So, yesterday was the national day of prayer for the persecuted church and I really wanted to take the time to pray with you all for the persecution of our brothers and sisters across the world. I was reading an article and have heard multiple testimonies throughout the weekend about things going on in countries around the globe and it absolutely broke my heart. To see so much devastation and turmoil, pain and suffering, simply for believing and worshiping Christ. In the U.S., we are free to worship and pray and read the Word without fear of being imprisoned or killed. But that is not the case in certain countries, and that is what I wanted to take the time to pray about today. So rather than blogging in depth, I will take the time to pray for the children of God throughout the world, who are boldly living for Jesus, despite the consequences.
Heavenly Father, I want to take the time right now to pray over my brothers and sisters in Christ across the world who are suffering persecution for serving and loving you. Lord, I know that I cannot completely know or understand what they are going through. The things they endure for your name is unimaginable and heart wrenching, and my heart breaks for each and every one of them. We know that in 1 Peter chapter 4, Paul says that you are blessed if you suffer for Christ, so Lord I ask that you remind each of the persecuted Christians that they are blessed; so completely cherished in your sight. That they are not alone and that there is a crown of righteousness awaiting them in the kingdom of heaven.
Father, I pray that you give them peace and comfort during their circumstances. Many of them have been separated from their family or have witnessed their loved ones being murdered in front of them. They have been left scared, alone, shocked and tormented by the loss of their loved ones. Bless them with peace Lord. Allow the Holy Spirit to shelter them with comfort as they struggle with loneliness and sorrow. God, please help these men, women, and children boldly and proudly proclaim the name of Jesus to every corner of the world. Lord, not only them, but help the Christians throughout America and other countries who don’t struggle with this kind of persecution to live even more boldly. We do not face the possibility of being beheaded or having our family shot before our eyes for saying the Holy name of Jesus. We don’t face prison or torture on a daily, even hourly basis. Though persecution of any kind is hard and difficult to endure, Christians across the U.S. should boldly proclaim their faith in Jesus, being unashamed of who their Savior is.
God, I pray that these men and women remember that they serve a God who is mighty, and that even if these people take away their homes, their families, even their lives, they still cannot take away their life eternally lived by your side. Holy Spirit, write the Word on their hearts, so that even when it is illegal to own a bible, they will still know your Word and your promises. Give them the courage to stand up for what is right and allow the Spirit to speak truth through them to all who can hear. I also ask that you humble the hearts of people across America, to join with me in prayer for our brothers and sisters. Remind us of the blessings we have been given, and remind us of what is important. That bringing you glory and praise is what our lives should be about. Lord you are mighty and strong enough to do anything, and I pray that the believers who are submitting everything, including their lives, will continue to be strong, bold, and fearless. They are warriors for Christ, so Lord I pray blessings over them.
I also ask that you protect the missionaries and groups who have been fighting for these men and women. They willingly lay down their lives to protect others, so Lord please strengthen and protect them in that as well. Remind them of who they are really fighting for, and that the love that they show by laying down their lives to serve and protect is held highly in your eyes. God, I ask for your forgiveness. Forgiveness in my own life, forgiveness for this country, and across the globe. This world is filled with those who have blatantly rejected you and allow the enemy to guide them in the direction of destroying those who desire to serve you. Lord, saturate the hearts of many with your unconditional love and mercy, humbling them to the point of knowing that they are in need a savior. That they need YOU.
We all have sinned, none of us are worthy, so Lord we thank you for the opportunity to know you, and love you. I ask that when Christians across the nations face persecution of any kind, that the Holy Spirit allow us to find joy in that. Help us rejoice in the promise you have given us; that when we lay down our lives and surrender to you, we will surely face trials and persecution, but we have the promise of eternal life through Christ. Greater is the one living inside of us, than anyone in the world. You are worthy of all our praise, and we joyful glorify your name. Your will be done, through each individual and their circumstances. I humble pray all of these things in your Son’s precious name. Amen.
Verse of Encouragement for Persecuted Church
- Hebrews 13:5-6 ~ “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have,because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'”
- 1 Peter 4:12-19 ~ “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, ‘If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’ So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”
- Matthew 5:10-12 ~ “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad,because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
- 2 Timothy 3:12-17 ~ “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse,deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
- 1 Peter 1:6-9 ~ “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
- Deuteronomy 11:18 ~ “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.”
- Proverbs 7:1-3 ~ “My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”