International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church: November 12
“Remember those who are in prison as if you were in prison with them. Remember those who are suffering as if you were suffering with them.” ––Hebrews 13:3
According to New Wineskins, an Anglican organization whose mission is “to advance the Kingdom of God by mobilizing Anglicans for authentic, cross-cultural partnership around the world,” more than 260 million Christians live in places where they experience high levels of persecution, just because they follow Jesus––1 in 8 believers worldwide! If those of us who follow Christ are to follow Hebrews 13:3, we need to be more aware of the plight of the persecuted church and be better equipped to support our faithful brothers and sisters around the world. But what can we do? What can I do in Charleston that could possibly help someone being persecuted for their faith in North Korea, Iran, or Nigeria?
I would suggest two things that we can all do:
1. Learn more about the persecuted church. New Wineskins for Global Mission’s focus on world mission includes some very helpful information on the persecuted church. Visit their website:
2. Pray for the persecuted church. The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) is being observed this year on Sunday, November 5, and Sunday, November 12. These are special days set aside to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who experience persecution for their faith.
But how should we pray? Below are just a few ways we can pray using Scripture as our guide.
1. Pray that persecuted believers will sense God’s presence (Hebrews 13:5). 2. Pray that they will feel connected to the greater Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:20, 26). 3. Pray that they will experience God’s comfort when their family members are killed, injured, or imprisoned for their witness (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). 4. Pray that they will have more opportunities to share the Gospel (Colossians 4:3). 5. Pray for their boldness to make Christ known (Philippians 1:14). 6. Pray that they will forgive and love their persecutors (Matthew 5:44). 7. Pray that their ministry activities will remain undetected by authorities or others who wish to silence them (Acts 9:25). 8. Pray that they will rejoice in their suffering (Acts 5:41). 9. Pray that they will be refreshed through God’s Word and grow in their faith (Ephesians 6:17). 10. Pray that they will be strengthened through the prayers of fellow believers (Jude 20-22).
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