Dear prayer partners,
Thank you for your partnership in the work of the King and His Kingdom… it is greatly appreciated.
Russian Prayer Journey: I (Ben), and Jonathan, leave with a team of ‘pray-ers’ for Moscow in the coming days. See the prayer guide below. If you are able, I would love you to pray along with us as we travel in this vast nation. We’re covering the Western corridor of Russia, from the Black Sea to the Gulf of Finland… key gateway centres.
Russia is on God’s heart right now… as Father He is wooing this nation to Himself. We, as a team of 30+ going, and those who will pray along with us, need to rest in His love and allow Him to do His work through us… to be His channels of living water. Thank you for praying. Ben.
PRAYER JOURNEY RUSSIA & CRIMEA – MAY 14th to June 1st 2019
GENERAL PRAYER-COVER OVERVIEW
(Please keep this information confidential and no online distribution at all)
Tuesday 14th – Ben, Jonathan, Brian and Robyn Pickering depart via London for Moscow. Arriving 15th – Travel to Moscow base hotel ahead of team to conclude final on the ground practical matters and meet up and brief our Russian friend and ministry partner, Andrey.
Pray for travelling mercies and safe arrival for them: also for a few others of our team members arriving via the USA, Israel and Scandinavia. Pray that we conclude things ahead of the teams arrival on Fri. 17th
Please pray for clarity and wisdom for me (Ben), and Jonathan, as we seek to hear and understand God’s heart for this very strategic prayer assignment.
Team departs Australia Thursday 16th – via Doha arriving Moscow Fri. 17th.
Pray for travelling mercies and safe arrival. As the whole team finally arrives and comes together, pray for our hearts to be joined in harmony with each other and with the assignments ahead. Pray that we stay on His set path and not venture off… to walk in the light of His grace; here we have protection, guidance and confidence. Team unity is always crucial but never more so than on this particular kingdom assignment.
MOSCOW – CENTRAL GATE: Sat. 18-20th (Population approximate – 12.5 million)
The first day is a big day in many respects. It will be very eye opening for all who have never been to Russia, especially its Capital, much to take in and absorb. Over the next few days we need to grasp hold of God’s heart as we contemplate, History; Culture; Traditions; Modernity and listen to the ‘echoes’ of the land and its people. Past, present and future will collide in a symposium of thoughts and impressions. We will travel by foot, bus and boat as we step-out into the purposes of God in this centre of power and authority.
Pray that we can do all the things God has placed in our hearts to do. That our interaction with people wherever we go will be smooth and without concern. Pray for good connections with the Moscow House of Prayer leaders, also a group of local pastors and intercessory leaders, including our host church and their people. Pray for our corporate gathering in worship and praise with locals in this key gateway city. Pray for safety on all forms of transport; for keen insight and good communication with Father. That nothing will stand in the way of us doing all that He has called us to do. Pray for favour with local leaders.
Monday evening 20th – travel overnight sleeper train to Kazan.
KAZAN – EASTERN GATE: 21-22nd (Population approximate – 1.25 million)
Picked up by coach from the train for a tour of the Kazan Kremlin … city high places and key points of interest. Dealing with syncretism in its various forms that lay hidden within a cosmetically presented religious harmony of Islam and Orthodoxy. This place is a controlling and formidable spiritual power centre. This gate is linked to all the ‘Stans’ (Countries) of Central Asia.
Pray that the train trip will be without incident and refreshing for all. On arrival and during this particular assignment pray for spiritual, emotional and physical protection; that we stay very close to God’s specific revealed agenda… there’s demonic representation here that hold nations in their grip, not just this region.
Pray for resurrection life to spring forth… for Jesus’ power, dreams and miracles to go forth into all of Kazan. We are in the place where dark powers govern through a substructure of religious harmony and authority. On the surface all seems great, underneath there are deep issues that underpin this seemingly harmonious picture.
PROTECTION… PEACE & WALKING IN HIS PROMISES!
Wednesday 22nd – travel day from Kazan via Moscow airport to Crimea.
Pray for travelling mercies and safe arrival… for rest in transit so that the team members can ‘centre-down’ in personal space and reflection.
CRIMEA – ANCIENT GATE: Thu 23 – Sat 25th (Population approximate – 2.3 million)
We have several key sites of interest in and around Sevastopol (481,000 approx) and Yalta (72,000 approx). Sevastopol is a key naval base and home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. It’s also where the 1854-55 Crimean War siege of Sevastopol took place. Livadia Palace is in Yalta. It’s the place where the 3 victors of the 2nd World War met to decide the post-war carve up of power and set the context for the later signing of a charter that inaugurated what we now know as the United Nations. Crimea is the spiritual birthplace of Christianity for Slavic peoples and Christianity was introduced here by Prince Vladimir l of Kiev, also known at Vladimir the Great. It’s also been a place of violence and coercion. A place of spiritual portals and wrong associations alongside true Christian faith. This is a strategic location, geographically and spiritually. It’s a place of vision and healing redemptively, one that over time has been subverted and covered over with layers of darkness.
