The last few weeks there’ve been so many reports of our brothers and sisters around the world facing persecution… including this one from China:
“‘The cross is the glory of us Christians,’ said Cai Tingxu, who left his business in Shanghai to protect his hometown church in rural Zhejiang after hearing that government authorities had threatened to tear down the cross. ‘Jesus was nailed to the cross for us.'”
I was so convicted when I thought about the jumble of crosses in my jewelry drawer that I forget are even there… and what it costs others to identify themselves with this precious symbol of our faith.
This week I’m wearing my cross jewelry and using my cell phone alerts to remind me to pray on the hour for those who are lifting high the cross of Christ, under the most extraordinary and excruciating circumstances. (For more on cell phone prayer alerts, see Create Your Own Prayer Reminder.)
Will you join me?
Ways to Pray for Our Persecuted Brothers and Sisters in Christ
- That they would know how much God loves them; that they would sense His presence and experience His comfort, His peace, His strength, His joy even in the midst of their sufferings
- That they would be filled with hope and the courage to endure, the courage to persevere — remembering the temporary nature of our earthly suffering; that God would give them glimpses of the eternal glory that awaits us all
- That they would grow an even greater trust, a deeper, richer faith, a closer relationship with God — especially those who are nominally or ethnically / culturally Christian and have yet to have a personal experience of Him
- That they would stand strong “even unto death” and not waver; that they would not give in to temptation or collapse under the stress and pressure and pain of their persecution
- That they would love their enemies and not succumb to bitterness or the temptation to take revenge; that their testimony would be stronger than ever
- That they would fearlessly make known the gospel; that God would give them the right words to say; that He would empower them and anoint them and speak mightily through them, and that their persecutors would either be drawn to Him or feel the fear of Him
- That God would protect them and provide for them in many ways; that He would at times supernaturally hide them, shield them, feed them, clothe them, heal them; that He would give them wisdom and direction and discernment — even cunning and creativity; that He would show Himself mighty on their behalf
- That God would speak to them and that they would know that they know He is real; that He would appear to them in visions and dreams — especially where they have no access to Scripture
- That He would give them unity and peace and love for one another, in the midst of trying circumstances
- That He would remember them and reward them for their sacrifices
You can also pray using Scriptures — any Scriptures you might pray for yourself or your loved ones. Where you would put your own name / personal pronouns into the verse, put “my brothers and sisters in Christ” or “Your Church” or “the believers in Iraq… China… Syria… India…. Egypt… Africa”
For example, Psalm 71:3:
“Lord, be their rock of refuge, to which they can always go; give the command to save them, for You are their rock and their fortress.“
To Find Out More
The Voice of the Martyrs is a Christian ministry that sends out prayer alerts, newsletters, and emails to keep you informed about the persecution of believers around the world, and to let you know about specific people, circumstances, and needs you can be praying for.
Their ministry is based on Hebrews 13:3:
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
VOM’s Five Main Purposes
- To encourage and empower Christians to fulfill the Great Commission in areas of the world where they are persecuted for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- To provide practical relief and spiritual support to the families of Christian martyrs.
- To equip persecuted Christians to love and win to Christ those who are opposed to the gospel in their part of the world.
- To undertake projects of encouragement, helping believers rebuild their lives and Christian witness in countries where they have formerly suffered oppression.
- To promote the fellowship of all believers by informing the world of the faith and courage of persecuted Christians, thereby inspiring believers to a deeper level of commitment to Christ and involvement in His Great Commission.
VOM’s Mission Statement
“Serving the persecuted church through practical and spiritual assistance while leading Christians in the free world into fellowship with them.”
Also check out these helpful articles, organizations, and websites…
Open Doors USA ~ Serving Persecuted Christians Worldwide
How to Pray for the Persecuted Church ~ Campus Crusade for Christ
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church ~ List of ministries and organizations, as well as information on the IDOP 2014 (Sunday, November 2, 2014)
Monthly Prayer Calendar for the Persecuted Church ~ Downloadable / printable prayer calendar available each month from Open Doors