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So, how do I pray for the persecuted church?

(Photograph: Open Doorways Worldwide)

With 340 million Christians going through the every day chance of persecution and discrimination, we all know how necessary it’s to hope for individuals who comply with Jesus irrespective of the fee. That is why the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on Sunday 7 November is so essential. It makes an infinite distinction, as Christians all over the world can testify and because the Bible guarantees: “You might ask me for something in my title, and I’ll do it” (John 14:14).

However what ought to we ask after we pray? It may be exhausting to know the place to begin. The perfect folks to ask are, in fact, the persecuted believers themselves. Many have shared their prayer requests with Open Doorways companions, they usually aren’t what I anticipated.

Listed here are 5 methods you may pray for the persecuted church, and a few of them could shock you too.

1. Pray for perseverance

You might need made the identical assumption that I did: that we should always pray for persecution to cease. Whereas the struggling, discrimination and rejection skilled by many Christians is appalling, that is not their first prayer.

This is how a pastor in Syria put it, when he spoke to an Open Doorways contact: “Please do not pray for security. Please do not pray that persecution will stop. We pray that we is perhaps daring and brave. We pray when the persecution comes – and it’ll come – that we’d not run away or conceal however that we’d be devoted, even when it prices our lives.”

Father God, please give Your youngsters ample boldness and braveness, that they might stand agency all through trials and assaults, and stay devoted to You.

2. Pray for alternatives to share the gospel

A pastor from Egypt agrees. He says, “Please, do not pray for us – pray with us. When you pray with us, you’ll ask God to convey hundreds of thousands of Egyptians to religion in Christ. We ask God for the salvation of Egypt.”

Although persecuted Christians face horrible opposition, they lengthy for alternatives to inform others the excellent news of Jesus Christ. Even when it appears unimaginable. Wang Ming-Dao* spent many years in jail in China for his religion – together with lengthy intervals in solitary confinement. “After I was put in jail, I used to be devastated. I used to be an evangelist,” he says. Then he realised he might preach down the cell’s bathroom, and sound would carry via the sewage pipes. Amazingly, 96 folks grew to become Christians via this extraordinary ministry!

Lord, thank You that You so cherished the world that You gave Your solely Son, in order that whoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life. Please maintain giving Your persecuted youngsters alternatives to share this superb reality.

3. Pray for meals and medication

World wide, many susceptible Christians aren’t simply susceptible to violence or rejection: typically they do not have adequate entry to meals or medication. They could even be intentionally neglected when official support is distributed. These requirements are important for the long-term continuation of the church.

“When you’re desperately hungry, you may’t do ministry,” shares Brother Simon*, who has supported North Korean believers for a few years. “The primary concern of the persecuted church is survival. Though their circumstances are troublesome, they wish to be God’s witnesses and attain their very own folks with the gospel.”

Loving God, please maintain Your church with the meals and medication they want. Equip those that serve persecuted Christians with safety and knowledge as they make troublesome journeys to ship this support.

4. Pray for therapeutic

In addition to medication, God’s intervention is much-needed for therapeutic. Typically that’s bodily therapeutic – at different occasions, Christians who’ve suffered persecution or loss want therapeutic from their trauma. Persecution can forged a protracted shadow, and your prayers will help quicken restoration.

Aisha in Nigeria was traumatised after militant Fulani herdsman brutally assaulted her and her husband, after they burst into her residence and located a Bible. Fortunately, God offered Aisha with trauma care via native Open Doorways companions.

“Now I’ve acquired this trauma therapeutic I’m so blissful,” says Aisha. “I’m overwhelmed with the love and compassion proven to us. In the middle of the workshop, I noticed how God thinks about me. God has promised that in the future He’ll wipe away all our tears.”

Merciful God, thank You for Your promise in Psalm 30: “Weeping could keep for the night time, however rejoicing comes within the morning”. Please heal Your youngsters, whether or not they undergo bodily or mentally, and exchange their tears with pleasure.

5. Pray for fellowship

We all know how necessary neighborhood is. When you’re like me, it has been a pleasure to return to a church constructing after a protracted interval of assembly on-line. For a lot of Christians, even assembly on-line is extraordinarily exhausting. Some have by no means met a fellow Christian.

“After I got here to religion, I believed I used to be the one believer in Yemen,” says Mohammad, a secret believer who grew to become a Christian after discover a Bible in a secondhand store. “For a very long time, I did not know every other Yemeni Christians.”

Islèm* in North Africa has an identical story: “I believed there have been no Christians in North Africa. I believed I would be the primary one. For me, Christians have been folks residing overseas.”

It’s such a blessing when Christians can meet for fellowship, discipleship and encouragement. And God so typically finds a solution to convey His youngsters collectively, regardless of all of the obstacles.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the present of neighborhood. Please be certain that none of Your youngsters are remoted from different believers, and that everybody is ready to discover a neighborhood the place they’ll worship You.

Be part of a special online prayer event on Sunday 7 November (7.30-8.30pm) to mark this yr’s Worldwide Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the persecuted church. This yr, Open Doorways joins CSW, Launch Worldwide and Evangelical Alliance for a night of prayer and worship, that includes updates and prayer requests from Nigeria, Eritrea and India, in addition to a time of prayer for Afghanistan.

Simon Thomas works for Open Doors UK & Ireland, a part of Open Doorways Worldwide, a worldwide NGO community which has supported and strengthened persecuted Christians for over 60 years and works in over 60 international locations. In 2020, it raised £42 million to offer sensible assist to persecuted Christians corresponding to meals, medicines, trauma care, authorized help, secure homes and faculties, in addition to non secular assist via Christian literature, coaching and sources. Open Doorways UK & Eire raised about £16 million.

*Names modified for safety causes

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