Yesterday, November 9th, was “International Day of Prayer” for the Persecuted Church. Though I had hoped to post this earlier, I’m acutely aware that God’s listening heart and loving responses are not limited to a single day. With that in mind, let us continue daily in prayer for Christians around the world who suffer persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. As we pray for them, may we not neglect to express thankfulness for our abundant blessings and freedom to worship. Lord, keep us from complacency and discontentment!
Here’s some guidelines for prayer, gleaned from the Voice of the Martyrs:
The Lord will give courage to His people who are enduring persecution for His Name
The Lord will place His restraining hand on those who seek to harm His people
Churches facing government opposition will stand firm in their ministry
Christians will have opportunities to reach out with the Gospel without fear of intimidation or harassment
Servants of the Lord will be able to deliver Bibles and Christian literature to places where they are most needed
Christians who have been left without pastors and teachers may be kept strong in their faith
Christians who have been imprisoned for their faith will be released safely
The Lord will restrain the callousness and brutality of prison guards in their treatment of Christians in prison
Pray against the increasing problem of young Christian girls being kidnapped, raped and forced to marry
Those who have lost loved ones by martyrdom will be comforted and strengthened by God during their grief
Christian pastors will be kept from danger and strengthened in their faith as they care for the people of God
New converts may be protected and provided for should their family turn against them.
The current laws in many restricted nations forbidding evangelism, missionary activity and religious instruction, will be repealed.
We can also help these precious believers in more tangible, physical ways. Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs websites share a variety of means in which we can assist the suffering, such as buying Bibles for those in restricted nations, writing letters to those in prison, sending blankets and other needful items for families (called “Action Packs”) and so much more. And with Christmas around the corner, there’s gift ideas available, like contributing towards a bicycle for itinerant pastors, etc.
Prayer is still the greatest need….
“Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.” Hebrews 13:3