de Valette

We had a prophetic word to pray at the low places, so our prayer walking strategy targeted the low places of the high city of Valletta. We started walking at the City Gate that has been rebuilt in a modern, open style, and walked a large circle route around the city center. We walked past the Prime Minister’s Palace and noticed that in the garden there was a fountain springing up like an artesian well.

We prayed at the War Rooms, which had been tunnels of refuge from the bombardment of cannon fire from invading ships, and more recently bombings of World War Two. Malta, as noted above, was the most bombed place in all the war.

Then we walked along the Grand Harbour to the Lower Barrakka Gardens where we prayed and had a time of worship. One Maltese man told of a vision he had:

He saw an underwater bomb. He explained that this was once how they made bodies surface from the water so that they could receive a proper burial. Then he continued that from that deep underwater bomb he saw ripples coming out of a central point and going out, getting bigger and bigger.

The Maltese saying: “Go find a Turk1” was redeemed in song thusly:

Go find a Turk

And tell him about the Lord.

Go find a Turk

And love him in the Lord.

Praying at the Siege Bell

Praying at the Siege Bell

We sang and laughed and prayed into the Maltese identity of hospitality (as in Acts 28) and healing. We noticed another fountain in the middle of the garden, with water springing up.

Next we looked across to the Siege Bell, which had been used to warn of invasion forces. As we finished our prayers there, a softer bell sounded as if a joyous bell in the place of that alarm bell.

After praying there, we proceeded on to the Knights Hospitaller Convalescent Center. There we prayed for an end to the secrets, secrecy, and secret societies; to bring all the secrets into the light. Even though these Knights Hospitallers (Knights of St. Johns) are very different from the Knights Templar, nevertheless, secrets are not good for a place that has suffered in secrecy and from secrecy.

Then we walked to the Grand Master’s Palace / Presidential Palace, so named because it had been the palace of the Grand Master of the Knights and then was the Presidential Palace. In the piazza in front of the Palace there was another fountain with many places where water was springing up. We stood outside the Palace and watched the changing of the guards (which is significant—a change of the old guard!). Then we entered the courtyard and there in the garden we prayed. One teammate made a prophetic declaration for Malta:

I bless you with leaders who transmit life, in which they show favor to you and through that they open doors to you. I bless you with leaders who are steadfast and ask discipline and eagerness of you. I bless you with leaders who are a good example to you in relationship to other people. I bless you with leaders who make a way for you in difficult situations. I bless you in the name of the One who goes before you.

Finally, we walked to the Parliament building, which is by our starting point at the City Gates. There we prayed, and one person noticed that the door marked “No Entry, MP’s only!” was opened. One of the Maltese men in our group entered in the door. There was another prophetic act in which a small Bible was placed on top of the Parliament sign, declaring that all the laws and acts coming from Parliament will be done under the Word of God and under God’s authority. One teammate noted later that the Bible was gone from the place, so we prayed that the Word would be planted deep into someone’s heart.

Day Three

We started the day again at the Happy Hive Café, and a local Maltese pastor and his wife, among other locals, joined us. After a time of worship and prayer, the pastor encouraged us to look for the hidden things, not just those things that appear on the surface. Because there are many secret things that lie hidden under the surface. He also prayed for the Maltese people to receive an apostolic anointing. Then as a group we prayed for one of our Maltese hosts, commissioning her before she leaves the next day for a mission trip to Rwanda and possibly also for Uganda—on a one-way ticket.

After lunch we went to the Hypogium to go deep in prayer—under the earth, that is. We had prepared in advance by praying and writing Bible verses onto small slips of paper. Inside was carefully controlled, with a guide always with us. Nevertheless, we were able to get the papers into places, and to sprinkle salt to purify in every part of the Hypogium. One teammate asked the Lord how to pray inside with the guard watching and so forth. The Lord answered, “It’s enough that you’re here.” After the tour we gathered and prayed on the sidewalk just outside the door, then one teammate made a prophetic act of spitting on the doorstep of the Hypogium, as a sign of rejecting the death spirit and goddess spirit of that place.

Some of our group attended a local prayer meeting at the house of one of a Maltese couple. The worship and prayers flowed in the Spirit. This group has been meeting for several years. No doubt it is because of their prayers that Malta has been an easy place in which to pray.

One of the German members of our group knelt on the floor at the prayer group meeting. Without planning it, she was at the feet of three Maltese. One person asked her to tell them about her ministry of reconciliation. She explained that as a German, she feels led to pray and ask forgiveness for what her country did to their country. What the Germans did to Malta was to incite Italy to attack Malta. So she prayed and repented on behalf of the German people for what her country did to Malta. This was an important step before we leave Malta.

