November marks the time in which we are reminded to pray for the persecuted Church. Would you join me in prayer?
Dear Heavenly Father. We thank you that our Saviour suffered and died for us. We thank you also, that according to Philippians 1:29, it has been appointed to us, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. We remember that you told us (1 Peter 4:13) that we are called upon to share in the sufferings of Christ. We remember also that words in which Paul spoke to his disciple Timothy. “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.” (2 Timothy 1:8) All of these words remind us that we have been appointed to sail through bloody seas before Your Son appears in glory and redeems this world for Your glory.
And so, we pray: Help us Lord to walk with joy the road you have set before us. Help us not to put our hands to the plow and then shrink back. May we, and our brothers and sisters around the world, be found to have served You faithfully in this generation.
We are amazed, heavenly Father, as we consider the testimony of our brothers and sisters around the world who gladly identify with Jesus to the point of death. We are roused from our own complacency. Oh Lord, let us learn from the persecuted church, not to be ashamed of You, in this sinful and adulterous generation.
We also want to pray that You would sustain Your suffering church. We pray for our Chinese brothers and sisters. We know that right now, there are government activities aimed at wiping out the next generation of Chinese Christians. Oh, great God, rouse Yourself for the sake of Your children in China.
We pray for Your suffering church in Syria. After all the warfare, they are still targeted because they bear Your name. Comfort them, dear Saviour. The world is not worthy of such as these. We pray for Your suffering church in Nepal, where persecution is right now growing. We pray for churches that are now closing in Algeria, as the result of great governmental pressure. We remember pastor Selah in Algeria, whose church of some 700 members was just forcibly closed by Algerian authorities. Father protect the faith of Your people in that church. Oh Lord, rescue Your church in North Korea, where some of our sisters in Christ are forcibly sold into prostitution. Have mercy, Oh Lord. We pray for Christians in Afghanistan and Somalia. Oh Lord, remember, we pray, Your church in Libya, Pakistan, Sudan and Eritrea. Have mercy on my brothers and sisters in Yemen, Iran and India. We pray for Pastor Matthias Haghnejad, who, along with 8 other members of his Iranian congregation, was just sentenced to 9 years in prison. Protect these faithful servants of Yours. May the aroma of Christ spread out through them.
Oh Lord, send Your Holy Spirit to strengthen suffering Christians. May they be aware of Your great love for them. May they also be aware that we, Christians in the West, have not forgotten them, but think of them always. We pray that Your church would grow in persecuted lands and that Jesus would receive much glory. Keep false teachers away from them. We pray that bibles would be available in all lands, that pastors would continue to be raised up, that government officials might lend aid, and that Your people will be known for their courage and their love.
For us who live in peace, forgive us where we have forgotten our suffering family. Oh Lord, it is our honour to be identified with them. Amen.