This flowed out of the study done for the May 10th sermon, "Faith of the Flawed and Afflicted". There was no way, given our current stay-at-home context, to dive into the issues of the persecuted church around the globe for this sermon or series. While this post won't really accomplish that either, it will equip you with effective ways to engage in prayer for our persecuted sisters and brothers around the world.
I came across this note from Dr. Al Mohler while studying the text for Hebrews 11:32 - 12:3.
"It doesn’t take much pain to get our attention or much hostility for us to feel persecuted. There are persons right now enduring vehement physical persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ. There are people being flogged, beaten, imprisoned, separated from their families, and even martyred in his name." (Exalting Jesus in Hebrews, Nashville, TN: Holman Reference, 2017).
It's important to maintain a proper perspective when we are in the throes of adversity - not to make light of our suffering but to make sure that we don't "waste" it on ourselves only.
If you're like me, the task can seem a bit daunting. In light of the number our persecuted Christians around the world in hard places, what can I do? How do I pray for them? What do I pray for them? My prayer list is already too long...
Thankfully, so incredible sisters and brothers have already worked diligently to help us with great resources:
For today (whenever that is for you), here is a prayer request to get you started:
Pray that God’s people would be unified as one Church, and that we would look to the lives and faith of our persecuted brothers and sisters as we navigate fear, isolation and the unknown ... that we would look to them for guidance and for hope.
(this one was taken from the OpenDoorsUSA Coronavirus Prayer Points for the Persecuted)
May the Lord cause us to be a blessing as we, "Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body." (Hebrews 13:3).