Day Four

In the morning we joined a Charismatic Catholic prayer group for a time of prayer and worship. We shared the vision of OCE and they prayed for us.

After lunch we went to the far side of the Grand Harbour from Valletta and prayed in several places:

By the water we prayed about all the people that had lost their lives in the harbor and read:

Psalm 29 – Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings; honor the Lord for His glory and strength. Honor the Lord for the glory of His Name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. The Lord thunders over the mighty sea. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars; the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf; He makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord strikes with bolts of lightning. The voice of the Lord makes the barren wilderness quake; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare. In His Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!” The Lord rules over the floodwaters. The Lord reigns as king forever. The Lord gives His people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.

Isaiah 27:1 – In that day the Lord will take His terrible, swift sword and punish Leviathan, the swiftly moving serpent, the coiling, writhing serpent. He will kill the dragon of the sea.

Ezekiel 29:2-4 – Son of man, turn and face Egypt and prophesy against Pharaoh the king and all the people of Egypt. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: “I am your enemy, O Pharaoh, king of Egypt—you great monster, lurking in the streams of the Nile. For you have said, ‘The Nile River is mine; I made it for myself.’ I will put hooks in your jaws and drag you out on the land with fish sticking to your scales.”

Ezekiel 32:2 – Son of man, mourn for Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and give him this message: “You think of yourself as a strong young lion among the nations, but you are really just a sea monster, heaving around in your own rivers, stirring up mud with your feet.

Fortress of Knights of Malta

Fortress of Knights of Malta

At Land’s End at Fort St. Angelo we searched for the place where it is said that the Jews had been chained. We didn’t find any obvious place, but we did pray, repenting for the innocent Jewish lives sacrificed there.

In the enclosed garden area at the corner of Fort St. Angelo one of our Maltese hosts prayed in Malti, releasing a lot of things. As she prayed one of us commented that she could hear whispering all around us that stopped as the prayers finished. At the end of her prayers a bell rang in the distance, and simultaneously there was the boom as of a cannon. We all rejoiced loudly.

Inside the Fort we were waved off by the guards, saying that the Fort is closed. But a couple of us pleaded to be let in just for a moment to take a picture while a couple of others distracted the guards. The rest of us prayed outside the door.

At the Inquisitor’s Palace, again we found it closed, so we prayed inside the waiting room between the Museum and the Tourist Office.

We ended the day, praying at the Provence Gate that had been the stronghold of the French Knights.

After all this we went to the Happy Hive for a light supper there.

1Said when one is angry, as if to say: “take your anger out on a Turk, not on me.”

Mar 052016
 

Nicosia / Lefkosia

(Feb 27-28, 2016)

Day One

We were wonderfully hosted by the local Christians the day before starting the prayer.
We met with the pastor of our host church first thing in the morning. The prayer room was set up with a prophetic centerpiece: a map on the coffee table, covered by almond blossoms and a lamp. Key prayer points included division, invasion, brokenness, witchcraft curses, and identity. We also prayed for the pastor before he had to return to house guests. Then we strategized about where to pray in the old city.

Before going to the old city, we stopped to see a key person in the peace process. We listened to the person’s job description and other particulars, then prayed and prophesied. That this person was able to see us was nothing less than miraculous, and there was trust where there could have been fear, suspicion, or paranoia. Because this person is so key to the process, it is very important to keep the identity a secret. It is likely that this person is being watched, bugged, and possibly even followed. We prayed for angelic agents to intervene where human agents with bad intent might interfere with the peace process. It was very clear that our visit encouraged this person very much and helped to reduce the level of stress associated with the job.

Next we went to the Ledra Museum Observatory on the eleventh floor of the Shacolas Tower. On the way, we passed through the Paphos Gate of the old city and prayed there. We placed an almond blossom as a prophetic act. At the Tower we divided into teams and prayed into each of the four compass directions, with particular focus on the occupied north. The ticket seller came to speak to our group, and we shared that we are praying for her country. We asked for her prayer requests, and at the top of her list, what she said first was a Solution, meaning reunification. We also prayed for her, personally.

