Prayer and Persecution

Prayer and PersecutionOne of my favorite verses in the Bible are Jesus’ words recorded in John 16:33,

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.”

The LBT translates troubles as trials and sorrows.  That covers it all doesn’t it? We can describe trials and sorrows with our own experiences. Let us remember to take heart because Jesus was victorious, we too can be victorious.

Earlier in the evening, Jesus talked about one trial in particular: persecution, the world’s hatred.  He said that since he was persecuted, naturally his followers would be persecuted.  Because the world hated him, the world will hate us because they do not know God.  (John 15:20-21)

Did your church pray specifically for the persecuted church on November 5th?  We did.  In fact we daily remember our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ who live in the Persian Speaking World (PSW). They text, email, Skype, phone… asking for help, advice, encouragement…They have difficult questions.  How good it is to point them to Jesus and his example in suffering as well as the example of New Testament believers and their response to suffering.  Likewise it is important to remind them of God’s promises.  Sometimes they can be helped in practical ways.

The Christians in the PSW are blessed when they know they are remembered, loved, upheld in prayer and supported.  They are not alone, even when they are forsaken by family and friends and the world hates them.  Some stay, others flee.

Please pray for them:

  • Wisdom to know whether to stay or flee.
  • God’s provision for daily needs.
  • God’s protection of the families of those who are in prison for their faith in Jesus.
  • The knowledge that they are not fighting against persecutors, but against the powers of darkness and God has equipped us for spiritual battle.
  • Peace of mind and heart in the midst of their suffering.
  • The importance of a close walk with the Lord.
  • The assurance that Jesus will never leave them.
  • The wisdom to know who they can trust.
  • Courage and the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Adjustment to a country of refugee as they learn a new language and a new culture.
  • Not to be lulled into complacency when they are no longer persecuted.

What God would have you do to help the persecuted in a tangible way?  Perhaps He would have you and your church sponsor a Christian refugee who had to flee their homeland.  This could involve financial gifts or in Canada it could be as involved as filling out an application to sponsor them to come to live in your community.

We could put names and stories with each prayer item.  Be assured that in heaven you will meet the saints you prayed for and there will be great rejoicing.

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