Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Persecuted Family

Near and dear to my heart are fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering for their faith.

This very moment!

One might think that such a thing ended with the coliseums of Rome. You may have read Fox’s Book of Martyrs and thought … “glad I didn’t live back then!”. Sadly, there are more Christians being persecuted for their faith today than ever before.

On the wall next to my computer is a small map that shows all the countries of the world and their level of hostility towards Christians.

Many are considered “restricted” which includes countries where government policy or practice prevents Christians from obtaining Bibles or other Christian literature. Also included are countries with government-sanctioned circumstances or anti-Christian laws that lead to Christians being harassed, imprisoned, killed or deprived of possessions or liberties because of their witness.

“Hostile” areas include large areas in nations where governments consistently attempt to provide protection for the Christian population, but Christians are victims of violence because of their witness.

More than anything else these precious ones need the support of our prayers. Sometimes, however, it’s hard to know how to pray for the persecuted church so I am posting the following resource provided by the Be-A-Voice Network to help us.

Pray:
• That persecuted believers will stand firm in their faith. (1 Peter 5:8-10)
• That they will not be fearful, but trust God. (Rev. 2:10)
• That they will not seek to retaliate, but entrust themselves to Him who judges justly and seek to live in peace with everyone. (Rom. 12:17-21; 1 Peter 2:23)
• That they will be enabled to rejoice, even in suffering. (1 Peter 4:12-13)
• That they will be able to actually love and forgive those who persecute them. (Matt. 5:43-44; Luke 23:34; Col. 3:13)
• That they will bless those who have persecuted them. (Rom. 12:14, 21)
• That they will keep their eyes on Jesus, persevere in their faith, and not grow weary or lose heart. (Heb. 10:32-39; Heb.12:1-3)
• That they will trust God to enable them to proclaim the Gospel even while suffering. (2 Tim. 4:16-18)
• That they will rely on the Lord's strength and not on their own. (2 Cor. 1:8-9)
• That those who oppress Christians may experience repentance and salvation, just as Paul did. (Acts 9:1-19)
• For the provision of Bibles and other Christian literature to reach the most remote and needy areas where they are in the shortest supply. (Psalm 119:42-43)
• That those who suffer tremendous physical pain and trials will be delivered by the Lord from their agony. (II Corinthians 1:9-11)
• That local leaders of the persecuted churches around the world would continue to faithfully fulfill their God-given responsibilities. (I Peter 5:1-4)
• That those of us who have religious freedom will understand what it means to suffer with other members of the worldwide church. (I Corinthians 12:26)
• That we who have religious freedom would have the boldness and courage to speak out and seek to make changes in the name of the Lord, on behalf of persecuted believers. (Proverbs 31:8-9)
• That we who have religious freedom would faithfully remember and pray for our Christian family worldwide who are in prison and suffering for their faith. (Hebrews 13:3)

You can also write letters to Christians who are in prison! If you are interested please visit Prisoner Alert.

It is my hope that you will get involved. Thank you and God bless you!



Heb 13:3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.

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6 comments:

  1. Thank you for this.

    As much as we believe and say that our country is not as "Christian" as it once was and that God is being taken away from our society, we still enjoy more religious freedom than any other nation in the world. We see someone on television making fun of Jesus and we call that persecution. That's not persecution. We don't know what persecution is.

    Prayers for all those who do.

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  2. Billy ~ Thank you so much for pointing that fact out. You are so right! Your input is always a valuable word :-)

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  3. this is a good post.
    thanks for all the information.

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  4. thank you so much for this reminder - i prayed through your list and am thankful that you took the time to present it in that way :0)

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  5. Sojourner ~ Wonderful! I know God will bless you for it :-D

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  6. I'm with the Voice of the Martyrs and I read and pray often over the stories that they tell.

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