Making plans for this space is one of my weaknesses, to be honest with you.
The best bloggers keep an editorial calendar, scheduling posts months in advance, but me? I’m the one who often flounders right up until a post is due.
I can’t say I regret it though, because it’s one way God continues to keep me yielded to Him. Dependent on Him. Desperate for Him, even, as I trust that He’ll prompt my heart when and where He desires.
And He never, ever fails me.
With all that being said, I didn’t set out last week to write a mini-series on persecution.
And this morning, I awoke with Pastor Saeed, his wife Naghmeh, and their children on my mind. My heart aches for the ongoing separation they’re enduring. I have cringed and wept with the news of each new beating Saeed has suffered. I sometimes struggle to honor our nation’s President, who seems to consider Saeed’s plight with callous regard instead of concerned intervention.
What can we do, friends? What can we do for Saeed and for Syrian Christians and for Christians being enslaved and tortured and killed by ISIS?
I don’t know about you, but I despise this helpless feeling. This “something-must-be-done-but-I-have-no-power-to-do-anything” kind of feeling.
Truth be told, I’m getting that feeling a lot these days. And through it all, I’m incredibly grateful for a God who patiently points me toward prayer.
In fact, Scripture teaches believers to lift prayers on behalf of those being persecuted.
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
It’s interesting to me that we’re not commanded to circulate a petition for the release of our Christian brothers and sisters.
We’re not instructed to plan a jailbreak or call for a boycott.
We’re told to pray.
So with great thoughtfulness and humility, I’m sharing five prayers for persecuted Christians around the world. These prayers are particularly powerful, not because they’re words you’ve found at A Divine Encounter, but because they’re words that come from the pages of Scripture.
Will you join me in praying the Scriptures for persecuted Christians?
And consider going a step further, making these prayers part of your regular routine. Maybe you could pray for persecuted Christians as you perform a certain household routine each day. Or perhaps pray for them on a particular day each week.
Because time spent praying is time well-spent.
1.)Pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, would give persecuted believers the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of their hearts enlightened, that they may know what is the hope to which He has called them, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His resurrection power toward them. (Ephesians 1:17-20)
2.)Ask God to preserve persecuted believers as they take refuge in Him, acknowledging that He is their Lord and their Source of every blessing. Praise God for being their portion and their cup, and the One who holds their lot. Claim His promise that the lines have fallen for them in pleasant places, and that they have a beautiful inheritance. Ask that God would counsel them, and instruct their hearts in the night. Pray that as they set the Lord always before them, they will not be shaken. Ask that God would grant them a glad heart, and that they would rejoice with their whole being, knowing that they are secure in God’s hand. Rejoice that He will not abandon them, and ask that He would make known to them the path of life. Ask for a keen sense of His presence at every moment, bringing a fullness of joy that exceeds human understanding. (Psalm 16:1, 5-11)
3.)Pray that persecuted Christians would themselves be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving. Ask God to open up a door for the Word, so that they may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which they have been imprisoned; that God may make it clear in the way they ought to speak. Ask that God’s grace would enable them to conduct themselves with wisdom toward unbelievers, making the most of every opportunity. Pray that their speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that they will know how they should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:2-6)
4.)Remind God of His promise of grace that is sufficient in every circumstance, and of power that is made perfect in weakness. Pray that His persecuted children would glory in their weaknesses, trusting that the power of Christ would rest upon them. Ask Him for supernatural grace that would allow them to be content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when they are weak, then they are strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
5.)Ask God to grant persecuted believers an unquenchable joy in spite of their circumstances, because according to the measure that they share in Christ’s sufferings, they will be exceedingly glad when His glory is revealed. Pray that God would remind them that if they are insulted for the name of Christ, they are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon them. Pray that God’s grace would keep them above reproach, and that they would not be ashamed, but would glorify God and give thanks that they can bear the name “Christian.” Ask that those who suffer according to God’s will would entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (I Peter 4:12-19)
What Scriptures would you add to this list? I would love for you to share! Let’s join together and lift our persecuted brothers and sisters to the Lord.
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