Pray With The Persecuted Church
In response to the pain and suffering of our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world, so many people ask us, How can I help? What can I do?
Our first answer is always, Please pray.
This type of answer usually receives a mixture of responses, the most common being, No. I meant what can I practically do?
Image: Open Doors partners in Colombia pray with a family.
Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, only how to pray to know how to speak to God is more than knowing how to speak to man. Andrew Murray
Prayer should be our first response.
The Bible is full of examples of Jesus leaving the crowds to pray to His Father. It is the only real lesson we see Jesus instruct His disciples to do . Prayer is the most practical thing we can do, because we know that it is only through Christ that we can do all things. Prayer is the greater work.
This is the exact response we continue to see from the persecuted church. Their automatic response to us asking How can we help you? is almost always, Please tell your friends to pray with us.
Persecutors To Find The Love Of Christ
Many people who oppose Jesus dont know who He is or that He loves them and desires that they have life in Him.
Pray for those who are persecuting Christians directly, that the testimony of our brothers and sisters will reach out to them and they will witness the unfailing love of Jesus. Pray our brothers and sisters will have a great sense of love for those who stand against them.
Bible About Persecuted Christians
Ephesians 1:16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Paul an apostle that has faced a series of persecution still take it upon himself to pray for other Christians that are facing persecution.
If we really care for the Christians in the world, the very first thing we should do as a Christian is to pray. Prayer is the key to all when we try all our best without putting into God first in prayer, we might be doing without yielding a positive result.
God has the heart of man in his hand , he has the heart of your friend in his hand. All we can do is just to pray for them, only God can heal and comfort them. God is the one that heals.
pray for persecuted Christians, God can save, heal and comfort them
Originally, the prayer for persecuted Christians is a prayer of encouragement in the Lord. Its a prayer that is focused on you telling God to console them and be their strength.
Persecutions can weaken ones faith, it can make a Christian give up on Christ if you dont want that, why dont you then always remember them in your prayers?
Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lords people.
Don’t Miss: How To Get To Heaven Bible Verses
Violence Imprisonment Discrimination Isolation
These are just a few ways countless Christians are persecuted every single day. It is tempting to pray for their mistreatment to end and to ask God to relieve their pain and suffering. But this is not what oppressed Christians are praying for.
In fact, many persecuted Christians are thankful for their tribulations. They believe these trials serve to grow their faith and strengthen the body of Christ in a powerful way.
One of our partners in China where religious oppression is once again on the rise said, The prayer of Chinese believers is not that the persecution would stop, but that they would have the strength to remain faithful.
So how do you pray for persecuted Christians? As we prepare for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on Nov. 4, here are a few suggestions:
Pray That God Would Put An End To Violence Intimidation And Other Forms Of Persecution Aimed At Silencing Persecuted Believers And Stopping The Spread Of The Gospel
God sometimes uses the persecution of His people for the spread of the gospel , but that doesnt mean we should seek persecution. After all, extreme persecution can, at times, temporarily wipe out the church in a particular region or among a particular people group. We ought to pray that God would thwart such satanic efforts.
Jesus invites us to continually come to God asking for justice . Surely we ought to pray this way for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, asking God to put a stop to the cruelty and injustice of their persecutors. Yes, God may permit persecution to continue for His own good and sovereign purposes, but we can rest assured that one day He will right all wrongs. We should pray that persecuted Christians will not take matters into their own hands but rather trust in the One who said, Vengeance is mine, I will repay .
Gods people can love their enemies and seek to win them to Christ, even as they look forward to the day when God vindicates His people. This is, after all, part of what it means to pray Your kingdom come and Come, Lord Jesus! .
Also Check: Which Version Of The Bible Is Closest To The Original
How To Pray From The Bible
Because the New Testament was written to persecuted Christians, it shows you how to make a difference for people under attack. In Ephesians 6:18, Paul says to be alert and pray for all of Gods people. The New Testament teaches:
Pray that persecuted Christians would know the hope God gives .
Pray that Christians facing persecution would rely on God, and not themselves .
Pray that persecuted Christians would fearlessly tell others about Jesus .
Pray that their witness would inspire those who plan to harm them .
Pray that God would provide for the physical needs of persecuted Christians .
Pray that they would experience Gods peace, despite their weakness and current circumstances .
Pray that God would protect them, according to His will .
