By Open Doors 4 September 2023 4 MIN

The Time Prayer Changed the World

It’s hard to imagine countries like North Korea or Somalia changing as a result of prayer. However, history shows us that ‘nothing is impossible with God’, and that prayer can change even the most impossible nations. Have you heard these stories about how prayer changed the world?

Seven Years of Prayer

In the 1980s, Open Doors launched a seven-year long global prayer campaign, where believers around the world committed to praying for the church in Communist Eastern Europe.

At the time, the prospect of the Soviet Union opening up to the gospel felt impossible. And yet, at the end of seven years, the Berlin Wall fell, and Eastern Europe was opened to the gospel. This incredible story gives us faith to PRAY BIG PRAYERS for those countries that seem the most impossible to us.

A crowd of people standing in front of the Berlin Wall in 1974

On a visit to Berlin, an Open Doors member told his taxi driver that people in the West had prayed for years for the Berlin Wall to fall. The driver stopped the car and said with tears in his eyes: “On behalf of the Germans of Berlin, I want to thank you for your prayers; God answered your prayers!” He continues, “Now I am praying for North Korea. There are two Koreas, but God can make it one. I pray that He will open prison doors! He did it in Berlin and the wall came down. He can do it also in Korea!”

Following Jesus in Eastern Europe Felt Impossible

a black and white photo of Open Doors founder Brother Andrew sitting among a group of Christian believers in Hungary

The communist regime in Eastern Europe was based on rigid control. The church was isolated and under threat. An Open Doors worker in the region explains, “Back then, the Communists did not tolerate Christians at all. Christians felt totally forsaken. One pastor in Hungary said, ‘No one knows where I am, not even my family. Thank you for coming.’ Then he cried and cried. The police had closed his church and put him under house arrest.”

Prayer Changed The World

In 1982, Open Doors focused on the Soviet Union – delivering Bibles to tens of millions of believers who did not have a Bible. This was backed all by a global seven-year prayer campaign.

And things began to change. From 1987, large numbers of religious prisoners were released from labour camps and prison cells. There in 1985 there were 340 imprisoned Christian believers. By March 1990 just 17.

In the same year, changed postal regulations allowed tens of thousands of New Testaments to be sent to believers and churches across the Soviet Union, and the gospel was spreading.

a black and white photo of Open Doors founder Brother Andrew passing a Bible to a Christian from the Soviet Union

So, by November 1989, seven years after the prayer campaign began, it was clear that change was here. But the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, while the border guards looked on, was a dramatic sign that things would not be the same again. An Open Doors team member recalls that day: “My colleague and I got straight in the car and drove to Berlin to be part of that historic occasion. What a joy, what an answer to prayer!”

Which region will be the next miracle story?

Join us on Sunday, 5 November 2023


If you’re like us, some situations seem too dark or too impossible to pray for. But we know that nothing is impossible with God!

Join us this International Day of Prayer as we pray boldly for our persecuted brothers and sisters who follow Jesus in some of the darkest places in the world.

I’ll Pray