Unseen Power

In September 1982, Monday night prayer meetings for peace were started in the Nikolai church in Leipzig, then part of East Germany. These weekly prayer meetings turned into mass demonstrations for freedom and peace during the fall of 1989 with up to 500,000 participants. In the context of these events, the Berlin wall opened up November 9th, 1989, and eventually Germany was reunified on October 3rd, 1990. This quick overview of the circumstances that led to the German reunification illustrates that prayer is an unseen power that can change the course of history.

Of course, many of the participants in these prayer meetings were not really believers in the Christian faith. These meetings also served as gatherings for political opponents of the socialist regime of East Germany. Nonetheless, I am sure that there were always a substantial number of participants who directed their sincere prayers to God on a weekly basis for many years asking God to intervene. And so, He did.

When the German chancellor Helmut Kohl - who was in power during this crucial time -  reflected years later on these happenings, he said: "It is wrong to pretend that the Holy Spirit was moving over the places in Leipzig and changed the world." Instead, Gorbachev would have realized that the Soviet Union could not afford the regime in East Germany anymore.

This statement reveals a very short-sighted view of the work of the Holy Spirit. For sure, the devastating financial situation in the Soviet Union and in East Germany was a leading contributor towards Germany's reunification. But is God not able to work through His Holy Spirit in these countries to cause a difficult financial situation at a particular time? And the hand of God was moved, in this case, by the prayers of many people who were gathering together in His name for many years - a truly unseen power!