Pray that God would ultimately rescue them out of dangerous circumstances .
Pray that persecuted Christians would feel deeply connected to Jesus in their suffering .
Pray that they would be completely faithful and surrendered to Gods will .
Pray that they would have wisdom and discernment for how to approach every situation .
Pray that as they share in Christs sufferings, they would be able to rejoice in the hope God offers them .
Try to keep a journal with specific prayers that you can return to daily. And, of course, ask God to give you the right words to pray.
Pray For Bibles And Resources To Be Made Available To Persecuted Believers
God saves, sustains, comforts, and teaches His people by His Word. However, it is often difficult or dangerous for persecuted believers to obtain a physical copy of Gods Word. While hearing and responding to the proclamation of the gospel sufficient for salvation, Bibles are important for long-term discipleship and healthy churches. The apostle Paul reminds us of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
We should ask God to make the scriptures and other gospel resources available to the persecuted church. Often these resources have to be shared in creative ways due to governmental restrictions and cultural pressures, but God is not incapable of overcoming these obstacles. We want our fellow believers to be able to say with the psalmist, Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day .
Don’t Miss: What Is Covet Mean In The Bible
A Prayer For Those In Prison
God, you are near to the lonely and to those being imprisoned for their faith. Thank you for their strength and their courage. As Paul knew, may they know that despite their current reality, you are using all things to advance Your kingdom and are leading them into an inheritance that will never spoil or fade. Lord, have mercy. Give them the courage to remain faithful to you and be ever present in their times of trouble.
How To Pray For Practical Needs
Along with praying from the Bible, you can pray for some of these practical needs:
Pray that persecuted Christians would have access to a Bible.
Pray for access to food and shelter.
Pray that God would give persecuted Christians the right words to say.
Pray that they would have opportunities to gather and that God would supply their needs for a community.
Pray for God to be an advocate for women who are socially vulnerable or have lost the custody of their children because of their faith.
Pray for courage for those that remain in their homeland.
Pray for comfort and hope for those that have been separated from each other.
Pray for those imprisoned.
Don’t Miss: What Does The Bible Say About Communication
Understand The Nature Of Persecution
In western culture, we can sometimes use the word persecution rather loosely. We might call it persecution when kids are not allowed to pray or study the Bible in public schools. We might call it persecution when a business uses the words Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas in the month of December. We might consider it persecution when someone is told not to pray in Jesus name in a public setting or when a worker is not allowed to display a copy of the Bible at work.
Whether these are instances of persecution or not, I will leave it to the reader to decide. I am not saying that they are not. We might say that they are at least indications of attempts to segregate expressions of Christian faith from the public sphere. However, when we compare such limitations on faith expression with the fact that in some countries churches are being burned, Christians are being killed, families are losing their homes, children, and their livelihoods for the sake of Christ, we are forced to ask the question again, What is persecution, really?
For The Children Of Persecuted Christians
Oh Lord, we bring before You all persecuted Christians in so many parts of the world, and we particularly lift up their children, knowing that children can be so abused and ill-treated and used as pawns to cause their parents to falter in their faith. Guard and protect all these little ones. Keep each one from any long-term psychological harm, emotional pain or feelings of bitter revenge that can result from the atrocities that they have had to go through and witness. Protect every single life we pray, and we ask that You would intervene in any attempts to abduct the children of Christians and expose them to forced corrective teaching or child labour camps. Lord, You were the one that said, “let the little children come to Me and forbid them not.” I pray that each and every child that experiences some form of persecution against their faith, will be kept and protected by You, and brought at last into Your everlasting kingdom, where every tear and all pain will be wiped away, forever. Amen.
Don’t Miss: What Does The Bible Say About Finding Your Purpose
We Owe It To Our Persecuted Brothers And Sisters In The World To At Least Make An Attempt To Understand What They Are Facing
There are a variety of resources that are available to us to understand persecution in todays world. Organizations such as The Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors USA provide information about the persecuted church worldwide and list and describe countries where Christian persecution is most witnessed and experienced. Mission agencies often post articles regarding persecution on their websites. The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, for example, has information about persecution throughout the world under the Research tab on its website . A simple search of any trusted Christian website may yield a number of articles that have been posted which will serve as resources for understanding worldwide Christian persecution. Simply reading a variety of missionary biographies can give us a new perspective on how God uses persecution to advance the Gospel. Adoniram Judson, John Paton, Jim Elliot and the Ecuador martyrs, among others, are good examples.