Demonstration at Lefkosia border

Demonstration at Lefkosia border

Breakdancing in front of police

Breakdancing in front of police

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lunch we crossed the checkpoint into the occupied northern part of the city, locally called Lefkosia. Almost immediately after we all got through there was a demonstration marching toward us. They passed us, stopped just short of the checkpoint, and began breakdancing. So we watched and prayed. The marchers consisted of people from both sides of the border, demonstrating for demilitarizing Cyprus. The police just stood and watched. After dancing for about ten minutes, they quietly dispersed.

Team praying around the wall

Team praying around the wall

Then we walked to the St. Sophia church, which has been turned into a mosque (one of the most prominent things that we had seen from the Tower). We decided to divide into two teams to walk around the church, praying. One team went clockwise, the other counter-clockwise.

After the church we went to the Bandabuliya Market, which is the old city market, and walked through it. The market had been shut for many years, and was a sad shadow of what it must have been in pre-occupation times, but we agreed that at least they had tried to revive it.

Next we went to the second of the three gates, the Kyrenia Gate, where we prayed and placed another almond blossom. While we rested there, we noticed on the map that the Turkish Cypriot Parliament and the Turkish Embassy were just across the street from one another, and that they were very close to the Gate where we were. So we decided that this was a strategic place to go and pray to cut off the connection between Turkey and Northern Cyprus.

There was a lot of traffic on the street between the Parliament Building and the Embassy. We prayed and planted another almond blossom. While we prayed the door to the Parliament had stood open. When we finished, a man came out the door, shut and locked it, and walked away. We felt that this was significant as a message to us that soon this occupation parliament would shut down and let the real Cypriot Parliament handle the ruling of a reunified Cyprus.

Day Two

We attended the pre-service prayers at New Life Church. The prayer meeting was well-attended, and the prayer time was so good, and filled with prophetic words and visions, especially for the church’s upcoming move from their stable building into a tent.

The youth led the worship, which was very anointed. The pastor called our group up, prophesied over us, and invited others to do likewise (on paper for those with picture prophecies or who felt shy to speak a prophecy). It was very encouraging! It looked like at least one person from each family came up to give a word, either to an individual or to the whole group, even children. Then we were blessed and sent out for our last day of prayer walking.

We started at the Presidential Palace, praying by the exit gate. One thing that was prayed was that the puppet strings of those controlling the President behind the scenes be cut, and in fact, those strings were also seen as chains. We expect to see changes in his presidency.

Then we walked a short distance across the road to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was felt that the approach to foreign affairs was xenophobic due to the island being partly occupied. So we prayed to break off all fear and mistrust of foreigners, and that righteousness, especially with regard to refugees, become their response and way of dealing with foreigners.

Praying in front of parliament

Praying in front of parliament

After that we walked to the Parliament Building, which didn’t look at all like we had expected. The front door was an automatic-opening glass door with a smiling sun. A face on the sun is a pagan symbol for the sun god. This and other elements became part of our prayers for the Parliament of Cyprus. We poured water across the threshold as a prophetic act. And we read the following passages for Cyprus:

Isaiah 51:9 – Wake up, wake up, O Lord! Clothe Yourself with strength! Flex Your mighty Right Arm! Rouse Yourself as in the days of old when You slew Egypt, the dragon of the Nile.

Isaiah 51:17 – Wake up, wake up, O Jerusalem! You have drunk the cup of the Lord’s fury. You have drunk the cup of terror, tipping out its last drops.

Isaiah 52:1-3 – Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer. Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem. Sit in a place of honor. Remove the chains of slavery from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For this is what the Lord says: “When I sold you into exile, I received no payment. Now I can redeem you without having to pay for you.”

Isaiah 52:8-10 – The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the Lord returning to Jerusalem. Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song, for the Lord has comforted His People. He has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has demonstrated His Holy Power before the eyes of all the nations. All the ends of the earth will see the victory of our God.

Isaiah 11:1-5 – Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him—the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of His Word, and one breath from His mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear Righteousness like a belt and Truth like an undergarment.

Nehemiah 5:11-12 – “You must restore their fields, vineyards, olive groves, and homes to them this very day. And repay the interest you charged when you lent them money, grain, new wine, and olive oil.” They replied, “We will give back everything and demand nothing more from the people. We will do as you say.”

Acts 19:19 – A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars.

Then we walked to the Famagusta Gate and found there a celebration of the Congenital Heart Disease Association’s ten year anniversary. As we began to pray, we were interrupted by volunteers from the Heart Association who invited us inside for refreshments. We told her that we would come inside in a moment, and she was satisfied. Perhaps they were hoping for a better turnout than what they had. We prayed at the Gate, and then pouring out red wine in and opening the hasp of the Gate in prophetic acts.