Prayers for Evangelical Believers:
The Persecuted Church
by Ed Vasicek
Our compassionate, gracious God, we approach your mercy seat in both fear and trembling. You are a consuming fire, but also Abba, Father. Lord, we are burdened for those in your body, the church of Jesus Christ, who are suffering right now because of their faith in you. Like those under the altar in Revelation chapter 6, they cry out to you night and day. So many have been put to death, so many others facing torture and miseries worse than death. Families are broken apart, children orphaned, others are sold into slavery, while others watch their children die of starvation. Governments are poised against your people.
How tragic it is, Father, that governments and peoples refuse to recognize the rights you give. In many nations, some which claim to be civilized, the most basic of freedoms, the freedom to freely choose or reject a belief system, is vehemently opposed. How tragic it is when a nation forces its people either to adopt a certain belief system or to live in fear.
Father, help your children to bear up under pain, fears, trauma, and indignities. We especially remember believers in the countries where persecution is most intense: Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, China, Chechnya, Sudan, Yemen, Comoro Islands, Maldives, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkmenistan, North Korea, Pakistan, Laos, Bhutan, and Kuwait.
Lord, we pray that the day will soon come when people worldwide recognize the individual's freedom to choose any or no religion, based on his or her convictions and not those of a government or the majority. May those who now persecute Christians embrace the faith they are trying to destroy. Produce more Pauls out of the many Sauls of Tarsus. For your name's sake, free the captives, comfort the mourning, help the traumatized to again enjoy life. Please stop the persecutions, the killings, the tortures, the dismemberments, the separations. Instead, may the church experience a time of unprecedented peace.
We know, Lord, that the blood of the martyrs is often the seed of the church. Your Son told us that in this world we would have tribulation. Many of us in the West have escaped the terrors of persecution, but we acknowledge our oneness with those who do so suffer. So Lord, we trust you, though we do not always understand your ways, which are higher than ours. We lift up our brothers and sisters in Christ before your throne; we plead on their behalf. We pray in Jesus' name, Amen.
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Highland Park Church
516 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, Indiana, USA