A Prayer For Protection For Those Experiencing Active Persecution
Lord, You have warned me through your Son Jesus Christ that those who follow Him may be oppressed and abused because of their faith. I pray for all those that are experiencing this type of persecution. You are a protector and provider for all those that follow you. Please be present for those that are in danger. Please protect and uphold them by your righteous hand.
Don’t Miss: What Does The Bible Say About Discernment
What Is The Importance Of Prayers For The Church
Praying is a crucial part of the Christian life. It only follows that we should pray for our local churches and churches in general for several reasons. God heads the church, but it is composed of faithful men and women. We must protect the church from the Enemy through prayer.
Although we are committed to the church and its growth, we should still pray for the church to ensure that we follow Gods will. We can have all the grandest plans and programs, but if we do not dedicate them to God and if they are not aligned with His will, it will be all for nothing.
Praying for the local church is crucial because it is our duty as Christians and a way to keep unity and peace within the church family. We should also express our gratitude and praise to God for how He works in our church. We can also ask God to help us make sure that we are using our spiritual gifts in the best way to help the church grow.
Prayer For Persecuted Christians In Prison
Loving Father, I lay each and every one of Your children that are suffering as a result of persecution in prison or hard labour camps. Father God, please be very close to every single one that has been confined to prison for their faith, and pour out Your life-saving grace into each life and heart. May Your Holy Spirit permeate their being with Your peace that surpasses all understanding, and may Your sustaining hope warm their aching hearts, knowing that they can draw near to you and that You are with them in the terrible ordeal that they are going through. Infuse them with a sense of Your closeness and presence, and may Your holy angels be ministering spirits that surround and support them every moment of the day and night. Lord, I am sure that the doubts and fears that flood their minds during their capture must be shocking and far beyond what we, who have never had to taste such atrocities, can imagine. But in Your great love and mercy, pour in Your strength and support them with Your loving kindness and tender pity. May each one find in You the depth of peace and rest that their soul needs. Father, they are Your children and our brothers and sisters. Hold them closely in the palm of Your loving hands. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
You May Like: What Does The Bible Say Not To Eat
Here Are Some Specific Ways To Pray For The Persecuted Church In The World:
- Pray for the wisdom of the persecuted church in the preaching of the Gospel and evangelism.
- Pray for boldness for Christians who are persecuted for their faith.
- Pray for secret house churches that are meeting daily throughout the world.
- Pray for Christian brothers and sisters who are imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel.
- Pray for specific examples of persecuted believers or churches that you read or hear about in various parts of the world.
- Pray for the power of the Gospel to transform oppressive nations throughout the world by name.
- Pray for Gods grace for those for whom God has chosen the way of extreme suffering or death for His glory.
- Pray that the burden for the persecuted church will be placed on your heart more heavily.
- Pray that we will pray about persecuted believers in the world according to Gods will.
- Pray that we will be ready to give an answer for our faith in Christ should we be chosen for persecution.
As you pray for the persecuted church, consider it an obligation to pray with knowledge and discernment of Gods purposes in the world. By all means, pray!
Providing Gods Word Amid Persecution
American Bible Society, along with Bible Societies around the world, is committed to providing Bibles where Christians are persecuted for their faith. Together, we have provided Gods Word at pivotal moments in critical places. At the end of Chinas Cultural Revolution, a Bible printing press, which in just 30 years has printed more than 200 million Bibles, was established in a country where the Bible had been banned for years. When the Iron Curtain collapsed, Bible Societies were established throughout the former Soviet Union, providing Gods Word in a region where Christianity was heavily suppressed.
Today, we support persecuted Christians by providing digital Bible resources that supply the Word of God even through seasons of danger and oppression.
Read Also: What Does The Bible Say About Pornography
Pray Their Witness Would Inspire Those Who Seek To Harm Them
In Luke 6:27-31, the apostle said, But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. When Christians are able to maintain perspective like this, their actions are often noticed by those who persecute them. In the case of Paul and Silas, in Acts 16:25, their behaviorpraying and singing and praise in the face of hardshipwere observed by both their jailers and other prisoners. In acting out of faith despite their circumstances, they were able to share the gospel with their captors in an opportune moment, and the jailer and his family came to believe, as well .