One of the common themes we are running across in our time here, whether we are talking to missionaries or to local believers, is that this is a very difficult place for the gospel to advance. People are very unresponsive to the message of Jesus. While this issue prevails across much of modern Europe, Sarajevo is the first city with which I have had personal connection. I would like to share with you what I am sensing from God concerning this city.
From my perspective, the issue in this city is NOT a lack of missionaries. As I have said elsewhere, we've met as many missionaries as believers. There are Christ-followers on the University campus, Christ-followers working in the city, Christ-followers working with the poor. All report the same experience: little to no response. The issue in this city is NOT a lack of a clear message. The pastors here are passionate preachers of God's word, and they handle Scripture accurately and in ways accessible to anyone. The issue in this city is NOT a lack of passion. The believers here are crying out for their city. They want to see God change this city with the love of Christ. The worship is powerful. And these passionate people are making repeated, creative attempts to reach people. Yet the result is the same: little to no response.
From my perspective, the issue in this city is almost entirely spiritual. For whatever reason, Darkness has a grip on this city and for whatever reason the Light has not YET penetrated. And I know of only one way to enter into a spiritual battle: PRAYER. We could easily give more money, send more people, or offer more ideas and encouragement. But none of these are lacking. What is lacking is a true move of God's Spirit in the hearts and minds of the Bosnian people.
So, may I plead with you? Become a prayer warrior for Bosnia. If you give money, give as much prayer. Our money is needed, but until the spiritual battle is won, it will continue to have little return on our investment. How can you pray?
1)Pray that spiritual darkness and oppression in this city will lift.
2)Pray that the enemy will have no power to hold people in bondage and oppression.
3)Pray that hearts and eyes would be opened to the love of Jesus.
4)Pray that God would miraculously and supernaturally be revealing Himself.
5)Pray for spiritual breakthrough.
6)Pray that God would empower and strengthen His people here.
7)Pray that the LIGHT of CHRIST would shine in this city and that God would win the victory!
May God convince each one of us deeply that prayer is not the prelude to the work, but that prayer in and of itself is the work we have been called to do.