Pray especially for safety on the Crimean roads as we travel between various sites. Here we are speaking into history and the formation of the Christian Church for all Slavic peoples, not just Russian. We will also be addressing in and through the blood of the cross, Christ’s redeeming nature for land and all peoples affected by this history. Pray for spiritual, emotional and physical protection here as the ‘goddess Diana’ has direct access into the spiritual climate. Here we will engage with the key prophetic words over the nation in relation to revival, blessing and kingdom outcomes. At the Livadia Palace we have a specific prayer assignment to pray into, past, present and future.
Saturday 25th – travel day from Crimea via Moscow airport to Rostov On-Don.
ROSTOV-ON-DON – SOUTHERN GATE: Sat 25 – Sun 27th (Population approximate – 1.2 million)
This city and region is the economic and industrial heartland for Russia; it’s also an educational and scientific centre. The rivers Don and Volga bring much trade to the city. Interestingly, Moscow sits at the head of these rivers. The area has good and bad history. It has seen a resistance to strangers, including the Gospel originally, yet at times becoming a great refuge for foreigners. A strong Armenian influence is witnessed in the area.
Pray that we capture God’s heart for this city and region, as it’s a major gateway into and out of the heart of Russia. Pray for great connections with a key local church and leaders from the Rostov area. To bless the solid work done here by a group of 20+ church pastors over 23 years. To call forth the destiny of this city and gateway as revealed to us from the research and intercession.
For a great worship time as we come together. For teams as they prayer walk the city and as we pray in the high place overlooking city; as we declare provision, peace and justice. It’s a place of hospitality and grace to outsiders. A place of God’s kindness and favour! Pray that the city and its people would step more fully into its redemptive calling.
Monday 27th – travel day from Rostov-On-Don to St Petersburg via Moscow airport.
ST PETERSBURG – NORTHERN GATE: 27-30th (Population approximate – 5.4 million)
This city was the centre out of which a radical revolution sprang forth in the 1900’s. It’s a city of extensive culture with all the trappings of history and architecture including beautiful adorned facades. Built by Peter the Great to be a city that would rival major European cities. It was built on shifting sands which presented many challenges. It was once dubbed the ‘Venice of the North’. Today tourists from all over the world visit this city because of its beauty, culture and history. We will visit key sites on assignment, including taking a hydrofoil prayer trip and conducting a ‘White Nights’ prayer walk (sun sets at midnight).
Pray we will engage in solid on the ground intercession as we tackle some key issues of importance that our research and intercession have revealed. For Russia’s international relations with Scandinavian and the Baltic nations, as well as the West in general; for doors to be open to God’s glory, open doors of freedom and for unexpected and new friendships. Pray for it to step into its rightful position in the global community.
As we gather together on the second last day to celebrate the completion of this unique prayer journey around the Lord’s table, that we seal and sign-off leaving it all at the foot of the Cross.
Wednesday 29th – this is a free day for people to rest, refresh, sightsee or shop.
Pray for the team to be protected and provisioned in God with good sleep, harmonious communications with locals and wisdom as they go about being in the city for the last time on this tour.
Thurday 30th – Sat June 1st –depart St Petersburg for journey home.
Pray for travelling mercies for all as we return to Australia and our sister Erna as she travels back to the USA. That all would communicate wisely and with respect once we are back home from this experience. That we make sure to place God and His glory at the centre of all that we do and say as a result of this experience.
THANK YOU FOR PRAYING!
Please cover us in prayer because of the following. This makes our Prayer Journey super sensitive in more ways than one.
While freedom of religion is constitutionally guaranteed in Russia, the relevant legislation names Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism as the country’s four traditional, protected religions. Others, Evangelicals and Pentecostals included, have been subjected to increased scrutiny in recent years. In 2016, Russia introduced a package of laws outlawing any form of missionary work or religious activity outside officially designated places of worship, this is all part a broader crackdown on minority faiths operating in the country.
The new laws have been cited as necessary measures in the state’s fight against extremism and have led to charges against hundreds of religious activists across the country and, in 2017, to an outright ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses, with headquarters in the United States. Many, fear this clampdown, which is being enforced locally in a variety of expressions will continue to spread.