DTS Reflection Part 3: The Power of Prayer

Part 3 of a series of reflections from DTS trainee mark Carson, more from their mid-term outreach in Sweden

I want to tell you some stories of interactions with the people of Stockholm.

All I had known of Sweden before going was of their car manufacturing expertise (see Saab and Volvo) , their export of fashionable yet functional furniture, and some of the best pop tunes to ever grace my ears (see Abba Dancing Queen)

I was excited to get to know more but I quickly realised that Stockholm was inhabited by more than just Swedes. There was a great number of Bulgarians many of whom lived on the streets in Stockholm. We had encountered many Bulgarians and had the privilege to pray for three homeless guys called Yarrick, Darrick and Marios. When I asked them by pointing at the sky and putting my hands together the reaction was that of surprise, then confusion and then Darrick suddenly starts to beat his chest in a primal manner, with a real desire for prayer. I didn’t have any words of great knowledge from the Lord at that moment, they wouldn’t have understood me anyway (could have tried tongues to see if anything landed). It was just a pleasure to stand with them in the cold Stockholm evening and speak God’s blessings over their lives.

I was continually surprised about how after I had prayed for someone there would be a shift, a softening. God wants to be invited into the conversation and prayer brought the God of all things into our midst and I could see it on the face of this young Afghan guy called Rezza. He had left his family behind in his native land and myself and Sam got talking to him. What started as an awkward conversation turned into a smile wider than had been seen in a while. After we prayed for him and his family Gods love was impacting him and we broke through a significant language barrier to tell him about Jesus’ love for him.

I have many more stories to share and maybe I will with you in person but another demonstration of the power of prayer was during the Awakening Europe conference when church leaders gathered on the stage to forgive one another and repent for their disunity before God. I do believe many lives were impacted by the thousands of Christians sharing the gospel on the streets of Stockholm, but this was the most powerful moment for me. A wounded, divided church bringing its mess to God to say sorry in a prayer that will impact in the nation of Sweden.

I saw forgiveness on that stage, I saw brokenness, I saw who Jesus is and I saw a church wanting to unite for the kingdom of God to move in Sweden.

Looking back on Sweden it all seemed a bit chaotic and I’m only really piecing it together now for you. Looking back at 2016 in a broader sense it has been a chaotic year, for many of you most probably and it has been globally politically. As I type this up I’m looking at a Christmas tree that has many stars with words on them saying; comforter, Love, Life giver and Ruler of Nations.

Those words are all true because they are Jesus. I can sit with those words with the chaos of the world around me. If I’m honest I’ve doubted those words at times this year but Jesus hasn’t doubted me and he won’t doubt you. He wants to be invited into the chaos and that’s the power of His Love.

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